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SBG 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 exclusive!  You 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 statements now?

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.