Annual Redwood Seedling Reforestation Project

This January, Forest Unlimited will be planting approximately 1,300 one-year old redwood seedlings for reforestation and erosion control.

The planting dates are yet to be determined.

Forest Unlimited will provide trees, all equipment and a free indoor lunch, including drinks and snacks. Vegetarian food will also be available.

If you would like participate in our January planting, please contact our Reforestation Manager, Elaine Wellin at elaine.wellin@sonoma.edu.  Further information on the rendezvous location, appropriate attire, etc. will be sent to all volunteers by mid December.

Dinner Under the Redwoods

 

Please join the fun at our Fourth Annual Summer Dinner under the redwoods.   Great food, lively music, awards and current forest news.  Plus a special guest:  Dr. Morgan Gray will give an informative talk about wildlife landscapes, connecting habitats, and habitat fragmentation.  Dr. Gray will present information gained from her interesting research in several counties including Sonoma, Mendocino, Napa, and Santa Cruz counties.  Dr. Gray has researched the implications of land use on mammals, and is currently in conversation with land trusts and state and federal agencies with interests in landscape scale conservation.  Come learn the latest science on how wildlife respond to smaller habitat areas and the challenges of crossing from one island habitat to another.  Dr. Gray is a post doctoral researcher at U.C. Berkeley and Pepperwood Preserve.

Forest Unlimited will also presenting an Environmental Activist award to Jim and Leonora Wilson for their work in protecting the Napa County watershed.

When:  Saturday, June 10, 2017, 3-6pm
Where:  Anderson Hall, Camp Meeker
Live music:  All Swing Considered,  A four person gypsy/jazz ensemble.  Great for dancing!
Food:  Wild salmon is back as well as veggies on the grill!  There will be side salads, appetizers, and desserts.
Tickets: $50 salmon/$35 veggie per person before June 1. $60 salmon/$40 veggie after June 1.  Mail check to: Forest Unlimited, PO Box 506, Forestville CA 95436.  Please write “Dinner” on the memo line
or
Tickets Online: Click the “Donate”  in the sidebar.  Be sure to indicate that this is for the Annual Dinner.
Further information: call 707-887-7433 or email larryjhanson@comcast.net.

Don’t miss it.  Mark your calendar now!  This is a fundraiser for Forest Unlimited.

19th Annual Redwood Seedling Reforestation Project

This January, Forest Unlimited will be planting approximately 1,300 one-year old redwood seedlings for reforestation and erosion control in a community forest in the hills west of Cazadero.

The planting dates are Friday, January 8, 2017 and Saturday, January 9, 2017.

On each day, we will rendezvous at 8:15 a.m at Duncans Mills. The seedlings average about 16-inches in height (root ball included) and are not difficult to plant.

All equipment and a free indoor lunch, including drinks and snacks, will be provided. Vegetarian food will also be available.

To properly plan for this event, it is essential that you contact us and sign up for the date(s) of your choice. To sign up and/or to ask any questions, please contact Carl Wahl, Project Manager, at 874-9268 or carlwahl3@gmail.com. Further information on the rendezvous location, appropriate attire, etc. will be sent to all volunteers by mid December. Please mark your calendar, tell your friends, and thanks.

Court Halts Gualala River Floodplain Logging

Redwood Logging – “Dogwood” Timber Harvest Plan

On Tuesday, September 13, Sonoma County Superior Court granted a Preliminary Injunction to petitioners Forest Unlimited and Friends of Gualala River to temporarily halt further logging of the controversial Gualala River floodplain within the “Dogwood” timber harvest plan area while litigation proceeds.

The court determined that “Petitioners have demonstrated a clear, imminent threat of irreparable injury. Without the injunction, the logging activities under the Project will permanently remove trees and alter the environment. Petitioners’ evidence also demonstrates that the logging activities may harm ecologically sensitive, protected wetlands, flora, and fauna.

The court also agreed that the other requirement for a preliminary injunction – a sufficient basis for finding a likelihood of success on the merits of the lawsuit – was met.
The text of the decision is provided below.

“Motion is Granted. Undertaking of $10,000 is required. Petitioners have demonstrated a clear, imminent threat of irreparable injury. Without the injunction, the logging activities under the Project will permanently remove trees and alter the environment. Petitioners’ evidence also demonstrates that the logging activities may harm ecologically sensitive, protected wetlands, flora, and fauna.”

The evidence provided also demonstrates some basis for finding a likelihood of success on the merits. Petitioners raise several arguments about the validity of the timber harvest plan (“THP”) which they claim were raised in the administrative proceedings. Petitioners’ evidence in their moving papers provide explanations about deficiencies in the THP while the portions of the THP to which both real party in its opposition and Petitioners in their reply cite further demonstrate possible defects which Petitioners raise and which were raised in the administrative proceedings. For example, real party’s opposition appear to shows that the THP relied on only a generic list of plants that might be affected, as the basis for its findings, instead of demonstrating evidence of what plants are actually on the Project Site. Some of these pages are headed “common plant species list.” This failure to determine what plants are actually on the site, and thus likely to be affected, is clearly a potential violation of CEQA.

Petitioners’ Ex.1 at 122-124, 130 demonstrates that a botanist expert on wetlands provided comments explaining how the Project may affect wetlands and the responses consisted solely of an assertion that two foresters walked the area and felt that no sensitive, protected wetlands were there but, as Petitioners argue, it is arguably not demonstrated that they were necessarily qualified to make such an assertion. The responses also state that real party is “confident” that it located all of the sensitive wetlands, an equivocal statement that arguably shows a lack of meaningful evidence.

Although Petitioners’ initial evidence may arguably be objectionable with respect to the merits of the action because not taken from the administrative record, this is not fatal to Petitioners’ motion and the court overrules any objection to the evidence on that basis. The court notes that at this time the record is not yet available and thus the parties should not be restricted to it while real party in its opposition, despite objecting to extra-record evidence, presents and relies on similar extra-record evidence itself. Moreover, the documents which are presented in the opposition and reply are ostensibly from the THP and thus clearly could be considered.

Finally, the balancing test and goal of preserving the status quo weigh in favor of the injunction due to the nature of the likely harms. Despite some weaknesses in Petitioners’ showing of a probability of success, the balancing test involves a mix of the two elements and the greater the showing on one element, the weaker it may be on the other. Butt v. State of Calif. (1992) 4 Cal.4th 668, 678. In contrast to the clear, and certainly irreparable nature of the harm which Petitioners raise, Real Party demonstrates no threat of irreparable injury that the injunction would cause, only a possible and temporary monetary injury to it. Real Party will merely suffer a delay in logging and if it ultimately prevails may still conduct the logging, obtaining the profits it would have obtained. Real Party claims that the injunction will threaten a sawmill which relies on the logs and that it will suffer $1.4 million in expenses, but this is not persuasive. Nothing shows that Real Party owns and operates the mill, the relationship between them being unclear at best. Even if Real Party owns the mill, the issue for threatened injury is not the lost profits, which again will be delayed only, but injuries that may result from going out of business due to a lag in production, which Real Party has not shown. Real Party also only asserts that it needs to proceed with the logging in order for the mill to operate at “full capacity” but this does not demonstrate that without this logging this mill could not operate adequately, at less than full capacity.

Because of the lack of evidence of injury resulting from the injunction, the court finds no support for the requested undertaking of $700,000. Due to Petitioners’ demonstrated lack of financial resources, and the unclear, tenuous nature of any material harm from the injunction, the court finds that an undertaking of $10,000 is appropriate.

For more information:

contacts: Forest Unlimited  Rick Coates 707.632.6070 or Larry Hanson larryjhanson@comcast.net  Peter Baye, Friends of Gualala River botanybaye@gmail.com 415.310.5109 www.gualalariver.org

Santa Rosa cuts down trees in Courthouse Square

Santa Rosa City Council and business leaders’ plan for the old courthouse square began to be evident in February 2016 as the first 20 of 91 trees to be removed were cut. The claim is that it’s the best plan to revitalize downtown. Revitalization efforts come at the cost of the lost of many mature trees to allow for more parking and widening a road.

Press Democrat article here…