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Save Jackson Demonstration State Forest

Since 2020, EPIC and allies in the Save Jackson Coalition have been working to improve the California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection (CAL FIRE)'s management of Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF) in order to conserve the forest’s biodiversity, fight climate change, and protect local tribal sacred sites. JDSF is California's largest state forest at nearly 50,000 acres, located in Mendocino County on the unceded ancestral Northern Pomo and Coast Yuki territory of the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians.

Since 1947, CAL FIRE has been managing the forest as an industrial timberland, “demonstrating” commercial timber harvests for California’s timber companies. The problem stems from a mismatch between the decades-old legislative mandate for the forest, which promotes commercial logging, and our society’s changing values. In 1947, when the legislation that governs JDSF was first enacted, there was no consideration given to biodiversity loss, climate change, or Native American cultural values. As a result, early State management of the forest entailed clearcutting most of the remaining old-growth groves.

JDSF is an extremely important forest and should be conserved for several reasons.

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First, Jackson houses culturally significant sites and biological resources for the Northern Pomo and Coast Yuki peoples that are threatened by ongoing timber harvesting. Preserving Jackson would also help preserve Indigenous cultural heritage. Moreover, Jackson is already state owned land, which means no acquisition is required to conserve almost 50,000 acres beloved by local residents and tourists alike as a place for outdoor recreation.


Additionally, JDSF is home to endangered northern spotted owls and marbled murrelets, so conserving this forest would have considerable biodiversity benefits. Finally, because coast redwoods are the dominant species in Jackson, preserving this forest will have uniquely beneficial carbon sequestration impacts, as coast redwood trees sequester more carbon dioxide than any other tree on earth.

In order to accomplish this, EPIC has partnered with local and national organizations such as the Mendocino Trail Stewards, Jug Handle Creek Farm & Nature Center, Forests Forever Foundation, California Native Plant Society, Mama Tree Mendo, Fortunate Farmland,  Standing Up For Racial Justice Mendocino, the Center for Biological Diversity, and Mendocino County Youth for Climate.


We are also working with the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians, the original stewards of the forest now called JDSF, to ensure that our advocacy is respectful of their connection to their ancestral land. JDSF is the ancestral territory of the Northern Pomo and Coast Yuki Peoples. Since time immemorial, these Peoples have gathered acorns throughout the coastal range, fished for salmon in the rivers and gathered food, basket weaving materials and medicinal plants from the coastal forest. 

In May 2021, local climate scientist, JDSF lover, and EPIC board member John P. O'Brien wrote a position letter outlining his vision for more climate-friendly management of JDSF.

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Together, we are all committed to changing the way CAL FIRE manages JDSF for the better. That means focusing on wildlife conservation, carbon sequestration, recreation, and reverence — not industrial logging. 


Subscribe to our email list to receive updates about our fight to preserve JDSF and ways you can help. 

Timeline of JDSF Advocacy


  • July 31 — in anticipation of the next Jackson Advisory Group (JAG) meeting, EPIC published an action alert asking our supporters to tell CAL FIRE that the revised JDSF management plan needs CEQA environmental review.

  • July 5 — CAL FIRE announced that they will be shirking environmental review when writing the new management plan they promised for JDSF. Under the California Environmental Quality Act, (CEQA) environmental review is required for all "projects" approved by the State of California, defined as “an activity which may cause either a direct physical change in the environment, or a reasonably foreseeable indirect physical change in the environment…” (Pub. Rec Code § 21065). CAL FIRE has decided not to perform CEQA review as they rewrite the management plan, effectively limiting public participation and oversight of how this publicly owned forest will be managed in the future, and stating that the new management plan won’t really change (or improve) the physical environment in JDSF.

  • June 5 — EPIC published an action alert asking our supporters to urge California State decision makers to protect JDSF as an Indigenous cultural landscape.



  • February 7 EPIC published an action alert asking our supporters to write to state representatives demanding an immediate moratorium on logging in JDSF.

  • January 18 EPIC issued a cease and desist order to CAL FIRE demanding that they not allow Trouette to act as private security on the public property of JDSF.

  • January 10 CAL FIRE issued its first arrests against protestors in JDSF, which were particularly notable because the protestors were first placed under a “citizens arrest” by loggers at the direction of Lear Asset Management’s Paul Trouette, who has supposedly been hired by logging companies to act as a safety manager, when he is in fact acting as private security on public lands. ​​​


  • October 2021 — forest defenders peacefully protesting in JDSF were faced with threats of violence, and EPIC authored a letter to California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) Secretary Wade Crowfoot urging him to call for a moratorium on logging in JDSF until CAL FIRE could ensure safety.

  • June 2021 — CAL FIRE refused to agree to halt logging in JDSF during negotiations, and tree sitters in JDSF heard "fast and furious" chainsaw work, prompting EPIC to publish an action alert urging a moratorium on logging in JDSF.

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