Agreement is struck to protect redwood forest from logging Calif. company will get land trade, cash payment

September 29, 1996|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON -- Federal and state negotiators reached a tentative agreement yesterday with a timber company to avert logging on thousands of acres of ancient redwood forests in the northwestern corner of California, in exchange for other land and cash totaling $380 million.

The deal, brokered by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, followed weeks of talks with Maxxam Corp. and its Pacific Lumber Co. subsidiary, which owns the Headwaters Forest, containing the biggest stands of redwoods still in private hands.

The land could have been logged by the company under California regulations, sparking protests in which hundreds of environmentalists have been arrested.

Under the agreement announced yesterday, two redwood groves of about 3,500 acres will be combined with adjacent forest to make a 7,500-acre preserve to be acquired by the federal government and the state.

Logging on other company land will be governed by a new habitat conservation plan to be worked out by the company, the state, the U.S. government and other landowners over the next 10 months.

Much of the federal and state-owned property to be exchanged for the protected groves has not yet been identified, although government agencies have agreed to buy 9,000 acres of forest land from another private owner and transfer it to Maxxam.

Any cash payments by the federal or state governments would have to be approved by lawmakers in Washington and Sacramento.

Pub Date: 9/29/96

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