Important Facts about the Mendocino Redwood Company, LLC (MRC) Efforts to Reorganize PALCO through the current Bankruptcy Process
Why is MRC Interested in Reorganizing the Pacific Lumber Company (PALCO) through the current Bankruptcy Process?
- Stewardship Philosophy: MRC believes that it could very quickly bring the policies, practices and stewardship philosophy it has successfully employed on the MRC lands to the PALCO lands.
- Higher Land Management Standards: MRC would immediately seek to raise the standard of management of Pacific Lumber Company lands to meet the high standard of independent third party Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification.
- Operational Know How: MFP would use its knowledge of redwood sawmill and lumber distribution operations to maximize the chances of successfully operating the PALCO Scotia sawmill. As many PALCO Scotia sawmill jobs as possible would be maintained. The identity of Scotia as a successful lumber mill town could be preserved.
- Long-Term Focus: Effective forestry is done in increments of decades and generations. Success requires a combination of daily driven sustainable forestry practices and successful sawmill and lumber distribution experience. MRC believes it can bring these unique capabilities to improve and manage the operations of the Pacific Lumber Company successfully for the long term.
- Commitment to Maintain or Improve the Habitat Conservation Plan: Pacific Lumber Company entered into a 50-year Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) with the United States Government as part of the Headwaters agreement in 1999. The bankruptcy process does not assure the continuation of the PALCO HCP, however MRC would maintain or improve the HCP going forward. MRC believes the combination of its practices and pursuit of FSC certification may well exceed some conservation measures within the HCP, and lead to more productive interactions with the various regulatory agencies overseeing the HCP and related matters.
- Formation: Formed in June 1998 through the purchase of 230,000 acres of timberlands mostly in Mendocino County formerly owned by Louisiana-Pacific.
- Operations: Operates in close coordination with the related Mendocino Forest Products Company, LLC (MFP). MFP has successfully operated a lumber mill and related distribution business in Ukiah, California since June 1998.
- Ownership: Owned largely by the Fisher family of San Francisco.
- Public Purpose: From the beginning, MRC has been run with a publicly declared purpose, “…to demonstrate it is possible to manage productive forestlands with a high standard of environmental stewardship, and also operate a successful business.”
- Stewardship Commitment: Very few models exist for what it means to be a successful steward of timberland. From the beginning, MRC has thought of good stewardship as meaning, “to leave it better than we found it” and after almost ten years of commercial operation there is beginning to be measurable progress in the stewardship area.
Stewardship Progress on MRC Lands
- Clear Cutting Prohibited: Traditional clear cutting was banned from MRC lands in the first year of operation.
- Old Growth Harvest Restrictions: Adoption and implementation of an old growth policy down to the level of individual old growth trees.
- Third Party Oversight and Certification: pursuit and attainment of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification of exemplary practices in the woods, initially obtained in November, 2000, with interim audits on an annual basis and a major re-audit every five years. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an independent third party standard of exemplary management for forestlands that has been endorsed by many of the leading environmental organizations in the US and around the world. MRC was and remains the only large scale owner-operator of redwood timberlands to obtain FSC certification of its practices. Learn more abou the FSC and about MRC’s two independent FSC certifiers: Scientific Certification Systems and SmartWood.
- Standing Conifer Inventory Increases: Through moderate annual harvesting, MRC has increased the standing inventory of conifer (redwood and Douglas-fir) timber in its forests by approximately 600 million board feet, an increase of more than 25% in less than 10 years. Even after our commercial activities, the standing inventory of conifer trees in our forest grows larger every year.
- Forest Restoration: Treatment to restore 40,000 acres of land that was once robust forest of redwood and Douglas-fir trees that had come to be dominated by tanoak (a native tree that was allowed to achieve dominance on significant MRC acreage). The treatment of these 40,000 acres of forestland should restore a vibrant conifer dominated forest in our lifetime.
- Aquatic Habitat Restoration: An investment, over ten years, of $11 million has resulted in preventing almost 700,000 cubic yards of sediment from fouling the coastal streams running through MRC timberlands, the equivalent of almost 70,000 dump trucks of dirt. MRC’s aquatic habitat restoration efforts have been built on a foundation of comprehensive watershed analysis, to target restoration funding on the most critical areas first.
- Openness, Accessibility, Transparency, Responsiveness: A long term track record of open, transparent operations, through daily dialogue, site visits and open forums. MRC has and will continue to work to be responsive to the community, regulators, critics, environmental organizations, and anyone else interested in the forest. Interested individuals are invited to visit our forest via permit or guided tour (we are willing to take folks almost anywhere) and our web site contains substantial amounts of information about the management plans and practices of MRC.
- Maps of Our Lands
- MRC Slide Presentation – summarizing the MRC approach to restoration forestry after 9 years of operation