louis martin
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Last year, when the California Board of Forestry tossed out Mendocino County's Forest Practice Rules for sustainable yield, it wasn't total victory for the timber companies: the board required the timber companies to submit their own plans for achieving long-term, sustainable yield.

For timber companies in Mendocino county, the deadline was September 1; elsewhere, it was December 1.

Thus last month timber giants Louisiana-Pacific and Georgia-Pacific submitted plans to the California Department of Forestry (CDF). And not only is CDF analyzing the two plans, but the county of Mendocino has hired a registered professional forester to look at them as well.

The documents include watershed studies in all the watersheds in the county in which the companies have large holdings, and they include sustained-yield plans for the next five years.

Copies of the documents can be viewed at CDF in Santa Rosa and Ukiah, but the size of the documents--hundreds of pages containing color maps--makes them expensive to copy for extensive public scrutiny.

This has raised the issue of real public access to the documents.

The Greenwood Creek Watershed Project, which is aimed at creek restoration, has been looking at the status of logging in one of the areas included in the Louisiana-Pacific plan. Five-hundred data sheets have been generated by field workers over the last summer, and a report should be available by February or sooner. Mary Pjerrou, director of the Greenwood project, is anxious to compare data.

Pjerrou has not yet seen the Louisiana-Pacific document but said, "It's very important that people be aware that this document is going through a public process and find out as much about it as they can."


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