Overwhelming voter passage of Mendocino County Measure V!

When we wrote to you at this time last year we were still gathering signatures for the placement of what became Measure V on the Mendocino County ballot. Since then Forests Forever collected over 1100 signatures of the total 4900-odd submitted— over one-fifth of the total.

We recruited volunteer signature gatherers and after the measure qualified we identified sympathetic voters, by phone and in the field, and conducted get-out-the-vote (GOTV) organizing on Election Day.

"Hack and squirt" was being practiced on a landscape scale in Mendocino County, mainly by Mendocino Redwood Co. (MRC), which had poisoned over five million trees since 2012.

"Hack and squirt" is a forestry procedure in which a worker chops or saws an incision into the bark of a tree and applies herbicide to the open wound, killing the tree.

MRC has been poisoning millions of hardwoods—primarily tanoak—and leaving them standing in the forest. The reason: to make way for its next crop of more-lucrative redwood trees.

The chief herbicide it uses is Imazapyr, banned in Europe, where it is deemed "harmful to aquatic organisms... (and) may cause long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment."

When the votes were counted Measure V had won handily, with some 16,300 yes votes of over 26,000 cast.

Since then, however, MRC has dragged its feet. Despite the electorate's strong expression of opinion against the tree-poisoning practice, MRC recently made it known that it continues to use "hack and squirt" on its holdings, which total some 227,000 acres in Mendocino and Sonoma counties.

Litigation may be the next stop. Moreover, if the company defies the strongly expressed will of the voters it does so at considerable risk to its goodwill in the community.

It's time to turn up the heat on MRC! Please write a letter to one or more North Coast newspapers today and tell them you expect to see MRC obey the will of the people and comply with Measure V!

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Forests Forever:
Their Ecology, Restoration, and Protection
John J. Berger

from Forests Forever Foundation
and the Center for American Places