Archive for September, 2016

Help Protect Pristine Smith River Waters

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

SmithR by Casey RobertsTake a moment to help safeguard the Wild and Scenic Smith River. Public comments are being accepted by the Oregon Water Resources Department to protect the Smith River watershed in Curry County, Oregon for instream purposes. The classification would provide protection for fish, wildlife and recreation. Click here to send a letter of support for this very important action.

New: Videos showing local National Forest Grazing damage available online!

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

By Felice Pace, Coordinator for the Project to Reform Public Land Grazing in Northern California

This fall for the seventh straight year volunteers with the Project to Reform Public Land Grazing are on the ground in Northern California’s national forests documenting the manner in which public land grazing is being managed or, as is usually the case, mis-managed. What is different this year is that we have video documentation available online. Check out the public land grazing videos on my You Tube channel: .

Here is our most recent grazing video, from the Carter Meadows Allotment:

Once again volunteer monitors are finding that water quality has been degraded, riparian areas and other wetlands are damaged and wildlife values are sacrificed all to the benefit of private livestock operations. EPIC sponsors the Project and EPIC donors fund my work using the Project’s documentation to push for grazing management reform.

The Projects first intern and EPIC volunteer Victor Ruether examines a cattle-trampled spring in the Trinity Alps Wilderness. Victor is now an environmental lawyer in Oregon.

The Project’s first intern and EPIC volunteer Victor Ruether examines a cattle-trampled spring in the Trinity Alps Wilderness. Victor is now an environmental lawyer in Oregon.

Even when it is well managed, livestock grazing, like all human activities, entails some environmental impact. But proper application of modern grazing management practices and systems, including regular herding, spring and riparian protection, and rest-rotation grazing, can limit those impacts in order to comply with the Clean Water Act and other applicable laws, plans and regulations.

Unfortunately, Forest Service and BLM managers do not require modern grazing management; instead they condone the long-discredited practice known in range management circles as passive, season-long grazing. When using this grazing non-system, livestock owners move their animals, which are typically cattle but may be sheep, horses, goats or even llamas, to meadows and headwater basins on national forest or BLM-managed public lands at the beginning of the grazing season. The owners don’t herd or move their livestock again until the snow flies and it is time to take the animals back to the home ranch or to a feed lot; most owners don’t even visit the grazing allotments on which their animals are grazing for the entire three to six month grazing season.

Left unherded for months on end, livestock in general and cattle in particular find locations they prefer and remain there until all available forage and desirable browse has been consumed. That invariably leads to degradation of water quality, riparian areas, meadows, wetlands and wildlife habitat.

Rural westerners have a colorful term for this type of management; they call it Christopher Columbus Grazing because ranchers release their cattle onto the public lands in spring or summer and don’t discover them again until snow drives the livestock to lower elevation, which is typically sometime in the fall.

Christopher Columbus style grazing results in degraded riparian areas. This is Alex Hole, an Applegate River headwater basin located just north of the Siskiyou Ridge on the California portion of the Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest.

Christopher Columbus style grazing results in degraded riparian areas. This is Alex Hole, an Applegate River headwater basin located just north of the Siskiyou Ridge on the California portion of the Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest.

Passive Season-Long Grazing often results in cattle grazing for long periods in the headwater basins of forest streams, including many within designated wilderness as well as within key salmon watersheds. When headwater springs, seeps, wet meadows and streambanks are trampled every year for 3 or more months the result is hydromodification: streams become broader and shallower and the water table drops; riparian vegetation is damaged or removed; wetlands dry out and eventually disappear and late summer and fall base flow in streams below is reduced. In this way, grazing in Northern California’s wilderness headwater basins is producing negative consequences for salmon, steelhead, rainbow trout, tailed frogs, Pacific Giant salamanders and the other critters that depend on cold, high quality water. It is ironic that those wilderness basins which should be producing the nation’s highest quality water are so often degraded and diminished as a result of unmanaged grazing.

Working for Reform

Decades of unmanaged grazing have degraded, fragmented and dried out headwater willow wetlands

Decades of unmanaged grazing have degraded, fragmented and dried out headwater willow wetlands

To reverse the degraded condition of Northern California’s grazing allotments, the Project to Reform Public Land Grazing aims to change the way public land grazing is managed. Over the course of the past seven years we’ve produced 27 Grazing Monitoring Reports on 17 national forest grazing allotments located within three national forests. Each report contains recommendations to Forest Service managers, as well as state and federal regulators, on the changes needed to improve grazing management in order to comply with the Clean Water Act, the National Forest Management Act, and other applicable laws, plans and regulations You can read or download these reports, as well as our annual reports and presentations on Dropbox at this link.

The Project uses photo and field documentation of grazing management problems to advocate that Forest Service managers require that owners of livestock grazing on our national forests implement modern grazing management systems and techniques in order to protect water quality, as well as fish and wildlife habitat. We also use documentation produced by others, including water quality monitoring findings and reports produced by the Quartz Valley Indian Reservation. And we constantly invite Forest Service managers and those who hold public land grazing permits to join with us in a collaborative approach to grazing reform.

However, in spite of seven years advocating public land management reform and clear documentation indicating that current management is not protecting water quality, riparian areas and wetlands, Forest Service officials have so far refused to make the management changes that are clearly needed. And so the Project, EPIC and the Project’s other sponsors have begun to raise the stakes. We are now going over the heads of the District Rangers who are responsible for assuring proper grazing management to the regional forester and state water quality officials, asking them to intervene to require grazing management reform. And we are considering filing a complaint with the Department of Agriculture’s Inspector General as well as strategic litigation to force the needed reforms.

Forest Serviced grazing managers have stuck their heads in the sand and refuse to see the obvious problems with the manner in which national forest grazing is managed. We aim to force them to remove their heads from the sand and do what is right. If grazing is going to continue on our public lands, managers must require the modern grazing management methods needed to limit negative impacts to water quality, riparian areas, wetland habitats, aquatic species and terrestrial wildlife.

Why not volunteer?

The Project To Reform Public Land Grazing wants more volunteers so that we can monitor more grazing allotments on more Northern California national forests and on BLM administered public land. As the Project’s coordinator, I go out with new volunteers onto grazing allotments they choose to teach them how the Project documents grazing management problems. Volunteers can then monitor on their own or join the Project’s monitoring expeditions into wilderness areas and on other Northern California public lands.

If you would like to volunteer with the Project, or just learn more about what we do and why we do it, give me a call at 707-954-6588. And whether or not you volunteer with the Project, please report to the Project and to EPIC the negative impacts of grazing which you observe while recreating or working on our public lands. If you will share them with us, we pledge to take up your concerns with the Forest Service or BLM managers who are supposed to make sure public land grazing is done responsibly. Use the “Contact Us” link on this web page for a range of contact options.

Public land grazing is deeply entrenched; arguably it is our most intractable public land management problem nation-wide. But by raising the profile of the poor manner in which public land grazing is managed, enlisting Clean Water and other regulators to also advocate for management reform, recruiting other citizens to get involved on-the-ground as reform advocates, and by refusing to accept bad and discredited grazing management, we believe public land grazing can and will be reformed.

If modern grazing management technologies and regular herding were required, those owners unwilling to devote the energy needed to properly manage their livestock on public lands would voluntarily relinquish their grazing permits; those who remain would put in the time and energy required to manage grazing responsibly. That is the Project’s goal: if grazing is to continue on the public’s land it must be managed responsibly.mmm

Headwaters Forest Reserve, Home, at Last

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Headwaters Forest Reserve 20 Anniversary HikeFormer U.S. President, and patriarch of American Wilderness, Theodore Roosevelt, said, “Believe that you can do something and you are half way there.” On a recent Saturday, seventeen-and-a-half years after the Headwaters Forest Reserve was established as a part of the BLM National Conservation Lands system, I had the distinct honor of guiding a group of individuals who had fought hard to save this place from the saw. This was the very first hike ever into Headwaters for some of the 50 hikers who had spearheaded the Campaign to Save Headwaters Forest from 1986-1999.

There is so much that remains so completely unlikely and unbelievable about the Headwaters Forest Reserve, for myself, and for just about everyone else I spoke with on the hike and over that weekend. First, the fact that there is such a thing as the Headwaters Forest Reserve is still very astounding and quite unbelievable in many respects. And the fact that there is the Reserve, and that the Reserve has a community-docent program, and that I, of all people am one of them, is a story that had it been told by basecamp bonfires 20 years ago, simply no one, myself included, would have ever believed it.

I moved to Humboldt County in the spring of 1997, and almost immediately found myself embroiled in the struggle to Save Headwaters Forest; 19 years later, I was at the head of the line, opening the locked logging gate at Newburg Road in Fortuna, which had been the site of thousands of arrests over the two decades of the struggle. On this day I was there to legally take into the Reserve 50 of the people who worked to protect Headwaters many for whom it was the very first time.

Headwaters 20 Yr Anniversary Gathering RD2I was quite moved and astounded to find that this tremendous community with a fighting spirit and a heart of gold was grateful that I am among those serving as an educational docent for Headwaters in the present-day. It seemed to give many comfort in knowing that the Reserve they fought so hard to create was in good hands, and that the spirit and legacy of the Campaign to Save Headwaters Forest is being carried forward in the Reserve, and on into the future.

As Margret Mead wrote, “Never doubt that a small, dedicated group of people can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” The Headwaters Forest Reserve is a testament to the spirit of this principle manifested, and for many of us that attended this hike into the old-growth, we have finally made it all the way home, at long last.


Leave A Legacy! Westside – Old Growth and Implementation

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

DSC00534The Klamath National Forest (KNF) repeatedly stated in its Westside documents that all legacy trees would be kept standing. From what we have seen, KNF has been cutting and removing these biological legacies at a rapid pace and more are threatened.

Legacy trees, i.e. old growth snags and live trees are defined as disproportionately large diameter trees that are often remnants of the previous stand on a given site. They are old standing trees that have persisted on the landscape after man-made and natural disturbances. For example, large trees containing one or more of the following characteristics: split or broken tops, heavy decadent branching, large mistletoe brooms, otherwise damaged to the degree that a cavity may form such as basal fire or lightning scars, or other features that indicate decay or defect. If the legacy component tree or snag was to be felled for safety reasons it was supposed to be left whole on the ground.

The alternative that KNF chose was specifically developed because of the effects of logging on spotted owl and fisher habitat, habitat connectivity, and legacy components and concerns about treatments in late-successional reserves. This alternative was chosen because it was supposed to emphasize the development of future late successional habitat, habitat connectivity, northern spotted owl habitat and legacy habitat components within the post fire landscape. It was designed to retain legacy components for future habitat development, reduce effects to owl nests, and lessen the effects of clearcut logging on watershed connectivity.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have also had concerns about the logging of legacy trees. In fact the Biological Opinion and the non-jeopardy decision for Northern spotted owls was partly based on the assumption that old growth trees would be left on the landscape. To date, the issue of removing legacy trees has not been resolved and they continue to be cut without public oversight – due to forest closure – or immediate action from the USFWS. EPIC has been communicating these concerns to the USFWS and has sent the KNF a notice of intent to litigate on this matter, which would be in addition to our current lawsuit.

Legacy tree retention is not the only issue currently going wrong with Westside implementation. In early August this year EPIC requested a visit to see if the project design features were being adequately implemented. We saw; many old growth trees stacked for hauling, no dust abatement, logging in Riparian Reserves as well as trees stacked in the reserves, damaged soils, no washing stations for equipment to deter the spread of non-native invasive plant species, roads and hillsides on the verge of wash out and more. Below is a photo gallery showing the current implementation of the Westside project, which was documented by EPIC staff on August 4th 2016.

Below is a photo gallery of legacy trees still standing, but critically threatened as they are not marked for saving, in the Grider and Cold Springs Westside Timber Sales and implementation as of August 4 in the Walker Creek watershed, which includes Walker, Salt, Slinkard and a small portion of Blue Mountain Timber Sales.



Remembering the Campaign to Save Headwaters Forest

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

EPIC Staff, Tom and Natalynne plant a redwood seedling in Visionaries Grove in Headwaters Forest Reserve.

The year 2016 marks the 30th anniversary of the beginning of the citizen-lead campaign to Save Headwaters Forest, which was, at the time, the last significant old-growth redwood forest left unprotected on private forestlands in the world. Today, the 7,750-acre Headwaters Forest Reserve, located just south-east of Eureka, stands as a testament to the commitment, dedication, and visionary spirit of the thousands of every-day people who came to Humboldt County, California from all over the country and the world to protect the last remaining unprotected old-growth redwood forests in a struggle that spanned two decades.

EPIC was on the front lines of the Campaign to Save Headwaters Forest, serving as a last-line of legal defense, using the law and the courts to hold public agencies and the lawless MAXXAM/Pacific Lumber Company (PL) accountable, and to protect the old-growth redwood forests in the Headwaters Forest Complex until the eventual political compromise of the 1999 Headwaters Forest Agreement could be reached. EPIC used both state and federal environmental and endangered species laws to slow the destructive march of PL’s liquidation logging and in the process established legal standards that still persist today.

EPIC’s legal strategies, combined with a massive citizen-lead movement of non-violent civil disobedience that involved thousands of arrests over the two decades of the struggle, eventually lead state and federal officials to fashion the compromise that was the 1999 Headwaters Forest Agreement, known pejoratively to forest activists as “the Deal,” with the Houston, Texas-based MAXXAM Corporation, owned by Charles Hurwitz, who orchestrated a hostile take-over of the previously family-owned Pacific Lumber Company using junk bonds acquired through the now-infamous Savings and Loan scandal of the 1980’s.

The month of September commemorates the regulatory end of seasonal nesting restriction season for logging in critical habitat for the Marbled murrelet, a small, yam-shaped seabird that stealthily nests up high in the big mossy branches of old-growth trees up and down the Pacific Northwest Coast. The end of the murrelet nesting season every September 15th meant renewed attempts by PL to log approved Timber Harvest Plans in old-growth redwood stands in the Headwaters Forest Complex, and also signaled the beginning of the so-called, salvage logging of old-growth trees in and around Headwaters Forest. Click here to see the timeline and Greg King’s amazing photo gallery of the fight to protect Headwaters.

Twenty years ago, on September 15, 1996, 6,000 people attended the rally and civil disobedience event at Fisher Gate, in Carlotta, California, with over 1,000 people arrested for trespassing in protest of the logging of the old-growth in and around Headwaters. The September 15, 1996 rally stands as the single-largest mass-civil disobedience action to protect forests ever in the United States.

Two years later, on September 17, 1998, as the Campaign to Save Headwaters Forest was nearing its conclusion, an unconscionable tragedy marred the battle to save the last of the unprotected old-growth redwood forests, as David Nathan “Gypsy,” Chain was killed by an angry Pacific Lumber Company logger who felled a tree directly at forest defenders who were attempting to slow logging adjacent to Grizzly Creek State Park, along Highway 36. This September 17th marks the 18-year anniversary of Gypsy’s death, and serves as a sobering reminder of the very real human cost of the so-called Timber Wars here in the redwoods.

headwaters-visionary-groveupEPIC and other forest activists are rallying to commemorate and remember the initiation of the Campaign to Save Headwaters Forest, on this the 30-year anniversary of the burgeoning of the movement that has shaped the lives of thousands and the fate of our rural communities in the 17-years since the consummation of the 1999 Headwaters Forest Agreement.

EPIC staff will be leading a guided tour of what is now the Headwaters Forest Reserve on Saturday, September 17, 2016. Meeting location is 10 a.m. at Newburg Park, in Fortuna, California. All are welcome! For more information, please contact: Rob DiPerna at, or call 707-822-7711.

Headwaters Timeline and Historical Photo Gallery

Friday, September 2nd, 2016
Carlotta rally 1996 ©2016 Greg King

Carlotta rally 1996 ©2016 Greg King

This timeline of events for the Headwaters movement is in honor of the 30th anniversary of the beginning of the Headwaters Campaign, and the 20th anniversary of the Headwaters Rally at Stafford that was attended by 6,000 activists. The 15th of September marks the end of the Marbled Murrelet nesting season, and the beginning of the logging season. On the 15th of September, 20 years ago, 1033  people were arrested at Fisher Gate trying to stop logging in the iconic Headwaters forest, marking the largest civil disobedience action in the history of the forest preservation movement. If you would like to learn more about the history of the Headwaters, or if you would like to get out and hike around in the Historic grove, consider joining us for the Headwaters 20 Year Anniversary Hike!

Thanks to the Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters for developing the timeline below that illustrates a chronology of events relating to the Headwaters Forest Campaign, which transpired into the largest forest protection civil disobedience demonstration in history. All of the photos in the gallery below were taken by Greg King. Thank you Greg for documenting this very important piece of our history, and thanks to all of the people who worked so hard to protect these sacred forests.

Headwaters Timeline 1985-2007 courtesy of Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters


  • At very end of 1985, Texas-based Maxxam Corporation takes over family-run Pacific Lumber Company (PL).
  • Earth First! (EF!) chapter on north coast germinates, blossoms and bears fruit.
  • Nov: Working as an investigative journalist in Sonoma County, Greg King interviews EPIC attorney Sharon Duggan, which inspires his investigation of the Maxxam takeover of Pacific Lumber.


  • Feb: Greg King receives first responses to his letters of inquiry to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) to ascertain the forest types contained in the clear-cut timber harvest plans newly submitted by Pacific Lumber under Maxxam. “It is all old-growth” redwood is the universal reply.
  • March: Greg King meets Darryl Cherney at an equinox gathering at Sally Bell Grove. They agree to work together to stop Maxxam.
  • July: King and Cherney call a meeting and co-found Humboldt County Earth First! and plan first demonstrations.
  • Oct.: First Headwaters Forest demonstration at PL office building in San Francisco includes environmental movement arch druid David Brower, as well as EF! co-founder Dave Foreman, Darryl Cherney, Karen Pickett, Greg King, representatives from the International Indian Treaty Council and EF! co-founder Mike Roselle.
  • Oct: EF! California Rendezvous held near Santa Cruz.
  • Oct. –Dec.: Actions in Arcata and Scotia. EF! announces a boycott of all redwood products.


  • Jan: Greg King, Larry Evans, Mokai and Nina Williams begin creating the first maps showing the size and locations of PL’s ancient redwood groves.
  • March: Board of Forestry actions. Greg King becomes first activist to hike through what activists were calling “the big grove.” He names it “Headwaters Forest” owing to his traversing several headwater streams in the pristine ancient redwood forest.
  • April: Humboldt EF! releases “Old Growth In Crisis,” a 12-page tabloid exposing illegal timber harvest plans submitted by PL and approved by CDF. Contains centerfold map and other information about the size and locations of PL’s ancient redwood groves, the first public distribution of this information. PBS 30 minute documentary “Pacific Lumber: A Case Study of a Corporate Takeover” airs nationally.
  • May: EF! stages National Day of Direct Action in five locations across the country; attempts first redwood tree-sit but climbers are caught by a PL maintenance crew.
  • May: 150 people assemble at Fisher Gate in Carlotta.
  • EPIC files first Headwaters lawsuit.
  • PL sues 15 EF!ers
  • Mendocino Environmental Center established in Ukiah by EF!ers.
  • Congressman John Dingell holds hearings on PL takeover.
  • Aug: Mill-in action at CDF, activists flood agency with paperwork & citizen participation. CDF responds by locking doors, closing bathrooms for good, and later raising price of THPs from $1 each to 25 cents a page, increasing cost to up to $75.
  • Aug-Sept: First 2 Successful tree sits, Greg King and Marybeth Nearing (‘Tarzan & Jane”) sit in old growth, are then sued by PL.
  • EPIC wins first suit. Judge agrees that CDF is “rubber-stamping” logging proposals.


  • Maxxam takeover of Kaiser Aluminum, in Washington State.
  • Jan: Headwaters Forest Wilderness Complex developed and proposed.
  • Photojournalist Greg King creates first Headwaters slide show PL takes out full-page ads denouncing Greg King and Headwaters Forest Wilderness proposal.
  • Darryl Cherney launches a run for Congress, first meets Judi Bari at the MEC, who then becomes involved in Earth First!
  • More EPIC suits.
  • Local grassroots initiatives. Judi Bari establishes worker outreach. IWW union organizing, and LP&GP campaigns in Mendocino. More tree sits & EF! actions.
  • Workers and Dept. of Labor both sue for pension fund.
  • Counter demonstrations by loggers/truckers begin. Media coverage steadily building; Outside magazine, Readers Digest, NYT, NBC, CBS.
  • March: EPIC files and wins a suit against Maxxam and Simpson Timber Company.
  • June: EPIC and Sierra Club file suit against the Board of Forestry and PL, leading to a unanimous California Supreme Court decision halting two Headwaters logging plans.
  • Sept.: EPIC and Sierra Club stop another 230 acre THP in Headwaters Grove.
  • EPIC and Sierra Club file another successful suit over a 226-acre plan in Owl Creek.
  • Dec.: Day of the Living Dead Hurwitzes and the counter-demo.


  • More than 40 members of Congress signed a letter to the Calif. Board of Forestry requesting a moratorium on the cutting of old growth redwoods on private land. The BofF said they would only comply with federal legislation.
  • Cong. Pete Starks introduces bill to protect the ancient redwoods through the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
  • More EPIC suits. First NorCal EF! Road show.
  • June: Violence against protesters begins: Greg King punched, Mem Hill’s nose is broken, car carrying Judi, Darryl, 5 others rear ended by logging truck.
  • More tree sits!
  • July: PL sues tree sitters Darryl Cherney and George Shook
  • Aug.: First mass organizing & base camp: Nationwide Tree sit. Judi represents mill workers and loggers in lawsuits and worker complaints as IWW rep.
  • First Forest Forever Initiative heads toward Calif. Ballot to save old growth, define sustainable logging and reform forest practices.


  • Northern spotted owl listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
  • EF! rips mask of Shady Deal by occupying a log truck on Hwy. 36. “Death road” into heart of biggest ancient grove is discovered on routine hike,
  • April/May: Redwood Summer 1990 announced. Judi, Darryl & Greg receive three dozen death threats.
  • April 24: Earth day banner hang on Golden Gate –Save This Planet: Protect Old Growth; No Fossil Fuels; Earth First!” Banner almost gets unfurled before arrests are made.
  • -Seeds of peace IWW co-sponsor Redwood Summer. Strong non-violence code adopted in response to death threats.
  • May: EPIC and Sierra Club sue CDF for approving 186 acre old-growth plan near All Species Grove in the Headwaters area. PL had refused to conduct wildlife surveys.
  • May 24: Judi nearly killed and Darryl injured when a bomb planted in Judi’s car explodes in Oakland during a Redwood Summer Road show tour. FBI blames them for carrying bomb. Mass support for Judi, Darryl and EF! organizers flock to help. Judi continues organizing from her hospital bed. AIM, NOW, mainstream enviros and 50 others sign on to support for Judi, DC & EF!
  • June-Sept. Redwood Summer – thousands of activists converge on California’s north coast to protest clearcutting of remaining ancient Redwoods.
  • July: Redwood Summer continues with 4 largest EF! actions ever.
  • Spotted owl listed as Threatened.
  • Sept. – Dec.: Corporate Fall actions follow Redwood Summer as actioins in forest are joined by actions at the homes of corporate CEOs. Rallies at PL pres. Campbell’s house, and a “hot tub at Harry’s” action at LP’s Harry Merlo’s retreat.
  • Nov.: Republican Frank Riggs, elected to congress.


  • More EPIC/Sierra Club law suits.
  • May, Judi & Darryl sue FBI &OPD for Constitutional rights violations.
  • Redwood Summer II, 2 weeks of actions w/base camp. Lockboxes used for the first time. Judi sows first blockade since bombing. Barry Munitz, VP of Maxxam and head of failed S&L, becomes Chancellor of the CSU (Calif. State Univ. System) Road show & Protests follow. Trees Foundation Founded.
  • March EPIC and Sierra club sue the Board of Forestry for approving, over CDF’s denial, a 237 acre old-growth plan in Owl Creek. The Board required PL to do a survey of Murrelets.


  • Marbled Murrelet listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act
  • April-June. Albion Nation uprising in Mendocino. co. Daily actions, 10 tree-sits, 15 tree sitters. Logging around Enchanted Meadow by LP stopped.
  • June: PL logs in marbled murrelet habitat in Owl Creek. CDF shuts them down.
  • More EPIC suits.
  • LP sues 70+ people over Albion Nation Uprising.
  • Nov.: Democrat Dan Hamburg defeats Frank Riggs and goes to Washington as one of the swtrongest environmental voices to enter Congress..
  • Nov.: Thanksgiving weekend massacre in Owl Creek as PL again illegally enters old growth to log without sufficient permits. People run to the woods. EPIC runs to the court. After the long holiday weekend, the court stops them.


  • Jan.: Congressman Dan Hamburg meets with forest activists and creates outline for a bill to save Headwaters Forest. Debt-for-nature strategy proposed as means to pay for acquisition.
  • EPIC challenges PL Owl Creek logging plan in Federal Court for violating the Endangered Species Act. The case eventually leads to protection of all marbled murrelet-occupied ancient redwoods in the Headwaters area.
  • PL acquires Northcoast Railroad logging rights along tracks from RR bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Aug. Week of Outrage against Maxxam with base camp. First logger tree-sit. Jail Hurwitz Banner hung from Scotia and NYC to indict and sue Hurwitz. AP runs big story.


  • Hamburg bill, the Headwaters Forest Act, passes the full House of Representatives, Boxer introduces bill in Senate but does not champion it, despite intense lobbying.
  • Aug: Marbled Murrelet vs Pacific Lumber, EPIC’s federal case goes to trial, exposing testimony of altered, destroyed or “lost” murrelet surveys and a party using a murrelet photo as a dart board.
  • Headwaters Forest Act dies for lack of a vote in the U.S. Senate.


  • Feb: Judge Bechtle gives EPIC a victorious decision in the Murrelet case with a scathing decision, barring PL from logging Owl Creek (what’s left of it).
  • FDIC and the Office of Thrift Supervision (part of theTreasury Dept.) file claims seeking restitution damages for the failure and $1.6 bailout of a Maxxam-controlled Saving and Loan.
  • March 28, Judi Bari organizes emergency mass rally at Fisher gate for Headwaters as loggers are poised to begin in old growth. 400 show up. Tide turns.
  • March 29, 10-day base camp opens at Swimmers Delight camp.
  • May. Headwaters Forest Coordinating Committee (HFCC) forms; groups include EPIC, Trees Foundation, BACH, MEC, Bay Area EF!, North coast EF!, RAT, Greenpeace, Rose Foundation, Sierra Club.
  • 2000 show up for Sept. 15 rally in Carlotta, marking the end of marbled murrelet nesting season. 263 arrested at Fisher Gate, 2 months of base camp follow with 70 arrests defending northern Headwaters Forest.
  • EPIC obtains temporary injunction against salvage logging in Headwaters.


  • July, Aug., & Sept. Atty. Bill Bertain’s shareholders suit from 1988 settles for $65 million. Pension Fund lawsuit scores victory.
  • 60, 000 acre proposal created by HFCC.
  • May HHFC members with stock do first presence of Maxxam shareholder meeting since 1987. -Coho listed as threatened in California.
  • July and Aug.: Base camps for training and organizing.
  • 6,000 people show up for the now-traditional Sept. 15 rally in Carlotta. 1033 arrested at Fisher Gate: the largest civil disobedience action in the history of the forest preservation movement. 2 months of base camp and mass rallies ensues.
  • Sept. 29: 2000 people rally at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco and march to Feinstein’s office, calling for preservation of 60,000 acres. At rally are Mayor Willie Brown, Bob Weir and other celebs. Diane Feinstein announces negotiation of” Headwaters Agreement” with Charles Hurwitz shortly thereafter. 1500 rally in Arcata against deal.
  • Salvage logging in ancient groves begins. Actions defending Owl Creek, All Species and Northern Headwaters groves continue with base camps at Swimmers, Grizzly Creek and Williams Grove.
  • Nov. Nearly 350 arrests statewide, as numbers defending the forest grow
  • Nov.: Forest Aid concerts with Bonnie Raitt.
  • Nov.: Woody Harrelson and others scale the Golden Gate bridge to hang a banner: “Hurwitz: Aren’t Redwoods More Precious Than Gold?”
  • Taxpayers for Headwaters forms and watershed residents begin organizing.
  • Pacific Lumber submits first draft of their Sustainable Yield Plan (SYP).
  • Dec. 31: Stafford Slide comes down on New Year’s eve: a massive wall of mud and trees, originating in a steep PL clearcut buries 5 homes. Miraculously, no one is killed.


  • Rainforest Action Network, BACH, Greenpeace and others start old-growth redwood boycott campaign with a press conference in LA that includes Steven Seagal, Ed Asner, Bob Weir, Max Headroom.
  • March 2: We lose Judi Bari to breast cancer. Movement stunned and saddened. 1000+ attend her memorial.
  • May: Huge rally in Houston and 20+ activists meet and talk to Hurwitz at annual shareholder meeting.
  • Sept. – Dec. Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) begin hearings against Maxxam for failed S & L.
  • Sept. 14:-8,000 strong at largest rally ever for Headwaters at Stafford. Mickey Hart, Bob Weir and Bonnie Raitt perform, Jerry Brown speaks. The action involves hundreds of people helping sandbag people’s homes near the huge logging-caused slide.
  • Sept. – Nov.: Base Camp at Stafford. 3 longest ever tree-sits begin. Many lockdowns and actions in Bear Creek, Bell Creek and Stafford. Three “Pepper spray by Q-tip” incidents put Headwaters and EF! back in national media spotlight. Over 160 arrested.
  • Stafford and Elk River residents sue PL over slides, silt and floods.
  • Nov.: Clinton signs Headwaters Appropriation.
  • Dec. 10: Julia Butterfly begins treesit in Stafford Giant, Luna.
  • Headwaters Forest Stewardship Plan crafted as an alternative management plan, showing how Headwaters Forest could be logged sustainably with key areas protected.
  • Between 1995 and 1997, CDF issued at least 250 violations to PL.


  • EPIC sues for Coho Salmon.
  • March against Maxxam. 2 weeks action camp. Bell Creek actions, blockades and 6-month tree sit begins.
  • May: Activists attend Maxxam shareholders meeting, Houston with a 35-ft. inflatable chainsaw, which is driven on a flatbed truck up to the front door.
  • Aug.: Long-argued OTS suit comes to an end. Ruling on Maxxam debt to follow soon.
  • Mattole actions bring in local residents as well as EF! and defending doug-fir old growth. PL files first of four “SLAPPs” (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) to harass protesters.
  • Pepper spray civil suit ends in hung jury in San Francisco, activists appeal.
  • California State Legislature approves $245 million for “Headwaters deal.”
  • Sept. 2 week action camp begins.
  • Sept. 17: Activist David “Gypsy” Chain is killed when an angry PL logger felled a huge tree on top of him in Grizzly Creek. Beginning of “Gypsy Mountain Free State”, blockades and tree-sits.
  • Huge rally in Oakland at Habitat Conservation Plan hearings, over 20,000 pieces of public comment on HCP. Salmon and murrelets in attendance protest the “license to kill” endangered species that is part and parcel of the HCP, which is written into the Headwaters Deal.
  • Dec. 10: Julia’s 1-year anniversary sitting in Luna.
  • Dec. 12: Luna rally in Stafford, 1000+ attend rally, mass trespass. Humboldt DA refuses to prosecute PL logger for Gypsy’s death.
  • After Steelworkers at Maxxam’s Kaiser Alum. Company go on strike and are then locked out, the Steelworkers and Earth First! Headwaters activists “find” each other and team up to oppose Maxxam’s anti-earth, anti-worker policies.


  • Jan.: Final HCP/SYP released.
  • March 1: Headwaters Deal is signed. 7500-acre Headwaters Forest Reserve is transferred to the public. HCP goes into effect. Hurwitz gets $480 million and several thousand acres of additional forestland in the Deal.
  • EPIC , United Steelworkers of America and Sierra Club file suit challenging PL’s Sustainable Yield Plan.
  • Dec.: After 738 days without touching the ground, Julia Butterfly descends from Luna. A conservation easement protects Luna and about 3 acres surrounding it.


  • Board of Forestry rejects petition for rules to save old growth.
  • March: Sacramento CDF board takeover and arrests over forests practices.
  • April: Week of Action, base camp at Meyer’s Flat, Jordan Creek Blockade; Columbia helicopter crew truck lockdowns; Lockdowns at Northwest Forest and Marine (herbicide sprayers for Max/Palco)
  • April: Nate Madsen graduated from Humboldt State University while in his treesit in Freshwater.
  • May: Locked out Steelworkers go to Maxxam Shareholders meeting in Houston with forest activists. Rallies, marches and forums are held in Houston with David Foster and David Brower in attendance.
  • June: “Hole in the Headwaters” blockade on North Fork of the Elk, THP put on hold.
  • Oct.: Redway community organizes against PL logging of old growth there, community supports blockade of gate. THP put on hold.
  • Oct: Nate Madsen descends his tree home, “Mariah” after nearly 2 years, when the THP expires
  • Nov: David Brower dies.
  • Dec: the State buys 1200 acres in Owl Creek Grove, including 400 acres of old growth for $67 million


  • Maxxam and Hurwitz bring considerable pressure to bear getting his friends in Congress to lobby FDIC and OTS for dismissal of the claims and included the release of a highly inflammatory report by Rep. Pombo (R-CA) from his Resources sub-committee Special Task Force.
  • 26 residents of Stafford who lost their homes or other properties to the PL-caused landslide settle their lawsuit for approximately $3.3 million, with $90,000 paid to other claimants.
  • May: A crowd of forest activists and Steelworkers including Julia Butterfly and Gypsy’s mom attend Maxxam Shareholders’ meeting in Houston and organize rallies and marches.
  • Wrongful death lawsuit is filed against PL by David Gypsy Chain’s family
  • Administrative Law judge in Texas recommends against judgment against Maxxam and Hurwitz in the OTS case.
  • PL plans sneak attack to log in the Allen Creek Grove, one of the six old growth groves set aside under protective status for 50 years under the infamous Headwaters Deal.
  • Oct: PL cuts THP 520, the Hole in the Headwaters. PL files SLAPP # 3 against those trying to stop it.
  • Dec: 140 loggers and millworkers are laid off as the Scotia mill is closed.
  • CDF had approved 94 THPs in 2001, covering 11,000 acres, up from 6800 acres in 2000.


  • Heritage Tree Preservation Act (SB 754) introduced. (ultimately dies in 2003)
  • Feb: Maxxam’s Kaiser Alum. Co. files for bankruptcy
  • Spring: PL begins logging on occupied marbled murrelet habitat, after high quality habitat is “released” by DFG under provisions included in the HCP.
  • March: A young woman from Olympia climbs an old growth redwood in Freshwater and names it Jerry. She doesn’t come down.
  • Summer: Lockdown action at PL offices in Scotia. PL files SLAPP #3 against those protesters.
  • Sept. 23: Rally held to celebrate Remedy’s 6 months in Jerry. Begins action of 13 women in 13 trees for 13 days.
  • Oct. 7: Sue Moloney of the Campaign for Old Growth, begins a hunger strike on the steps of the State Capitol to pressure Gray Davis to do as he said and “spare old growth trees in California from the lumberjack’s axe.”
  • Oct.: Corporate raider Charles Hurwitz settles for $206,000 in the OTS case over the S & L crash that cost taxpayers $1.6 billion.
  • Newly-elected Humboldt county DA Paul Gallegos files a Civil Fraud lawsuit against Pacific Lumber Co. Maxxam/PL immediately funds a recall effort against the new DA., ultimately spending over $300,000. The recall lost and Gallegos retained his position.
  • Tree-sitters in the Mattole are cut out of lock boxes, as PL cuts at a rate of 1 million board feet/day, despite the court stay.
  • Green Party Gubernatorial candidate Peter Camejo shows up on day 22 of Moloney’ fast to support her, and BACH activists deliver nearly 200 letters to Gov. Davis.
  • Julia Butterfly and musician Melissa Crabtree join Moloney on day 50 without food, as former Congressman Dan Hamburg and Woody Harrelson speak out against Gov. Davis’ refusal to meet with Moloney.
  • Legislators schedule a hearing to address the problem of old growth logging. Sue Moloney eats.
  • Dec.: As the case to determine whether PL is in contempt of court by violating the logging stay is postponed until Feb., PL begins logging the residual old growth forest known to be the nesting habitat of the endangered Marbled murrelet
  • Dec. 8: Tree-sitter Wren celebrates her 200th day in the tree.
  • Floods due to PL logging damage homes adjacent to logging, sediment torrents bury trees in the Avenue of the Giants.


  • Jan.: The Regional Water Quality Control Board hears from a panel of scientists who confirm in their report link between soil erosion, sedimentation of streams, polluted drinking water, landslides and floods – and the accelerated rate of logging of PL on steep unstable slopes.
  • Jan: 581-acre Redwood grove in Redway is purchased from PL with help from SRL.
  • Feb. Humboldt County D.A. Paul Gallegos files a $250 million lawsuit against PL alleging fraud and deceptive concealment in their submission of data during the Headwaters deal negotiations.
  • March: Humboldt Co. sheriffs and hired contract climbers begin to forcibly extract tree-sitters in Freshwater. PL launches its SLAPP # 4 against the tree-sitters and other forest defenders.
  • March: SYP case goes to trial
  • July: Victory for EPIC, Steelworkers and SC in SYP case.
  • July: Tree-sit goes up in Houston down the road from Hurwitz’s house.
  • Final Management Plan for Headwaters Forest Reserve (nee Preserve) released, subject to one last comment period.
  • Sept.: SB 810 passes in Calif. Legislature requiring logging plans to comply with water quality regulations, giving new and appropriate power to the Water agency.


  • Sept.: The second Pepper Spray By Q-tip case filed by activists against Humboldt County police ended with a narrowly hung jury in San Francisco.
  • Nov: PL submits THP to log old growth adjacent to Avenue of Giants. Treesit goes up. Ultimately, 65 acres are purchased.


  • April: Third time’s the charm: the Pepper Spray By Q-tip case ends with the jury finding that the cops used excessive force when they applied pepper spray to protesters’ eyes in three separate Headwaters Forest actions.
  • April: Water Quality stays logging plans in Elk and Feshwater as PL threatens bankruptcy
  • Aug: Federal judge orders the FDIC, who was trying to investigate taxpayer bilking when those taxpayers had to bail out Hurwitz’s S&L to pay Hurwitz $72 million for his pain and suffering in being sued by the FDIC (even though the FDIC dropped their suit)
  • Aug: PL offers “deal” to bondholders of 90% equity and $300 million in new bonds. Bondholders don’t bite. PL’s debt stands at over $700 million, close to the 1985 purchase debt.


  • SLAPP suits go to trial. Many SLAPPees settle out of court to avoid the costs of court and PL abandons damages claim. PL gets $0, zip, zilch, nada from activists.
  • March: PL puts about 75,000 acres up for sale, nearly 15,000 acres actively on the market and about 60,000 allegedly offered to timber companies in the area. Only the 15,000 acres are sold.
  • July: Robert Manne resigns; PL hires exec George O’Brien from International Paper.


  • Pacific Lumber and subsidiaries file bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of federal bankruptcy laws. Chapter 11 calls for the company in bankruptcy to reorganize its business, leaving same old, same old PL management in control for the time being. PL, true to its business as usual, created a bogus company, Scotia Development LLC in June 2006, six months before the bankruptcy filing, in Corpus Christi, Texas, so that their case will be heard in Texas
  • PL files a “reorganization plan” that proposes to sell about 22,000 acres of its forestland into high end development of luxury homes they call “trophy homes” in a “kingdom”.
  • Fortunately, nearly three months later, the bankruptcy judge ends PL’s exclusive position in submitting reorganization proposals. Proposals are expected in early 2008 from creditors, including the bondholders, and others, and the Mendocino Redwood Company, owned by the “Gap” Fisher family expresses interest in investing $200 million in the timber company.

Click here to see EPIC’s legal case history, which includes headwaters lawsuits.