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Mission Not Accomplished



I write to note that the article "Strawberry Rock: Mission Accomplished?" (July 4) fails to take the necessary hard look at the environmental and economic costs associated with the ongoing clear-cut industrial forestry operations of Green Diamond Resource Company (ex-Simpson). In this sense the NCJ failed in its mission to fully inform our community about a crucial local issue.

As the executive director of the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC), I can say that the aspiration of activists to protect Strawberry Rock, and the supposed conflict with the Yurok over their aspirations, is not the only controversy surrounding a company that insists on clear-cut logging immature redwood trees to manufacture an inferior wood product.

Why would it be that the Yurok Tribal Council is not voicing public concern about the damage that Green Diamond/Simpson has done, and continues to do, to the integrity of the redwood temperate rainforest ecosystem, an ecosystem gravely threatened by climate change and ongoing intensive industrial exploitation? Why is it that the tribal council is "satisfied with Green Diamond's plans"? Are there financial and political interests that link the tribe to the company that influence these dynamics? Why would the NCJ not ask that question of the tribe?

It is time for a cover story at the NCJ exploring the controversies surrounding Green Diamond. From Strawberry Rock, to the proposed clear cut logging near the Headwaters Forest Reserve in Elk River, to the national controversy around the recent and highly questionable award of Forest Stewardship Council certification to its unsustainable clear-cuts. These issues, and others, merit full investigation. Once the NCJ can commit to investigating and publishing the story behind Green Diamond "greenwash," our diverse community will be better prepared to contribute to the restoration of the globally unique, irreplaceable, and, dare I say, sacred redwood temperate rainforest.

Gary Graham Hughes, Arcata

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