Lost Coast League Tried Everything
The Lost Coast League Has Worked Diligently With HRC to Offer Sustainable Solutions to Prevent the Logging of Rainbow Ridge for Years!
In July 2018 the Lost Coast League Filled a formal complaint / appeal regarding the Humboldt and Mendocino Redwood Company so called “sustainable” practices above the Mattole on Rainbow Ridge.
The Lost Coast League’s Primary Concerns Regarding Rainbow Ridge:
The areas currently being logged are Previously Un-Entered Stands of High Conservation Value, which provide the “last of the last” Untouched Habitat.
“Hack & Squirt" Herbicide application is NOT compliant with Sustainable Certification; Retailers and consumers are being deceived.
Non-Conformity of Law in the application for the extension of Long Ridge (Rainbow Ridge) Timber Harvest Plan.
HRC did not consult with community Stake Holders as required by sustainable certification guidelines. HRC began harvesting before process was complete and appropriate documents submitted.
Erosion and Sediment are flowing down stream, caused by logging on unstable slopes. Rainbow Ridge is a Landslide prone area. Due to heavy winter rain and major fault line just off the coast. Sediment in Mattole Watershed would set back Salmon recovery and waste tax payer money spent on 45 years of restoration.
Several Endangered Species at risk due to habitat loss resulting from the project.
Snowy Owl Nest in Danger of being eradicated.
With Global Climate change crisis upon us, these trees sequester tons of carbon, and the Ancient forests are fire resilient and efficient “lungs of the planet".
Proposals to purchase land and create alternative plan for The High Conservation Forest were rejected.
Lost Coast League Proposal for a Working/Learning Landscape on Rainbow Ridge
The Rainbow Ridge tract (the headwaters of the Upper and Lower North Forks of the Mattole River) present a unique opportunity to find answers to questions concerning landscape management and its interactions with the regional climate and ecological dynamics during a period of a changing climate. We are seeking partners to realize the vision of a working forest that yields valuable information for the managers of this land as well as managers of similar lands and policy makers in California and beyond.
The issues: Climate change is happening, and California’s forests—the protectors of the water supply for the state—are suffering from it. The incidence of tree die-off and major wildfire is at alarming levels in the Sierra Nevada, and climate modeling suggests that future Sierra snow-packs will decline. However, US Drought Monitor maps from 2011 to present show the forested coastal zone at the southern end of the Pacific Cascadia temperate rainforest to have largely been spared severe drought. This forest zone, if allowed to reach functional maturity, may well become an important source of reliable water supplies into the future. But to understand what opportunities may exist, we must understand the relationships between forest health and climate in the region, and we must understand how forest management influences those relationships. To do this, it is essential that information be collected from the few remnants of un-entered, old forests that still exist. Remaining old-growth redwood stands are largely protected; old-growth coastal Douglas-fir stands are not, so the opportunity for this research is quickly disappearing in a forest type that once was widespread along the California coast—these stands may hold the key to understanding the conditions for a large swath of the coast before forests began to be logged in the mid-1800s.
The land: The property includes 1,100 acres of untouched coastal Douglas-fir/Hardwood forests, perhaps the largest intact forest of that type remaining. Coastal prairies cover much of the land, and the third component is cut-over Douglas-Fir. Currently, the property is managed by Humboldt Redwood Company (HRC) whose stated intention is to restore the cut-over lands to health and productivity. Over the past two years, through an open process, HRC has declined to cut 86% of the old growth forest found in 3 approved Timber Harvest Plans. However, there is no permanent protection, and 14% may be cut in 2017.
The questions: The Rainbow Ridge forests would provide opportunities for research that are not available elsewhere. Here, where stands range in age from 10 to 300 years, it would be possible to compare un-entered stands with second-growth stands of various ages to assess differences in hydrologic response to fog; soil biological activity; carbon storage; responses to on-going shifts in temperature, rainfall, and fog frequency; and functions in supporting wildlife. It would also be possible to compare their roles and effectiveness as carbon sinks--as the Sierra forests burn with increased frequency, management of coastal forests to promote their role as carbon sinks may become increasingly important. We also need to better understand how the forests themselves once interacted with the local and regional climate and how those interactions have changed and will change in the future.
The opportunities:We believe that the Rainbow Ridge tract would be an ideal location for research for multiple reasons: (1) presence of old-growth remnants of a once-widespread forest type; (2) presence of an interested and involved human community: Mattole residents have been at the forefront of citizen-initiated campaigns to protect public trust values in their watershed, developing vibrant NGOs that partner with public land managers and state and federal agencies; (3) existence of data from earlier studies in the Mattole watershed; (4) management of the land by HRC, whose principal owners, Randi and Robert Fisher, are known for their intense interest in appropriate land management and issues of climate change; (5) presence of a mosaic of prairie and forestland (cut-over and un-entered), allowing assessment of interactions between interdependent ecosystems as both respond to climatic changes; (6) confirmed existence of Agarikon (Fomitopsis officinalis) and possibly other rare fungi; (7) adjacency to Humboldt Redwoods State Park, thus extending a wildlife corridor to the King Range National Conservation Area (BLM); and (8) proximity to Humboldt State University, which has a robust Natural Resources department.
-The Lost Coast League