December 2nd 1998
December 2, 1998 Felicia Gealey 30161 Simpson Lane Fort Bragg, CA 95437 Dear Ms. Gealey, Thank you for your letter to the Fisher family, dated November 18th. They have asked me to provide additional, specific responses. Your new organization, Mendocino Students for a Sustainable Future, sounds like an important effort for students to undertake. The reason we are responding is because the Gap, its employees, and families of employees have nothing to do with Mendocino Redwood company. Having said this, and once you have read this letter, I hope you will reconsider your Boycott and consider visiting our forest to see what we are doing. We agree that old growth stands of trees (where old growth trees are defined as 48" in diameter at breast height and 250 years old) should not be logged. We believe that traditional clearcutting should be eliminated. We agree that no winter logging should be done that would damage Coho habitat. We agree to the limited use of any herbicide directly applied. Before I respond to each of the specific issues your letter raises, let me alert you to the fact that we have a very complete Web site (www.mendocinoredwood.com) that talks about many of the issues you raised, but in greater detail than I can in the space here. In addition there is also information about our company, our mission, and what we hope to accomplish. Please visit the Web site, it's the sole source for factual, reliable information about virtually every issue we face and what we're doing about the issues you care about. To be as specific as I can let me simply take quotes from your letter and respond to them directly: "Stop the spraying of Garlon and other herbicides" MRC applies Garlon by hand to specific individual plants for the limited and specific purpose of re-establishing the conifer forest on what once was, and will again be, redwood and Douglas-fir dominated timberlands. MRC takes precautions above and beyond any regulatory requirements. For example:
- MRC notifies adjacent landowners when applying herbicide within 300 feet of their property (except for industrial timberland neighbors).
- MRC does not apply herbicides within stream zone buffers. Specifically, MRC does not apply herbicides within 100 feet of a Class I watercourse and 75 feet of a Class II watercourse. MRC does not apply herbicides within 25 feet of either side of a Class III watercourse if any moisture is present.
- Both MRC and the regional Water Quality Control Board will test watercourses adjacent to significant area of herbicide application to ensure that there are no herbicides present in the watercourses.
- In 1998, approximately 1200 acres scattered throughout our property were harvested using clearcutting. This area represents 0.5% of our total acreage.
- We have utilized clearcutting mainly to effect rehabilitation of land having a small stock of merchantable conifers (generally 10,000 board feet per acre or less) and substantial quantities of tanoak. MRC does not generally clearcut stands of timber that are primarily conifer stands, but rather uses this silvicultural methods in an attempt to reverse the results of harvesting practices of the last 100 years.
- These 1998 clearcuts were 'fuzzy' clearcuts, where young redwoods and Douglas-firs are retained to serve as advanced regeneration.
- For new harvest plans in 1999, we will be adopting a policy of variable retention, with a 10% minimum retention, in lieu of traditional clearcutting.
- MRC conservatively estimates that its lands contain more than 700,000 trees in the 21 to 24 inch diameter category.
- MRC conservatively estimates that its lands contain more than 1,000,000 trees in the 24 inch and over diameter category.
- MRC estimates that its lands contain approximately 9,000,000 conifer trees with diameters of 10 inches or larger.
- MRC is harvesting at a rate equal to 60 percent of the annual new growth on its lands. Every year the inventory of trees 10 inches in diameter or larger is increasing.