No deal

Published: Thursday 31 October 1996

greens in the us are incensed with the government's new policy of cash-for-land pact with regard to the Headwaters forests, which includes half-a-dozen ancient redwood trees among others, in California. The pact ostensibly tries to protect nearly 3,000 ha of ancient forests. Environmentalists, nearly 400 of them, contend that the deal does not go far enough.

The accord was initiated by Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Californian democrat. It gifts us $250 million in cash to Charles Hurwitz who controls the Maxxam Corporation and its subsidiary, Pacific Lumber Company, which owns land in Headwaters, and us $130 million either in cash, land or other assets for giving up ownership rights to the land.

The greens protest that the deal does not take into cognisance the entire 24,300 ha Headwaters forests and say that even salvage logging -- taking dead, dying and diseased timber that has already fallen -- would hurt the forest. Said Darl Cherney, co-founder of the environmental group, Earth First, "This deal can best be described in three words -- smoke and mirrors!"

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