The Quincy Library Group has given up on
collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service. Nearly nine years after
developing a controversial management plan for 2.4 million acres of
national forest land in Northeastern California, the coalition of
environmentalists and civic and timber industry leaders has
suspended its monthly meetings with agency officials. It now plans
to take its case to court.
The decision came 10
days after Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth upheld the Sierra
Nevada Framework, a plan to protect the old-growth trees, wildlife
and riparian areas in 11 national forests in California (HCN,
8/27/01: Restoring the Range of Light). To reduce the threat of
catastrophic wildfire, the Quincy coalition favors much more
aggressive forest thinning than the Sierra-wide guidelines allow.
The new regulations have "killed" the Quincy
program, says Michael Jackson, a Quincy environmental attorney and
coalition co-founder. But Bernie Weingardt, a deputy regional
forester, says the 1998 federal legislation authorizing the Quincy
experiment for five years requires that the program adapt to all
new guidelines approved by the Forest Service (HCN, 11/9/98: A
quiet victory in Quincy). Forest Service officials will continue to
search for common ground as they try to balance "the good
intentions" of the Quincy group members with the laws they are
mandated to uphold, Weingardt says.
a co-founder of the coalition, says cooperation with the Forest
Service is a "process with no end and no results." Now, the group
acclaimed nationwide as the model for collaboration will pursue
Says Jackson, "It's time to shift
into a more combative stage."