Who gets the most environmental money in Mendocino County? State Parks? The Sierra Club? No way.
The Campbell Timber Company is our pick for the greatest taker of environmental funds in Mendocino County. The global logging firm also richly enjoys its position at the front of the trough of local public grant and land purchase funds.
Pretty good work for the reincarnation of old GP, albeit now wearing a hippie wig. We have picked Campbell as our reigning “welfare queen” of Mendocino, just based on some amazing initial research.
In recent years, Campbell sold (dumped) massive tracts of land ruined by timber logging to two “environmental” logging groups. The take from government and environmental allies by Campbell is just two of many, many transactions. $120 Million for the timber giant.
And there is much, much more. The Skunk Sniffer would like to find a knowledgeable source to help us unravel the amazing array of influence; lobbying and especially public funding this company has its Paul Bunyan hands into. What we need is somebody with facts, not simply the universal Mendocino County ability to ejaculate opinion on any subject, with no need for facts.
We will protect your name, but be warned, these guys are the 3000 pound gorilla of Mendocino County. And yes, they do seem nice.
Georgia Pacific was pretty good at trashing the forest. But Campbell can do that and also make everybody smile and give them grant and tax money. Who needs the timber wars when you can “cooperate” and cut all you want and get paid on both ends? Everybody now flogs the dead horse of GP as the villain of the county. You’ll never read an unkind word about either Campbell or the Mendocino Redwood Company in the corporate media. Somebody please tell us, just what is the big difference?
Campbell Timber, or Campbell-Hawthorne or the Campbell Group or whatever name they are using lately, is seriously throwing its weight around in Mendocino County. And, with more than just the anti-pot effort they are pushing through their cynical use of inspiring widow Madeline Melo. Jere Melo, a Campbell Security man, former GP employee and City Councilman, was senselessly murdered by maniac Aaron Bassler last summer.
Jere Melo wasn’t the kind to ask favors for his civic chores but others have no such reservations. The Jere Melo Foundation is a great way to get public money to clean up private timberlands. The do-nothing Congress even took up funding for this “emergency.” It makes marijuana into the sole villain of the forests, when in fact it was GP/Campbell that wrecked the environment and logged in a way that killed jobs and the future of the forest, replaced the lovely redwood canopy with impenetrable weed patches and opened up many sunny areas for Pampas Grass and pot cartels to take root.
Campbell seems to urge state and federal monies through many public-private groups it belongs to into pet projects, getting the government and naive environmentalist types to pay for stuff the logging company would have to pony up for otherwise. Campbell even provides a modest boast about its savvy with government on its website.
“The Campbell Group has excellent relationships with…the federal and state agencies that regulate timberland and forest management operations,’ the Website says.
How about some examples Ms. Skunk?
In 2007, the Redwood Forest Foundation Inc., purchased the Usal Redwood Forest, 50,000 logging-scarred acres of northern Mendocino County for about $70 million from Hawthorne Timber Company, a subsidiary managed by Campbell. This is land that would have been a liability to the timber company had they kept it. Clearcutting has created vast stands of brush, invasive species and slipshod logging roads that may cost more than the purchase price to maintain.
The same can be said for the $50 million + the company got from The Conservation Fund for more used up timber land in the south county. Permanently degraded forest for big bucks. TPZ zoned lands (nearly zero taxes) to tax free lands. A win-win for the 1 percent. Taxpayers also enriched these modern loggers from Georgia, as the Wildlife Conservation Board’s money made it all possible.
The company also occupies the old headquarters of Georgia-Pacific in Fort Bragg. Campbell is really just GP only topped by a frosting of PR and public posturing. Want further proof that Campbell is the reincarnation of ugly old Georgia Pacific? Check what is happening when Campbell went down to Georgia.
“The Campbell Group is now offering a timberland portfolio consisting of 62,400 acres of industrial timberland in Eastern Alabama and Western Georgia collectively known as the Cherokee Timberlands,” the company says on its website. Campbell is both Georgia and Pacific, with much of their 3 million acres found in California, Washington and Oregon, where the real corporate welfare is to be had.
Those Stars and Bars roots seem more visible when Campbell’s axes reach 7,000 miles down under. In Australia, hundreds of union timber workers stormed government offices to protest sales of state timberlands to Campbell. The government said free trade has created a situation where good paying jobs will simply be lost to outsiders. The lands were actually owned by the state and had been harvested sustainably before being sold off. Goodbye future!
Looking deeper, Campbell is nothing more than a Wall Street mutual fund, which buys and sells timber lands, using Hawthorne as a manager. The Campbell Group LLC is a private company but investment can be made in its bond sales or in “Old Mutuals,” the Wall Street fund it works under. If you are writing a master’s thesis on neo-feudalism, the Old Mutuals Asset Management website is a great place to start to find the new Lords of the earth.
There are 13 other funds bundled with Campbell. One can read all of them and their websites and if you don’t speak rich guy code, there is no specific information to be had.
For Example: “Larch Lane Advisors LLC is a New York based investment adviser specializing in the management of alternative investment portfolios.”
The Campbell website does have specifics and gives a long lesson, aimed at the 1 percent, on why Wall Street is much better at owning and selling timber than old fashioned timber companies.
“Over the last 30 years, a fundamental change has occurred in the ownership of a significant part of these commercial timberlands. Institutional investors, such as public and private pension funds, have purchased large tracts of timberlands from these forest products companies and, in turn, sold logs harvested from these lands back to the producers of forest products.”
TRANSLATION- The Lord will charge the peasant villages twice and won’t get dirty providing mills or jobs along the way.
“These investments have generally been made through private equity investments in limited partnerships, commingled funds, and insurance company separate accounts.”
TRANSLATION- Don’t try to find out who is really behind these companies. Suffice to say it is the Lord and Lady and the 99 percent should just get back to work.
“This trend is expected to accelerate as more forest products companies sell portions of their timberland in order to focus on their core business of forest product development and production. Timberland investment offers many attractive benefits to institutional investors including, risk/return payoff, portfolio diversification, and solid cash flows. The Campbell Group recognizes the importance of timberland as an investment, and creates value for its clients by acquiring and managing high-quality timberland investment properties to optimize financial return,” the Website says.
TRANSLATION- Maximum timber harvesting for quarterly profits will be done at all times to enrich the Lord. Land will then be sold and more land bought and decimated. The Lord will come and go all over the world, leaving a terrible scene behind and having zero responsibility for local economies or the local environment.
Born on Wall Street, with its hand in the public trough, should we be worried about this global conglomerate flexing its muscles in Fort Bragg? Would a bear rather take its proverbial dump in a forest clearcut by Campbell or GP?
Well, we will need your help to find out more about these questions. Please e-mail us at email@example.com.