The Disquiet Report: Missives and Musings from Chad Swimmer
Keeping Timber Harvests Out of Jackson State Forest
November 22, 2023
Over the last three years, coordinated community action has successfully stopped a number of timber harvest plans (THPs) in Jackson—California’s largest state forest. Two of the blocked THPs had been submitted, one was approved and sold to a mill, and others were under development. The total area saved by the work of the Coalition to Save Jackson exceeds four square miles. The halting of these plans represents a shining example of what citizens can do when we work together.
All the area saved has a long history of heavy use by locals for walking, mountain biking, equestrian activities, mushroom foraging, and just relaxing.
I put together this photo essay to highlight the unique and extraordinary beauty of so-called Jackson. (I say “so-called” because why must we use the name of the first timber baron responsible for the forest’s destruction?) The defeated THPs are described in the captions. The areas are left alone for now, but permanent protection is still lacking.
Enjoy the photos!
A young spotted-owl with a tree vole. Photo by Jon Klein
Jughandle and Railroad Gulch: These two THPs were abandoned before being submitted, after it became clear that they would face the same level of opposition as the Mitchell Creek and LNF Big River plans. Railroad Gulch was especially problematic, as it contains an area known as Mushroom Corners, a square mile extensively documented by researchers over three decades to host at least 845 species of ectomycorrhizae. Like the LNF Big River Plan, Railroad Gulch is in the Mendocino Woodlands Special Treatment area, a five-square-mile area that, according to the terms of its transfer into the bounds of Jackson, was expressly intended to not be subject to commercial logging. Huge victories! Photo by JP O’Brien