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Old-growth redwood logs

“Timber Poachers / Fighting back:
Park managers are cracking down on thieves stealing old-growth redwood logs”

by Chuck Squatriglia
Chronicle Staff Writer
September 17, 2006
© 2006 San Francisco Chronicle

[excerpt:] Orick, Humboldt County — California’s ancient redwood forests have survived fires, logging and disease.

Now they face a growing threat from poachers who steal downed old-growth redwood trees in ever-larger numbers, scarring the land and robbing the forest of a vital part of its ecology for the sake of a few thousand dollars…

Downed redwood logs take as long as 500 years to decompose. In that time, they retain water and nutrients, providing habitat for hundreds of species of plants, invertebrates and animals. New trees take root in the downed redwoods, which also fertilize the next generation of redwoods…

Aside from the damage caused by dragging logs through the woods… thieves rob the forest of a vital resource, Denny said.

“Environmentally, this wood has more value than people realize,” she said. “It’s not just wood to be taken to a lumber mill…”

The full article is available on the San Francisco Chronicle website.

Why we are concerned

Unsustainable commercial harvest of old-growth redwood logs, a vital component of our watershed’s old-growth forest legacy, also occurs in the Gualala River watershed.

Friends of the Gualala River is concerned about the cumulative effects of losing these irreplaceable forest floor structures that provide essential habitat to declining amphibian and invertebrate species that depend on them for part of their life-cycles.

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