Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Saving the California Redwoods, Again
From: Amy Arcuri and John Griffith, Special to ENN
Published September 18, 2007 11:45 AM
Eureka, California - Daylight and mist chase away the last of the night’s moon shadows, revealing a fern-dominated woodland floor and a forest defined by ancient redwood trees. A sense of peace rains down from the dense canopy in showers of bird song. Centuries have passed untainted in this place. At more than 2,000 years old, Spooner has stood witness over a long era of harmony. Spooner is a redwood that lives in this beautiful grove nestled in the Nanning Creek watershed—a tributary of the Eel River. Spooner, named by those who visit it, is among the last of the unprotected giants. But just two miles away at the Pacific Lumber mill, plans are being made to see Spooner--and his ancient neighbors--chopped down and turned to lumber. The logging has started already at Nanning Creek and will continue again after the endangered marbled murrelets’ nesting season has ended on September 15th. The harmony of the Nanning Creek watershed will soon be replaced by the harsh, off-beat rhythms of chainsaws.

This watershed has already been transformed—many of its pristine features have been hauled away on logging trucks or buried under a stampede of mechanized oxen. Not far from Spooner is an unbelievably tall hill of ash. The mill dumps truckloads of it at the same spot a few times a week. There is a large drainage pool of black water next to this mess. In its natural state there would be frogs and salamanders in this forest pool, but its murky water reveals no life. When the ash is dumped the air turns gray, but the workers are not protecting themselves from the particles. Imagine all the ash when you merely clean your fireplace or wood stove. These men’s lungs must be colored by soot.

The watershed bleeds dirt from the many slides and roads that have washed out. The eroded earth advances towards Spooner’s grove. If you navigate through the mud, slash and stumps, you’ll discover that a piece of the temperate rainforest still remains. It survives because of the efforts of tree sitters and other people who support the struggle to preserve what is rare and ancient. Without them, these trees would only be growing in the memories of those loggers who watched them fall.

The Nanning Creek watershed still has some breathtakingly beautiful old-growth redwoods like Spooner. Some of these trees have been named, too: Jonah, the Cave Trees, the Welcome Tree, Charlie, Belvedere, and on the very outskirts Grandma and Grandpa. These trees are all in danger of being killed. Names won’t save them, but those who named them will try.

The Spooner grove is a glimpse back into ancient times. Spooner is 298 feet tall and has a canopy greater than a thousand square feet. Spooner’s branches are humungous, with some wider than five feet. On these colossal arms live epiphytic ferns, canopy-dwelling salamanders, and many species of birds including spotted owls and marbled murrelets. Various types of mosses, fungi, and lichens flourish in this cloud-grazing garden. Spooner has many reiterations. Reiterations are like extra trunks growing out of the main trunk or other branches. Some people might think they’re suckers, but in a redwood tree reiterations add character and create more microhabitats. Spooner has a triple top. The middle top, at 265 feet, is broken off and still over five feet wide, home to a large huckleberry bush that produces delicious fruit. The other two tops reach even higher. Climbing around Spooner is easy with branches that serve as large pathways for wildlife like flying squirrels—and wildfolk who like to sit in trees. This architecturally unique, massive tree is still growing.

In October 2005, just before timber harvest plan 1-05-097 HUM first began, the Nanning Creek watershed was abundant with springs and creeks. Now many of the springs are washed-out mudslides, and several of the tributary streams to Nanning are inundated by gushes of coho salmon egg-smothering silt.

When an intense logging operation occurs, everything gets trampled and smashed to smithereens under the machinery and felled trees. This happened at Nanning Creek. Wildlife tumbled from branches as trees were cut. The earth shook and rumbled when each giant fell. Rare plants with seldom-seen blooms were smashed under downed trunks. Now this shaded moist place has become drier. A great number of the tall trees that collected fog drip are gone. Tall, fog-scraping redwoods contribute 25–50% of the total water input to their groves each year. And much of that fog drip is provided when water is needed the most—during the summer. Without trees over 200 feet, much less water will enter the Eel River from this watershed. (Nanning Creek is already listed as impaired under the Clean Water Act Section 303(d).)

It is a very sad situation here in Scotia/Rio Dell, California (home to the Pacific Lumber mill). Cutting these trees won’t really help the poor economy. This timber harvest plan is about to reopen. Can we save this ancient grove? Let’s extend this ecological legacy for our children, not create yet another sad story about mistakes made by those who lacked vision and ignored the wisdom of sustainability. The money made by PL’s logging at Nanning Creek won’t help future generations, but the loss of salmon and wildlife habitat and the loss of water for the Eel River will certainly hurt them. Stop the madness and revoke the license to kill the last of the ancients. THP 1-05-097 HUM is a plan of action to destroy 250 acres of redwood—more than 120 acres of this forest is old growth--designated as prime murrelet nesting habitat (category E)! It is the last desperate act from a once-respectable company that’s had financial cancer since the Maxxam Corporation invaded the north coast of California. Pacific Lumber has nicknamed the THP “Bonanza” because they’ll make a lot of money before bankruptcy. But under the current ownership, how much longer will PL loggers and mill workers really have jobs after the few remaining trees like Spooner are cut? How long will it take this watershed to recover from this onslaught? Does the Nanning Creek watershed warrant the time it takes California's residents to ask these questions and understand the long-term consequences of the “Bonanza” timber harvest plan? The answer is “YES!”

Monday, September 17, 2007

Nanning Creek Needs You!

We are in the middle of rebuilding out in Nanning Creek after a September 2 raid, right before action camp. The positive side is that the support we needed to get back into the trees was there immediately.

If you are interested in our story, please check out

If you can help us with our needs, here they are:

Nanning Creek needs to be prepared for the weather coming soon. I will share with you what we need, some is more than we expect from a donation so don't feel overwhelmed, but I like to put it out there anyway. The needs are in descending order, and anything that you can contribute would truly be a blessing.

Carabiners, repel eights, and double pulleys(highest need)
5/8" Truckers Rope Spools(High quality for high places)
Solar Panels
Climb lines(200' static or dynamic)
Wind-up solar radio(fell one too many times!)
Water Filters
Themal Base Layers
Rain Gear(Green and Camo preferred)
Backpacks(Green and Camoflauge preferred)
Wool Pants, Shirts, Socks all sizes
Clean Five Gallon Buckets with lids
Dry Foods(Care Boxes greatly appreciated)
Camoflauge or hunting clothes
12V Rechargable Car Jumper(for power supply)
Soy Food Products
Mate' Tea
Inspirational Books
Gas Cards
Gift Cards for North Coast CO-OP and Eureka Natural Foods

A care package could be sent to a particular sitter. These are things that make their work more comfortable:

Socks, beanie,gloves, book(s), pocket knife, AAA batteries, pen and paper, energy bars, chocolate, mate' tea, light or headlamp, thermal baselayer, rainjacket, sewing kit(dollar store), metal cup, spoon and fork, water bottle, etc.etc. It would be awesome to recieve things like this ready to go in a daypack:) These items are best when recycled from a thrift store, military surplus or second hand shop.

Mail to:



ARCATA, CA 95518

We are always short of peanut butter, mate', pocket knives, headlamps, powdered soy milk, dried fruits, bulk grains, etc. Some of these things are easier not to ship, and we always make sure that donations go directly to the trees, we have no office or overhead, the only bills we have is phone and pager. Climbing equipment is very expensive, don't feel pressured to spend that kind of dough. Creature comforts are really needed by the sitters right now. Thank you so much for your help and interest! We appreciate anything you feel inspired to do.

Much love,

Jeff 7078459046

PS. September 15th is around the corner. Our needs could be forwarded to interested parties. Please at the least send us your hopes and prayers.

In love and peace,

Jeff from Humboldt Forest Defense ( 7078459046

Friday, September 7, 2007

Nanning Raid Update/PL Violations of Murrlete Protections

Eric Shatz was one of the raiders cutting down platforms, traverses and living spaces with gas powered chainsaws in Marbled Murrlete habitat during Murrlete protection season. This has been documented, and as far as I know, illegal...No (loud)work is to be done by PL during this protection season. Not only did they disturb the wildlife, they also dumped our contained food stores all over the forest floor. This is a BIG taboo for sitters, we compost all food scraps, we avoid feeding wildlife because corvids such as Grey Jays and Crows attack nesting birds. Corvids are attracted by garbage and human scraps. The raiders also left the equipment they did not steal such as sleeping bags, blankets, ropes and other non-biodegradable items scattered throughout the woods.

Forest defenders were away from Nanning this summer for a number of reasons. We felt that the grove was safe due to the Murrlete restrictions. We felt that our presence, even at a bare minimun, was not ethical. If we were in the canopy during the summer, we may have discouraged nesting Murrletes...contradicting our hard work to protect this habitat. We run a tight ship in regards to "leaving only footprints" in the woods. Yes, it is more than obvious who's property we are on. However, we were really surprized at the lack of respect that Eric Shatz and his crew has for the forest and wildlife. We hope that you will answer the call to help us, to hold PL accountable for their actions, and to support the effort to protect Nanning Creek.


Sitters arrested! PL employees and cops blockading entrances to treesit village. Sitters are in the trees, but need ground support, which have already sustained multiple arrests. Come down right now to Scotia, Ca. to save one of the last stands of old growth redwoods left on commercial property. This is an emergency call to all activists!

!CAUTION! The towns of Scotia and Rio Dell are crawling with cops.
Contact Humboldt Forest Defense before attempting to locate the treesit village! Cops are in the woods and in Scotia/Rio Dell!

Call 707-845-9046 or visit

Please help us! Please help the trees!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Spooner Solidarity

By Ronald Ward

Sing out your praises for the old-growth forest
Knowing many creatures will join in the chorus
For these forests so grand are rooted in time
With rhythms of life and an eternal sublime
Towering trees with secrets to share
Providing so much if you know what they bare
Marbled murrelets that nest on its branches
Hide deep within to lessen the chances
That their young may not be eaten by others
So they may once fly with their mothers
Spotted owls come here to seek out the shade
When tempatures start to soar in the glade
Salamanders seek refuge beneath the fallen trees
Structure is essential to provide for their needs

So Sing out your praises for the old-growth forests
Knowing many beings will join in the chorus
Rains are gentler beneath the ancient trees
Slowing erosion and the growing breeze
This forest provides a clear, running stream
As its stability provides us this dream
This forest, indeed, is all inter-connected
Thriving for years we all feel affected
By its beauty and its evolving being
To be one with this forest is certainly freeing
So give it a chance to 'talk' to you
Reach out for a branch for a being like you
For we all share this great Earth
And an ancient forest sure has its worth
So sing out your praises for the old-growth forest
Knowing many beings will join in the chorus....

Monday, August 27, 2007


We are brought together with the common goal of preventing old-growth logging, clear cutting, the use of herbicides and non-sustainable forestry in all areas of the region, the nation and the planet

What to Bring:

-Camping Gear- Tent or tarp, sleeping bag, light or headlamp, musical instruments, etc.

-Food- For 4-5 days, as well as utensils(bowl, cup, eatingware)

-Love and Non-Violence-If you can't bring all of the above items, love and peace is all you need!

What to Expect:

-Activist training- A broad spectrum of trainings offered by various activists from the Pacific Northwest and beyond

-Open Skill Sharing- Of skills, stories, music, love and kindness

-Direction- What our purpose is, what our actions are, share your purpose, share your actions(how and where to help)

What is not accepted:

-Heirarchy- of any type, ego, sex, etc.

-Violence- both physical and verbal

-Illegal Drugs- Please leave illegal drugs and alcohol at home

-Slacktivism- This is not a place to sit on your hands and do nothing, there is enough of that going on nationwide. We all have something to contribute.

To volunteer time and skill, or to help support this opportunity TO inspire and guide future generations of activists, please call 707-845-9046 or email The location (under one hour drive from Arcata, Ca) will be announced here at the HFDA blog and by voice recording at the above number the day before of Action Camp. Carpools are forming from Arcata and Eureka.

Judge blocks logging of privately owned spotted owl habitat

By The Associated Press

New dispute arises in owl country
A federal judge today issued a preliminary injunction to stop Weyerhaeuser Co. from logging in spotted owl habitat on four parcels of private land in Washington.

U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman did not grant, however, an additional request by the Seattle Audubon Society to stop the state of Washington from granting permits to log in spotted owl habitat.

The injunction from logging covers spotted owl habitat within 2.7 miles of the center of four circles of private land in southwestern Washington.

"It really shows the Endangered Species Act still has some teeth in it," said Kenan Block, a spokesman for the Washington Forest Law Center.

Representatives from Weyerhaeuser did not immediately return telephone requests for comment on the decision.

The owl was declared a threatened species in 1990 due primarily to heavy logging in the old growth forests where it nests and feeds. While old growth forests suitable for owl habitat have increased, owl numbers have continued to decline, recent research shows. The spotted owl also faces a new threat from a cousin, the barred owl, that has been invading its territory.

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company