Supervisor Wesley Chesbro endured a proverbial raking over the coals as an initiative he supported to help the state’s homeless was labeled both illegal and outrageous.
The Hunger and Homeless Initiative was being groomed for the ballot by a group called Californians Working Together. Chesbro said one of the main goals of the initiative was to fund low-cost housing and mortgage guarantees to low-income individuals through a system of fines for building and health and safety code violations.
A Salmon Creek resident who, years before, had helped draft alternative building codes for rural areas said that although he was sympathetic to the plight of the homeless, the proposed initiative would only create more problems and he termed the proposed system “illegal.”
An approach to sustained timber yields would be the focus of a public hearing of senator Barry Keene’s senate select committee on forest resources.
The committee planned to receive public testimony on proposals for sustained-yield forest management prepared by forest economists from UC Berkeley. All or part of the proposals would then be considered as possible amendments to senate bill 1641.
Keene’s SB 1641, which had been shelved at the time, aimed at stopping wholesale cutting of California forests to pay off high-yield or “junk” bonds used to finance corporate takeovers.
The sidelined bill would have limited increases in timber cuts to 20 percent of the average of the previous three years.
Instead of establishing limits on timber harvests, the UC Berkeley experts suggested levying charges on all “leveraged timber transactions.” These were defined as timberland purchases financed by so-called junk bonds - those with an interest rate one percent or more above the average for grade AA corporate bonds.
Keene’s original SB 1641 was widely interpreted as a response to the Maxxam Group’s takeover of Pacific Lumber Co. in 1985. The takeover was followed by a doubling of the company’s timber harvest to pay off the approximately $700,000 takeover debt.
PL announced intentions of cutting 90 percent of its old-growth redwoods - ranging in age from 150 to 2,000 years - in the next 20 years. PL officials said that after 20 years the company could go back to its 1985 harvest levels and harvest timber in perpetuity.
The sustained yield report from the UC professors suggested the Legislature should discourage rates of forest harvest that could not be sustained on a continuous basis. It also suggested that timberlands should be managed to keep trees in all age classes. Some private timberlands had been managed to achieve reasonably uniform age class distributions, but some hadn’t.
The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors agreed to testimony on the draft environmental impact statement for the proposed oil lease sale off the Humboldt County and Mendocino County coasts.
The board had been working on a statement to be read by the board chairman before U.S. Department of Interior Minerals Management Service representatives at a public hearing on the DEIS.
The previous week the board had found a proposed draft by county staff planner Tom Hofweber “too negative” but seemed to support the general drift of the statement, highly critical of the MMS’s 1,214-page document. Hofweber was told to “take another crack at it.”