In the article "Strawberry Rock: Mission Accomplished?" (July 4) the author suggests that the issues around the timber harvest plans (THPs) of Green Diamond are all but resolved at this time due to the goodwill of Green Diamond company. Unfortunately, this issue is far from resolved and our group has yet to be heard in this important discussion that affects us in our back yard.
The fact that Green Diamond had plans for five separate THPs that virtually ring Strawberry Rock is a reality that local Trinidad citizens were unaware of until relatively recently, otherwise they would have demanded public hearings on the matter. At least in the McKay tract negotiations there has been public input for the past two years to develop a comprehensive community conservation plan.
I and 11 other Trinidad residents became informed of Green Diamond's clear-cutting plans and, as a result, organized a citizen's action group called the Trinidad Community Forest Coalition. We've met with a representative of Green Diamond and expressed our concerns. We commend Green Diamond for its conservation easement proposal for Strawberry Rock —this is an effort that demonstrates the company's interest in conserving a valuable community asset.
On the other hand, we believe that further conservation efforts are possible and we wish to discuss these options with the company. We agree with the Yurok tribe that this is "a spiritual place with deep cultural significance" and thus worthy of protection.
While Strawberry Rock may not be a pristine forest like the McKay tract, it deserves as much effort to save it by the communities of the North Coast. We urge Green Diamond, the Trust for Public Lands, the Yurok Tribe and other interested parties to have an open public discussion on the fate of this precious gem of the North Coast so we can create a community forest — a natural asset preserved for our children's children.
Larry Goldberg, Trinidad
It's a shame that a million dollars of scarce environmental funds are being used to purchase a tiny easement for local recreation around Strawberry Rock. This area has been clearcut at least three times and has no more habitat value than any similar bit of young regrowth.
Susan Nolan, McKinleyville