MRC's Continuing Commitment
(Last Revised October 2005)
MRC's goal is the same today as it was on day one: to create a model of sustainable forestry that restores a previously harvested forest, its streams, fisheries, and wildlife, as part of a viable business plan. Since over 1.3 million acres of coast redwood forest are in private ownership, it is our belief that providing a successful example of sustainable forestry, restoration investment, and economic viability, has broad potential for improving coast redwood forest habitat. In some cases, charitable efforts are well placed in purchasing and preserving large tracts of pristine landscapes into parks. In the case of MRC's lands, due to a prior history of industrial logging since the mid 1800's, a much more active forest restoration process is required. This restoration requires significant investment and expert management into the foreseeable future. One example of the multitude of restoration tasks ahead for MRC is the control of sediment movement into the fish bearing streams through considerable investment in road repair, road de-activation and re-vegetation of riparian zones. Another task is acceleration of improved forest stocking and structure through limiting harvest to significantly less than growth and by restoring redwood and Douglas fir to acreage overgrown in thickets of tanoak.
Independent Third Party Oversight:
To date, success for MRC is being measured more by the yardstick of ecological benefits for the lands than by economic return to the investors. The ecological benefits, such as improved forest inventory (e.g., size and numbers of conifers), forest structure (e.g., snags, downed logs, trees with broken tops, large horizontal branches, and cavities), species habitat, species abundance and species diversity are being measured and audited by a variety of external certifiers, advisors and public agencies. In 2000, MRC was jointly certified by SmartWood and Scientific Certification Systems under the criterion established by the Forest Stewardship Council. MRC is audited annually on site by each of these FSC accredited certifiers.
Endangered Species Habitat Improvement:
With the specific urging of the State and Federal agencies that oversee the protection of endangered species, MRC is writing a property-wide Long Term Sustainable Timber Management Plan which includes a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and Natural Communities Conservation Plan (NCCP). Currently, endangered species habitat is evaluated on a project by project basis for individual timber harvest plans. The HCP/NCCP approach to species protection (described in Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act including definition of an "Incidental Take Permit") is a comprehensive method for conserving and improving habitat across an entire forest. A key component of this approach is long-term monitoring to ensure that habitat is being created and protected, and that the species are responding favorably to these efforts. The agencies involved, as well as independent scientists, believe this landscape level approach will provide greater long-term security for endangered species. Current regulation results in protections for endangered species across disjointed acreage. The Long Term Sustainable Management Plan will provide for protection of rare, threatened, and endangered species populations across MRC's ownership. The process is engaging a large number of experts, involves open public review, and will result in legal documentation that demonstrates commitment to long term conservation and habitat improvement measures.
See for Yourself:
The question we face daily is how to work to improve the forest for the future. Solutions to the recovery of the redwood forests deserve thoughtful discussion plus time and data to be effectively developed and implemented. We invite anyone, critic or supporter alike, to come out in the field to see how progress with recovery is made. To arrange a visit or tour, please use our website contact form.