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Point Arena, Mendocino County--
A walk down the Garcia River scheduled for this Saturday will test the effectiveness of a restraining order against Louisiana-Pacific Corporation and USA Hunt Club.
On August 12th Point Arena City Council woman Anna Dobbins claims she was taking a walk down the bed of the Garcia River when two members of the USA Hunt Club circled her in pickup trucks and told her she had to leave immediately. When she did not leave, she says they released their hunting dogs on her.
USA Hunt Club leases land from lumber giant Louisiana-Pacific Corporation, and where Dobbins was walking the Garcia River meanders through that property. The Garcia is a "navigable" waterway, and it is legal to walk between the high water marks of such a waterway.
The incident itself left Dobbins feeling intimidated, she said. But she was also disappointed by what followed.
She was told by Fish & Game that she had the right to be there if "she could walk on water." Louisiana-Pacific acknowledged her rights to the Mendocino County Sheriffs Office, but the company failed to call and discuss the issue with Dobbins. It had agreed to do so, according to Mendocino County Sheriff deputy Brian Dressler.
So on September 8th Dobbins obtained a temporary restraining order, and on Saturday, September 16th, she and others will re-enact her walk down the Garcia River through Louisiana-Pacific property, beginning at Voorhees Park, which allows legal access to the river. Said Dobbins, "It is a beautiful time of the year to walk down the river, and I just want people to feel free to walk there."
She is not looking for a confrontation, she emphasized.
Louisiana-Pacific Corporation and the Department of Fish & Game declined to return phone calls concerning the incident.
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