Redwood summer roars back

  Musician Bonnie Raitt wasn't singing the blues in California Sept. 15 when she was arrested with 896 others for acts of civil disobedience - trespassing onto Pacific Lumber Co. property and chaining themselves to mill gates. Their mission was saving the Headwaters grove, the world's largest ancient redwood forest in private ownership.


An estimated 4,000 people descended on the mill town of Carlotta for northern California's biggest forest rally since the "Redwood Summer" of protests in 1990. Meanwhile, timber workers who stand to lose their jobs staged a much smaller rally 30 miles away.


Pacific Lumber had planned to cut dead trees Sept. 16, but an 11th-hour deal brokered by California Sen. Dianne Feinstein will keep the chain saws at bay while negotiations over a forest buyout continue. State and federal officials are still haggling over terms and price with Charles Hurwitz, a Texan who bought the timber company in 1985. The deal could include swapping surplus state or federal land - perhaps even Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay - in exchange for the 3,000-acre Headwaters grove and a 1,700-acre buffer zone.


* James Bruggers