For Immediate Release.... Oct. 1, 1998
FR: Jonathan Carter, Dir. Forest Ecology Network 623-7140
RE: Sappi lands to Plum Creek
LIQUIDATOR AND DEVELOPER PLUM CREEK BUYS SAPPI LAND
SAPPI was bad enough. A flight over their 911,000 acres shows the massive scars of industrial clearcutting and intensive forest management resulting from bottom line greed. As if the heart and sole of the Maine Woods has not been ravaged enough, and now we have the possible transfer of this part of Thoreau's Woods to a company, Plum Creek, which has been characterized as the "Darth Vader" of the timber industry.
The story unfolding here is a sad day for the forests and the people of Maine. No matter how much we hoped for a new owner committed to sustainable low impact forestry, the possible announcement of the clearcutting/chipping/real estate corporate giant, Plum Creek, acquisition of the Sappi land would have to be viewed as a major set back. It only reenforces our contention that the public must step in and purchase these lands immediately before chippers and real estate developers like Plum Creek move in.
If history is to be our guide, Plum Creek has a sordid history indeed. The TEN MOST IMPORTANT REASONS WE SHOULD NOT WELCOME A PLUM CREEK
1. Has clearcut 100's of thousands of acres of ancient forest in the Northwest
2. As a limited partnership corporation it pays no corporate income taxes on profit over 150 million a year.
3. It has stripped the forest in the Northwest and then sold off choice parcels to real estate developers - double liquidation
4. Plum Creek has an incentive system for its executives which encourages liquidation for the profit of a few individuals.
5. Its raw log and chip exports have cost Americans thousands of jobs.
6. It has recently subdivided a 150,000 acres of valley lands in Montana for residential development as rural subdivisions and ranchettes.
7. In 1996 it purchased 500,000 acres in Louisiana and Arkansas, shutting down one mill and laying off half the workers in the other.
8. It has recently (June) applied to the SEC to become incorporated as a real estate investment trust.
9. Using IRS loophole Plum Creek pays an effective corporate tax of 1% while the average corporate tax is 34%
10. Plum Creek has used questionable "conservation plans" to get exemptions from the endangered species act for the next fifty years.
For first hand information contact the following people and organizations:
George Draffan, Public Information Network, Seatle, WA (206) 723-4276
Steve Thompson, Whitefish, Mt. (406) 862-3795
Mark Lawler, Sierra Club Pacific Northwest, Seatle, WA (206) 632-1550
Dogwood Alliance,. Chattanooga TN (770) 867-0197
Janne Blalock, Western Land Exchange, Seatle, WA. (206) 325-3503
John Osborne Inland Empire Public Lands Council, Spokane, WA (509) 838-4912