Friends of the Van Duzen River
A Grass Roots community organization comprised of residents and visitors to the Van Duzen Region. We are Dedicated to helping to restore the river for future Generations

My Word
by Mark Lovelace, Humboldt Watershed council
Wednesday, 02/09/2005

MY WORD by Mark Lovelace, Humboldt Watershed Council


I just received the Pacific Lumber Company Press Release below. PL is continuing their threats of economic blackmail against the Regional Water Board and against Humboldt County.

I find it hard to understand how PL can be in such dire financial straits after making so much money over the last 20 years. What happened to the $480 million dollars the company received from the Headwaters deal? What happened to the $325 million from selling off the Cutting and Welding Division, the $60 million from gutting the employee pension fund, the $250 million dividend from the 1998 bond sale, the $37 million in real estate, and the $2.5 Billion in profits that have been made off of PL's timber? All told, MAXXAM has made $3.6 Billion off of PL in the last 20 years. That is all money which has been taken away from the workers, away from PL, and away from Humboldt County. Where did the money go?

I find it hard to understand how a company that has made so much money can still owe $760 million of the $870 million debt incurred 20 years ago. Why didn't MAXXAM make any effort to pay off PL's debt while they were making money hand over fist? Why doesn't PL now have any money available to keep its workers busy restoring these watersheds, and fixing the damage caused by the company's liquidation logging? For all of that money to have simply vanished indicates either gross negligence, mismanagement or outright criminal behaviour. Perhaps we should all be paying more attention to the DA's fraud lawsuit against this company. Speaking of which, it is notable that the only time that any of that $3.6 Billion has come back into this county was to fund last year's failed recall attempt.

The fate of PL is not the Water Board's responsibility, it is MAXXAM's responsibility.

Mark Lovelace
Humboldt Watershed Council
(707) 822-1166

Friends of the Van Duzen River
PO Box 315
Carlotta, CA 95528
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