Since the fall of the Maxxam/Pacific Lumber Company, Green Diamond Resource Company has become the king of clearcuts in Humboldt County. The famed timber giant is proud of their aggressive ‘even-aged’ i.e. clearcutting policy. In addition, they seriously assert that redwoods are a shade intolerant tree, and thus must grow in the full sun, i.e. plantation clearcuts.
So-called even-aged management is a euphemism for intensive clearcutting, burning, and herbicide use across Green Diamond’s vast landscape. The trees and all vegetation are stripped bare, leaving exposed soils on the hillsides.
Clearcutting increases the risk of soil and debris transmission to watercourses, and increases the risk of significant earth movements when storm conditions are at their most intense. Intensive clearcutting and extensive rains make for a dangerous mix of overland flow, flooding, and landslide activity.
Green Diamond’s method of two-species monoculture depends on clearcutting, broadcast burning, and the use of herbicides to allow its plantation style management to take hold. Thus the natural species diversity within the forest is compromised, and the habitat once present for threatened and endangered species is demolished. The habitat remaining is restricted almost entirely to slim watercourse buffers and serve as the last vestiges of safety and biodiversity on the landscape.
Intensive clearcut logging as practiced by Green Diamond leaves little but barren moonscapes where vibrant, recovering forests once grew. In their place, Green Diamond intends to embark on an endless tree farm. The needs of the species living in these watersheds are relegated to secondary status in the face of Green Diamond’s idea of maximum sustained production; clearcut, burn, herbicide, repeat every 45 years. Under this regime, forests will not recover, species will continue to disappear, and our streams will continue to suffer.