By Beacon Staff
The Mendocino Beacon
July 26, 2001

About a dozen coastal residents gathered with a drum, a cowbell and anti-logging signs on Monday morning near the Watershed Wildlife and Fisheries Office of Mendocino Redwood Co. - at Highway 1 and Ocean Drive, just south of the Botanical Gardens - to demonstrate against MRC's logging in the Albion River watershed.

The demonstration followed last Thursday's pre-sunrise blockage of traffic on Albion Ridge Road to prevent loggers access to yet another controversial timber harvest site in the 40- square-mile watershed, roughly half of which is owned by MRC. Responding Sheriff's deputies allowed the 30 or so demonstrators to voice their concerns about the timber harvest plan and the road was reopened with out arrests at just before 9 a.m.

Last Saturday, the Institute for Sustainable Forestry toured the watershed and issued a conditional certification deeming MRC's land as a natural forest. Albion resident Linda Perkins said "groundtruthers" were able to point out to the certifiers that the timber harvest plan omitted mention of Class II streams at the site, roads built across wet areas, and several stands of oak trees "sprayed dead" with herbicides. Within the 30,000-acre watershed, perhaps just 400 acres contain mature, second growth redwood or Douglas fir trees, she added.

At Monday's event, demonstrators talked about the plight of the Albion River's remaining endangered coho salmon population - one had counted 30 or so salmon on along a riverbank earlier this year - as well as spotted owl and wildlife habitats, which they say are being destroyed willy-nilly. "When I look out, I don't see any habitat for birds. I do not hear or see birds. They've poisoned 50 acres of tan oak, this will never recover. In my opinion, it may be certified as a tree farm but it's no longer a natural forest," Perkins said.