Mendocino Humboldt Redwood Company, LLC
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Editorial: Moving the PALCO case to a conclusion

The Eureka Reporter
July 17, 2008

Judge Richard Schmidt, the federal judge hearing the Pacific Lumber Company bankruptcy case has had to have the patience of Job and the wisdom of Solomon in order to bring it close to a conclusion, which he did this week when he declined to stay his earlier decision to await the outcome of an appeal.

After all arguments had been thoroughly aired, Judge Schmidt last week ruled in favor of the Mendocino Redwood Company/Marathon plan to reorganize the company in a way that would keep its Scotia mill operating and its workers on the job, while respecting environmental considerations in its harvesting. The plan was widely favored in Humboldt County, but the judge had to decide the case on the legal merits of the competing plans, not the popularity of one or the other.

He has been eminently fair to the competing parties and stayed his decision for 10 days, until July 25. The purpose of this stay was to allow the Timber Noteholders time to file an appeal. Wisely, he declined to continue the stay until an appellate decision is made in that matter, for to do so might risk losing the MRC/Marathon bid or having creditors push PALCO into liquidation before it runs out of operating funds.

We join with many others in hoping that, with the judge’s latest decision, the PALCO case will soon come to as happy a conclusion as can be hoped for under the circumstances.

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