Mostly clear

Environmental groups file suit to stop Bohemian Grove logging

Two environmental groups have filed suit in an attempt to stop timber harvesting at the exclusive Bohemian Club's retreat in Monte Rio.

The suit charges that Cal Fire in its approval of a Bohemian Club plan did not consider alternatives except for no logging at all, used previous logging as a baseline and did not properly assess greenhouse gas impacts.

The plan allows the removal of 7 million board feet of lumber between now and 2016, including some young redwoods.

Bohemian Grove officials have said the intent is to cut tan oak and thin the Douglas fir that are prevalent on the property to lessen the fire danger and protect the old-growth redwood groves.

They have promised that no old-growth trees would be cut.

"The sole intention is to preserve and protect the Bohemian Grove," said club spokesman Sam Singer. "They need to find legitimate and more pressing environmental problems to fight. They are barking up the wrong set of trees."

John Hooper of the Bohemian Redwood Rescue Club said despite promises from club officials, they are still concerned that the old-growth redwood trees would be harmed.

He said there is still not an adequate inventory of exactly where the old-growth redwood trees are on the club's 2,500-acre property.

"We are seeking simply to go out and mark buffers around each of these stands that are loosely alluded to," said Hooper, a Point Arena resident. "That remains a major concern. Old growth is only partially identified and not adequately mapped."

The suit was filed Friday in Sonoma County Superior Court on behalf of the Sierra Club and the Bohemian Redwood Rescue Club.

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