analysis of the fray between North Bay Bohemian
and Club Pres. Mancini
Bohemian Club President Jay Mancini wrote a letter
to the Editor of the North Bay Bohemian, a Santa Rosa paper, which
was published on April 15. You can read it online at
Mancini was responding Patricia
Henley's article of April 8th. Read it at: http://www.bohemian.com/bohemian/04.08.09/news-0914.html
Mancini's letter contains numerous incorrect statements; corrections
follow to correct the public record.
Mancini refers to the Bohemian
Club's "application for a time
management permit". There is no such thing; the permit the Club
is applying for is an NTMP which confers a permanent right to log
the property without further public or scientific review ever.
Mancini states that the plan "prohibits the harvesting of old
growth trees." This is a half truth. In reality, the plan protects
some old growth redwoods and no old growth Douglas-fir.
In fact, the plan states clearly that 40% of the larger Douglas-fir
will be removed in the first 20 years alone. Moreover, one of the
conditons imposed on the Club at the recent second review hearing
was a requirement by the Dept of Fish and Game to better protect
old growth trees in areas of potential Marbled Murrelet habitat by
permanently marking such trees. So clearly, that agency was not satisfied
with old growth protection in the plan. To date, the Bohemian Club
has not agreed to this mitigation.
The public must also keep
in mind that, when the Bohemian Club originally applied for an
NTMP three years ago, the Club did
not disclose the existence of any old growth stands, patches or individual
trees on the property and only revealed this precious resource under
public and agency pressure (see savebohemiangrove.org and
go to button called "a
chronology of deception")
Finally, the Bohemian Club has always asserted to its own members
as well as to the public that it has never cut old growth trees,
but extensive past old growth logging is explicitly documented
in old THPs between 1984 and 2005. Also well documented is that
the Club was stopped from logging in the Bull Barn old growth
stand in 2001. So the public and agencies have every right to be
skeptical about Bohemian Club assurances and to demand stringent,
enforceable safeguards to protect all the old growth and other important
values on the property.
Mancini states " we have worked diligently with Calfire, the
state Department of Fish and Game and other regulatory agencies...".
This is an astounding statement given that the Bohemian Club has
been dragged kicking and screaming every step of the way to agree
to any environmental safeguards. For example, read a scathing December
1, 2006 letter about the original NTMP from the Dept of Fish and
Game (available at the website under "what agencies say").
Mancini continues to use the Bohemian Club's scare tactics about "catastrophic
fire" in spite of the well-established fact that the 25,000
dead and dying Tanoak trees he refers to can be removed without
an NTMP. Everyone agrees that the Club should thin the hardwoods.
But The NTMP is designed to allow permanent logging of redwoods
and firs which are not fire prone; the redwoods and Doug-fir
are what the Club is after!
Mancini states that the Club seeks to restore the Grove to more
of its pre-settlement condition, but he does not explain how
this will be achieved by logging 875,000 to 1.7 million board
feet of redwood and fir every year forever. The fact is that
the stated goal and the intensive logging described are mutually
can't have a restored old growth forest and a tree farm no matter
how much PR you throw at the issue.
The revenue question is complicated; the Club has always stated
that all proceeds from logging go back into the forest, but in
2005, inspections by the water Quality control Board showed numerous
road and culvert failures and extensive erosion on the property.
So where did the $3 million in revenues generated from logging
11 million board feet between 1984 and 2005 go? Clearly not into
maintenance of the forest. Why should we believe the Bohemian Club's
The plain fact of the matter is that the Bohemian Club has lost
credibility with the public and the agencies through its mismanagement
of this NTMP application; the public's only recourse is
to demand that public trust values receive a higher level of
protection than the Bohemian Club seems capable of delivering.