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Motivating the Truce? 


Heidi Walters mentions that Humboldt Redwood Co. is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as practicing sustainable forestry which "promotes environmentally sound and socially beneficial" forest management "for future generations" ("Un-entered Forest," Aug. 7). She didn't add that they're up for recertification this month. It wouldn't do to have a MAXXAM-style bloodbath up on Long Ridge.

Certification requirements include consultation with people directly affected by their practices. Heidi's tableau shows them energetically doing that. In fact, HRC appears to be snowing  its challengers. Such haggling sessions out in the woods are indeed far more pleasant than the cold shoulders any objection to a timber harvest plan would receive in the past from the agencies. However, unfortunately, the power relationships remain the same.

My generation got a significant part of its sustenance from the Mattole River. Boys would spend their wild summers with fly-rods, prowling and clambering over the rocks and pools of the North Forks, which drain HRC land. These streams are now obliterated by the effects of logging. Their riparian cover was stripped away, and landslides choked their pools. By certification standards these forests should be restored, not logged for short-term profits.

HRC has said it is "unrealistic" not to use pesticides. However, Roundup, long thought to be safe, has been associated with the worldwide epidemic of chronic kidney disease, second leading cause of death among men in El Salvador. What will be discovered about Imazapyr?

Ali Freedlund squeaks her gratitude that HRC is only a logging corporation and not a real estate developer or a dope grower. Luckily it's not a nuclear weapons manufacturer either! The community shouldn't have to be blackmailed in this way. In the words of Wendell Berry: "Do unto those downstream what you would have those upstream do unto you."

 Ellen Taylor, Petrolia

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