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EBMUD WINS INJUNCTION AGAINST TIMBER HARVEST PLAN

 EBMUD WINS INJUNCTION AGAINST TIMBER HARVEST PLAN
 OAKLAND, Calif., April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- An injunction sought by


the East Bay Municipal Utility District to block Georgia Pacific Lumber Co.'s timber-cutting practices that threaten to pollute the district's Sierra water source was granted Thursday (April 16) by San Francisco Superior Court Judge Barbara Jones.
 In her order halting a Georgia Pacific timber cut near the Middle Fork of the Mokelumne River in Calaveras County, Judge Jones found evidence of irreparable injury threatening the environment.
 The water district filed suit in both calaveras and San Francisco Superior courts in January, alleging that increased erosion caused by Georgia Pacific's lumbering practices could pollute water with excess nutrients, turbidity and silting in the Mokelumne River and EBMUD's Pardee and Camanche Reservoirs. Pardee Reservoir stores the water supply for 1.2 million East Bay residents.
 The Calaveras County suit was against the California Division of Forestry (CDF), as the permitting agency, and attacked a particular timber harvest plan. The companion suit in San Francisco Superior Court was filed against the California Board of Forestry, challenging its regulations as ineffective in analyzing cumulative impacts of logging and thus violating the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The two cases have been coordinated by the California Judicial Council, which assigned them to the San Francisco Superior Court.
 The injunction will block Georgia Pacific from continuing with its "North Forest Creek" timber harvest during the spring until the court conducts further proceedings.
 EBMUD attorney Thomas Lippe argued in San Francisco that CDF's review of timber harvest plans in the Mokelumne Basin shows a pattern and practice of failure to adequately evaluate the watershed impacts of logging, particularly at the greatly accelerated rate that has been utilized by Georgia Pacific in recent years.
 Georgia Pacific owns 121,000 acres in El Dorado, Calaveras and Amador counties. About 81,000 acres are within the Mokelumne River basin that serves EBMUD, comprising about 25 percent of that watershed. In the past three years, timber harvesting in the Mokelumne Basin has been greatly accelerated to several times the rate required to ensure a sustained yield. (Sustained yield is the amount of harvesting that can be accomplished with the forest continually regenerating.)
 If this harvest rate continues unabated, Georgia Pacific's Mokelumne basin holdings would be effectively harvested within the next few years, creating a serious threat of erosion, the water district said.
 Despite extensive EBMUD comments describing cumulative impacts, the Department of Forestry approved 21 timber harvest plans in the Mokelumne basin last year encompassing 12,432 acres of Georgia Pacific land. The 815-acre North Forest Creek plan, which EBMUD challenged, was approved Dec. 3, despite EBMUD's request for denial. This plan is of particular concern because Forest Creek already is substantially damaged by siltation resulting from previous logging operations.
 EBMUD claims the current regulations followed by the Department of Forestry do not require scientific documentation of the cumulative impacts of timber harvesting noted by EBMUD's professional foresters. Scientists working for the water district say the high rate of cutting is increasing nutrients and turbidity in the streams that flow into the Mokelumne River, in Pardee Reservoir and in Camanche Reservoir below Pardee, adversely affecting both water quality and the fisheries.
 -0- 4/22/92
 /CONTACT: Gayle Montgomery of EBMUD, 510-287-0141, or 510-689-2327 (home)/ CO: East Bay Municipal Utility District; Georgia Pacific ST: California; Georgia IN: SU:


RM-JL -- SF005 -- 1232 04/22/92 11:44 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 22, 1992
Words:572
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