Pressured by a regulation's short-term focus, a timber company asked our help in planning a compliance and conservation strategy for the long haul.

Achieving Economic and Conservation Goals within a Complex Regulatory Regime


California’s Mendocino Redwood Company (MRC) asked us to help develop a long-range strategy for complying with myriad state and federal laws affecting commercial timber harvest on its 300 square miles of Mendocino County forest. Such a strategy is essential to achieving MRC’s bold vision for sustainable forest management.

The complexity and inconsistency of environmental laws and regulations often limit their effectiveness and impose unnecessary burdens on economic activity. This impact can be especially profound on companies that embrace sustainable forestry, which requires timber management across the life cycle of a forest. Case in point: California’s commercial timber harvests are typically regulated by three-year plans covering only a few hundred acres.

MRC’s vision was to develop an 80-year forest management plan for more than 200,000 acres. The plan would restore a redwood forest and introduce a new approach to commercial forestry using selective timber harvesting. MRC sought opportunities to expand on this vision by acquiring additional industrial forestlands.


Our work for MRC has included:

Strategy: We helped MRC develop a comprehensive, long-term compliance strategy to meet state and federal requirements.

Conservation Planning: We are helping MRC develop a first-of-its-kind Habitat Conservation Plan and Natural Community Conservation Plan. The plan will meet the requirements of state and federal Endangered Species Acts and the Natural Community Conservation Planning Act and provide a framework for complying with the California Forest Practice Act and other state and federal environmental laws.

Policy Support: We are working with officials to gain support for MRC’s effort and develop new compliance strategies and tools for sustainable forestry.

Regulatory Support: When MRC sought to acquire the forestlands of Pacific Lumber Company in Humboldt County, we helped secure support from state and federal agencies and obtain numerous permits and approvals. We are helping MRC’s sister company, the Humboldt Redwood Company, adapt state and federal environmental requirements to apply MRC’s more-sustainable commercial forestry practices.

From its formation in 1998, MRC has sought to restore industrial forestlands as part of a viable business plan. With a regulatory compliance strategy and a conservation plan, MRC is achieving that goal.