Blockade Halts Old-Growth Logging in Mattole Forest

10496184_1431644777121536_4907229880304137323_o30th June A forest defender has taken to the trees to defend an important area of the Mattole River watershed in Northern California. Going by the name “Skunk,” the blockader is stopping the construction of a new logging road into old-growth forest.

Skunk is supported by residents of Humboldt county and allies who have worked for months to stop Humboldt Redwood Company’s plan for 1,000 acres of logging in the Mattole Forest.

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In April, activists hung a banner across from Humboldt Redwoods State Park to protest the logging in the Mattole.

While Humboldt Redwood Company claims they are not logging old-growth, their definition restricts logging only areas with more than 8 old-growth trees in the span of an acre. They also define old-growth as existing in the year 1800, cutting out any trees younger than exactly 214 years.

Skunk insists, “Our main demands to Humboldt Redwood Company are very simple—don’t cut unlogged forest, and don’t cut old-growth. This road threatens to destroy forest that has never been logged before, and will pave the way for logging even more important habitat if the community does not rise up to stop it.” 

The Mattole provides shelter to Golden Eagles and Spotted Owls, among other rare species, and has long been the home of old-growth Big Leaf Maple, Douglas Fir, Tanoak, and Madrone.

This area of Northern California has a long history of forest defense against Maxxam/Pacific Lumber throughout the 1990s. What we are perhaps seeing is just the beginning of a new chapter.