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 News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 422

 Recalling Headwaters drama

Eleven years ago, on March 1, 1999, I was privileged to help ensure the preservation of thousand-year-old redwood trees in an area called the Headwaters Forest Reserve in California.   As part of the team negotiating the acquisition, I can tell you the experience was memorable.  In the attached article I authored in 2000, called "Saving the Headwaters Forest:  A Jewel that Nearly Slipped Away," I related the story, that included suspense, high stakes, and a great deal of drama.

Since then, the Headwaters, under the able management of Interior's Bureau of Land Management, in cooperation with the California Department of Fish and Game, has made significant progress in restoration, development of a long-term plan, and stabilization of its critical watershed. (text continues below)

Two people stand amid redwood trees that tower above them
David Hayes surveys the Headwaters Forest with BLM Arcata Field Manager Linda Roush.

It is also now one of the "crown jewels" of the BLM's National Landscape Conservation System.  The Conservation System, created administratively by former Secretary Bruce Babbitt in 2000 and advanced into law by then-Senator Ken Salazar and newly elected President Obama, is celebrating its 10th anniversary and this retrospective on Headwaters is part of the BLM's year-long celebration.

The story of the Headwaters reminds us all how fragile some of our most precious resources are, and how close we sometimes come to losing them.   The experience at Headwaters taught me never to take things for granted and to never give up if the goal is worthy.  I hope you enjoy the article, and I hope someday you can visit the Headwaters, as I had the privilege of doing, and step back into the "forest primeval."

"Saving the Headwaters Forest: A Jewel That Nearly Slipped Away" (The Environmental Law Report)

- Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Hayes, 3/1/10

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 422

Last updated: 03-04-2010