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The View From Strawberry Rock

 

–Green Diamond and Environmentalists See it Differently–

 

By Lillian Boyd

 

Many travelers from all over the country coming to Humboldt County do something illegal:  they hike to Strawberry Rock.

hiking strawberry rockHumboldt State wildlife student Eileen Kitayama first hiked the trail to Strawberry Rock in 2011 by herself—a challenge that took three hours of Google mapping and driving around Trinidad.  She revisits the rock to reflect, paint landscapes, and meet new people.

One of Trinidad’s most well known trails, the path to Strawberry Rock is nestled behind a crowded cul-de-sac of young-growth and old-growth Redwoods alongside Highway 101.

“The trail is covered with footprints that I can follow,” Kitayama said.

“From the top of the rock I can see a blanket ofstrawberry rock logging redwood forest, snow-covered mountains, the Mad River valley, little boats and sea-stack rocks around the Trinidad peninsula.”

The path, the rock, the redwoods, the Sitka spruce, and the fir trees all sit on an 80,000-acre site privately owned by lumber companies since the early 1900s.

Logging company Green Diamond purchased the land from Louisiana Pacific in 1998 and approved its most recent timber harvest plan– THP# 1-10-137-HUM –– in March 2011 to cut down trees in portions of land surrounding Strawberry Rock.

HSU forestry lecturer Gary Rynearson manages forest policy and communications for Green Diamond.

“We take a good, hard look at every tree,” Rynearson
said.  “If they have key features for wildlife benefits
they are retained.”

green diamondGreen Diamond plans to implement a combination of cable and shovel yarding –– an alternative harvesting method with less impact on the forest floor compared to tractor yarding.

Yarding involves a large piece of machinery that transports
fallen logs onto the main road.  Shovel yarding has wide
smooth padded tracks with low ground pressure compared
to tractor yarding.  Shovel yarding does not churn or disturb
the soil like tractor yarding does, Rynearson said.

stop green diamondThe timber harvest plan includes harvesting a total of 84 acres in areas surrounding Strawberry Rock.  A separate 27.5 acres will be left alone.

Although Green Diamond does not plan on harvesting in 2013, community members are not waiting to voice their opinions against clear cutting.

The newly assembled organization Friends of Trinidad Forests met in the Westhaven Fire House on Dec. 15 to discuss the history of the area, possible conservation strategies, and ways to publicize the issue.

strawberry rock fogSome community members have taken up tree sitting as a form of protest against clear cutting.

Tree-sitters will set up camp on a tree branch using a line to secure themselves from falling.  Usually, a team of sitters will alternate between who camps on a branch after a certain amount of time.  The idea is to prevent loggers from cutting down the tree– or else the tree-sitter goes down with it.

Abe Brower, an active member of Friends of Trinidad Forests, said that tree sitting would be a last resort.

“We want the Trinidad Forests to be treated like the Arcata
Community Forest,” Brower said. “With minimal and very
selective cutting.”

strawberry rockFor now, Brower and fellow member Jack Nounnan are focused on spreading the word on the timber harvest plan through tabling and future meetings.

Their next meeting will be held in Trinidad Town Hall on Saturday, February 9, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“I’ve been involved in forest activism since 1974,” Nounnan said.  “I’m positive that public concern will make a difference in this community.”

 

Friends of Trinidad Forests Informational Meeting
Trinidad Town Hall
Trinity Street, Trinidad
February 9,  1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

 

strawberry rock closing

 

 

 

 

strawberry rock closing2

 

 

 

 

 
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Random comments from the local community can be found here at the Humboldt Herald.

This article by Lillian Boyd orginally appeared in The Lumberjack.

(Images by the Humboldt Sentinel.  Posted by Skippy Massey)

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