October 21, 1998 Dr. Hillary Adams, President North Greenwood Community Association, Inc. P.O. Box 11 Elk, CA 95432 Dear Dr. Adams We appreciate your letter to the editor that appeared in the Advocate News on October 8, 1998. We are also delighted that we could host you for a tour of the Camp 16 THP on October 9th, and leave open our invitation to have you visit the Camp Creek THP area at a mutually convenient time. We feel the need to respond to a number of the points raised in your letter. Mendocino Redwood Co was formed with the purpose of demonstrating that it is possible to manage productive forestland utilizing a high standard of environmental stewardship and at the same time operate as a successful business. In the less than four months that we have been operating we have made a number of movements toward achieving this purpose, including:
  • initiating a search for a new resource manager,
  • reducing the current level of harvest by 15% compared to the average level of harvest for the last four years, and 30% relative to what the former owner had filed long term regulatory plans to harvest,
  • announcing a temporary policy on old growth while we spend the time to develop a long term policy,
  • investing significant resources into the rehabilitation, redesign, relocation and repair of roads
  • careful management of stream zones, often not harvesting any timber within 75 or 100 feet of Class II and Class I streams respectively,
  • beginning the process of exploring independent third party certification of the environmental stewardship practiced on our lands, and
  • investing time and money to determine if we can create a commercially viable product for the tan oak that has come to populate much of was once redwood and douglas fir dominated lands.
These are some of our more tangible actions, but we do not for a minute dispute that we have lots of work left to do. As time goes on, we will have more to share with you and the community on our progress. The two THPs that you referenced in your letter each contain important roadwork that will reduce sediments that can get into streams. The Camp Creek THP is a light overstory removal harvest that will release the growth of remaining conifers. This THP is abandoning one WLPZ road and connecting a series of upslope roads to eliminate the need for another WLPZ road. This roadwork will reduce the amount of long term sediment potential within the THP area. There is also no harvesting proposed within the class II stream zone buffer for this area.. The Camp 16 THP is a combination of selection harvest management on heavily stocked conifer acres (in effect taking some trees while leaving others, and generally leaving more than we are taking) and an alternative prescription that involves removing some conifers and a lot of tan oak from growing ground that once was, and should be again, dominated by redwood and douglas fir. We will, of course, be replanting the area where we applied the alternative prescription with redwood and douglas fir (the other areas will be too fully stocked to replant). While these two THPs are approved for winter operation, we will limit our log hauling to non-raining periods. Each of these THPs has been fully approved by the California Department of Forestry, with additional review from the California Department of Fish and Game. Beyond this, the Camp Creek THP received additional review from the California Department of Mines and Geology, and the Camp 16 THP received additional review from the Regional Water Quality Control Board. As for your comments on Garlon, we have for the most part addressed this in a separate letter which we have attached, but a couple of points deserve special attention. The active ingredient in Garlon is Triclopyr, which contains neither 2,4D nor 2,4,5T. While Garlon has structural chemical similarities to agent orange, there is no competent scientific evidence to support that Garlon can transform in to agent orange or any other toxic substance. Similarities in chemical structure do not necessarily indicate similarities in toxicity. The idea of suggesting that an application of Garlon on the Navarro Ridge could endanger children swimming in the summer is unfounded and unnecessarily fostering of fear. We welcome the input of regulatory agencies and political representatives into our harvesting activities and policies. We are building what we believe will be a model forest products company. We hope that in time we can convince you of our ability to be good stewards of the land and at the same time to operate a successful business. Best regards, Sandy Dean Dr. Adams' Letter of Concern