Happy 20th Birthday to the Headwaters Forest Reserve

The Headwaters Forest Reserve was created to protect the last large, intact, old growth coast redwood forest on the planet that remained in private ownership, punctuating a 13-year campaign that involved mass demonstrations and acts of non-violent civil disobedience, lawsuits filed by EPIC and others, and a huge network of groups and volunteers working to get the word out and influence lawmakers.

Only about 40 percent of the 7,472-reserve contained old growth or residual old growth at the time of the land transfer in 1999. There were clearcuts, landslides, and thousands of miles of roads and skid roads, hundreds of old, failing stream crossings, and millions of tons of earthen material to stabilize. Most of the previously-logged areas now contain evenaged stands thirty-years-old or less.

In addition to the congressional mandate to maintain existing old growth forests in the Reserve in an Ecological Reserve status, a mandate also exists to restore landscapes, watersheds, and forests previously damaged by logging. The BLM has removed roads, restored stream channels, fixed stream crossings, thinned over-dense previously-logged stands, while it simultaneously monitors the endangered fish and wildlife that utilize the reserve as a last refugia, all as part of its Resource Management Plan for the Reserve.

Marbled murrelets, northern spotted owls, coho salmon