No Clearcuts Near Strawberry Rock! Green Diamond Needs to Protect More than a Pittance of Trinidad's Famous Forest
Category : Blog
As the issue of Green Diamond's proposed 85 acre clearcut goes before the Trinidad City Council tonight, the determination of the community that has risen up to defend Strawberry Rock's forest is stronger than ever. The demand is simple: cancel the Strawberry Rock THP and turn the 1 square mile around the Rock into a community forest that will never be clearcut or developed.
So far, Green Diamond has only responded with the bare minimum offer: leave the Rock and the trail to it alone, as well as 27 acres of forest adjacent to the trail. This offer does not go nearly far enough in preserving the historic character of the area's 100-year-old temperate rainforest. The right thing for Green Diamond to do is to place ALL of Strawberry Rock's forests into a conservation easement, so that it may become Trinidad's next old growth forest.
The fact is, there is a very strong case that the public already has a legal entitlement to access Strawberry Rock. This fact turns Green Diamond's "offer" to protect the trail to the rock, the rock itself, and an additional 27 acres into a legal obligation rather than a gift.
California's laws on public easements and right of way makes it so that we, the people, have the absolute legal right to access Strawberry Rock, and hike the trail to do so. The fact that Green Diamond has done nothing to prevent the public from accessing the Rock in their 20+ years of ownership means even if they started arresting people tomorrow, they would have no leg to stand on in court. The public currently holds a prescriptive easement to the trail and the Rock.
The 27 acres they "offered" the public at February's public meeting is required by their own voluntary certification standards of retaining 27% of a given THP. Further, they have no right to "give" the public what is rightfully theirs–public right of way to Strawberry Rock has existed long before Green Diamond ever acquired the Trinidad property.
If Green Diamond truly wishes to be a generous member of the community, they need to give more than simply the bare minimum required by law and their certification standards.