Jeff Barnard, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Authorities say unemployment and drug addiction have spurred an increase in the destructive practice of cutting off the knobby growths at the base of ancient redwood trees to make decorative pieces like lacey-grained coffee tables and wall clocks.
The practice — known as burl poaching — has become so prevalent along the Northern California coast that Redwood National and State Parks on Saturday started closing the popular Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway at night in a desperate attempt to deter thieves.
Law enforcement Ranger Laura Denny said Tuesday that poachers have been stalking the remote reaches of the park with their chain saws and ATVs for decades, but lately the size and frequency of thefts have been on the rise.
"When I interview suspects, that is the (reason) they say: their addiction to drugs and they can’t find jobs," she said.
via Redwood park closes road to deter burl poachers – SFGate.
Brett Wilkison, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
A national conservation group has reached an agreement to buy nearly 20,000 acres of timberland in northwestern Sonoma County, a move that derails the long-disputed, forest-to-vineyards conversion project pushed by CalPERS, the giant state workers pension fund.
The $24.5 million purchase of the so-called Preservation Ranch, to be completed by the end of May, is led by The Conservation Fund, based in Virginia. It would contribute up to $6 million toward the purchase.
via $24.5 million deal to protect 20,000-acre Sonoma County forest | PressDemocrat.com.
In March 2011, the Sierra Club and the Bohemian Redwood Rescue Club (BRRC) won a lawsuit in Sonoma County Superior Court, which required the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL-FIRE) to rescind a timber management plan that it had previously issued to the Bohemian Club to log its Bohemian Grove property outside Monte Rio on the Russian River. The Court’s ruling was based largely on the fact that the NTMP had not considered a range of feasible, less damaging alternatives, a central provision of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
The Sierra Club and BRRC are pleased to announce that a mediated settlement has now been reached with the Bohemian Club over its long-range logging plans. A resubmitted Non-Industrial Timber Management Plan (NTMP), revised to reflect the terms of the settlement agreement, has recently been released for public comment by CAL-FIRE.
The court decision in Sierra Club v CAL-FIRE has put the agency on notice that it can no longer approve logging plans until it has considered a range of feasible, less damaging alternatives. “A proper consideration of alternatives should improve environmental review and better protect our forests,” said Paul V. Carroll, the attorney who represented the Sierra Club and the BRRC through the legal proceedings and mediation.
For more information, see http://www.redwood.sierraclub.org/sonoma/Forest.html.
Tell the California Department of Forestry (CALFIRE) to suspend certification of Artesa WInery’s Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and allow public comment on relevant changes in circumstances and impacts.
Public comment is needed now more than ever because of Sonoma County’s brand-new moratorium on vineyard conversions and the urgent reasons for it – all of which are completely censored in the public record for Artesa!