Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Fishers are preserving our timberland

Aside from the one story in the Chronicle (link below) on June 6, the local media---including of course our "alternative" media---have ignored the story about how the Mendocino Redwood Company will take over the 210,000 acres of the former Pacific Lumber property in Humboldt county. MRC already owns 235,000 acres on the Northcoast, mostly in Mendocino County.

Why has the story been ignored? Because MRC is owned by the Fisher family, and Don Fisher, founder of the family fortune with the Gap stores, is regarded as an all-purpose political whipping boy here in Progressive Land. Matt Smith had a tantrum in the SF Weekly when Don Fisher got his parking initiative on the ballot last year, and continues to snipe at MRC/Fisher for allegedly logging "235,000 acres of endangered redwood forests" and "sawing down ancient forests," etc. H. Brown accused Fisher of chaining Third World girls to their workstations to produce garments for the Gap, though typically Brown provided no evidence for the slur. And Fisher hasn't helped himself with local progs with his plan to plunk down a museum in the middle of the Presidio, a national landmark.

But the transfer of the Pacific Lumber forestland to MRC was lauded by environmentalists, including the Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy, and the Save-the-Redwoods League. Why would they do that if MRC was laying waste to the forests of Northern California? MRC is in fact practicing sustainable logging on its holdings and striving to restore forests that were trashed for years by Louisiana Pacific and Georgia Pacific. This reality has been affirmed by the Forest Stewardship Council ( The assumption of these environmentalists is that MRC will do the same for the former Pacific Lumber forests they just acquired. In practice this means selective logging at below growth rates, restoring streams, repairing logging roads, preserving wildlife habitat, and replanting/restoring Redwood/Douglas Fir forests and getting rid of tan oak, which tends to dominate previously logged forests.

You won't read this positive Fisher story anywhere else in San Francisco, since the Fishers are considered much like the Blue Meanies in Pepperland.

The Chronicle story:
Santa Rosa Press Democrat story: