Pacific Lumber/Scotia Pacific File Information on Sustained Yield Plan with California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
The companies' draft SYP and related Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) were released for public review and comment in July 1998 after being agreed to by federal and state wildlife agencies. A final Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) proposing to revise the HCP and SYP was issued by the government on Jan. 22, 1999. Since then, PALCO and SCOPAC have been evaluating the consequences of the proposed revised HCP/SYP. The final EIS/EIR calls for significant new restrictions on harvesting on PALCO and SCOPAC lands, including but not limited to:
-- Additional no-cut and restrictive buffers alongside
non-fish-bearing streams that flow only in response to
-- Requirements that certain amounts of specified diameter classes
of timber remain after harvesting;
-- Prohibited or restricted harvesting in areas with certain
geologic characteristics and ratings; and
-- Restrictions that would limit certain essential activities to a 4
1/2-month summer period each year.
On February 16, PALCO and SCOPAC filed with CDF information that included a range of scenarios computer-modeled by an independent consultant, which analyze the estimated sustained yield, harvest, and economic impacts of the new constraints in the revised HCP.
PALCO and SCOPAC estimate that minimum average annual net softwood harvest levels of approximately 210 million board feet will be required during the first decade in order to generate income and cash flows to meet interest and capital expenditure obligations; to provide a minimum basis upon which to plan, adjust, budget, and conduct future operations so as to meet financial obligations, avoid additional layoffs, mill closings, and customer supply disruptions; and to satisfy other obligations to employees, customers and creditors.
However, computer modeling indicates a "base case" average annual harvest estimate under the revised HCP that is well below the required minimum level. Based on these estimates, PALCO has advised CDF and other applicable regulatory agencies that the revised HCP/SYP is not feasible or practicable, which is a requirement of law, and have said it must be adjusted to assure a minimum annual net softwood harvest level of 210 million board feet or more in the first decade.
In the CDF filing, PALCO and SCOPAC proposed adjustments to the government's revised HCP/SYP which, the companies believe, are in conformity with all environmental and other applicable laws and, at the same time, are economically feasible. However, no agreement has been reached, and no assurance can be given that any such agreement will be reached or that the Headwaters Agreement will be consummated.
PALCO is a subsidiary of MAXXAM Inc. (ASE:MXM).
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|Date:||Feb 17, 1999|
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