SR Gap site of logging protest

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat
November 28, 1998
SR Gap site of logging protest
By B.W. ROSE
Staff Writer

Environmentalists demonstrated outside Gap and Banana Republic stores in Santa Rosa, Berkeley and San Francisco on Friday to protest redwood logging plans by the family that owns North Coast timberland as well as the chic clothing stores.

A couple dozen anti-logging activists picketed and collected petition signatures outside the Santa Rosa Plaza shopping mall while,! dozens demonstrated in Berkeley and in San Francisco's Union''; Square. North Coast environmentalists talists are trying to organize public pressure to force the Fisher family, founders and major shareholders ers in The Gap Inc., to swear off herbicides and clearcuts and to, cut fewer trees.

The Fisher family, which hag long had a reputation for funding environmental causes, about four months ago bought 235,000 acres of former Louisiana-Pacific timberland that stretches from northern Sonoma County to Big River along the Mendocino coast. They have pledged to reduce logging on the land and follow sustainable logging practices, but apparently it was not enough for anti-logging activists.

"The call for a boycott is a way* to get to the investors because they, do understand profit," said Imil Ferrara, a Mendocino County activist who collected petition signatures outside the Santa Rosa Mall. "We'll send the Fisher family the signatures to show that we are not just a few people who feel this way."

Another activist, Mischka Gerken of Mendocino County, said "it is OK that they own the land and it is OK that they want to log it, but we want to use this as an opportunity to do sustainable, renewable logging."

Bob Fisher, vice president of The Gap, said a family company called the Mendocino Redwood Co. intends to prove it can be environmentally sensitive at the same time It turns a profit at logging. The company is owned by Sansome Properties, which is the Investment arm of the Fisher family.

"My active interest and involvement in environmental issues is well known and long standing,'.' Fisher said in an open letter to environmentalists. "I view Mendocino Redwood as a chance to demonstrate that sustainable forestry and the operation of a successful business can both occur within the same company."

Much of the debate on the company's logging plans and the merits of the boycott has occurred on Web sites operated by the competing interests. The Mendocino Redwood Company urges consumers to contact the company's site (http://www.mendocinoredwoodco.com), while boycott organizers have established their point of "View elsewhere (http://www.elksoft.com/gwa).

Although The Gap Inc. also owns Old Navy Clothing as well as Banana Republic, anti-logging activists said they focused their protests Friday on Gap stores because they are the most widely known among c lothing consumers. No protesters appeared at Old Navy Clothing at the Santa Rosa Marketplace or at The Gap's outlet at the Petaluma outlet mall.




The Santa Rosa Press Democrat
November 27, 1998
Activists boycott Gap

SACRAMENTO - What might have been another local round in Mendocino County's timber wars has grown into an unlikely national boycott of three clothing stores - The Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy - as environmentalists try to pressure the new owners of 350 square miles of timberland.

Today, the heaviest shopping day of the year, environmentalists plan to protest how the family that founded The Gap manages land it bought just four months ago from Louisiana-Pacific Corp.

Organized rapidly in cyberspace, the boycott will include a rally in front of The Gap store in San Francisco's Union Square and pickets from Santa Rosa to Chicago to New York. North Coast environmentalists say they want the Fisher family, founders and major shareholders in The Gap Inc., to swear off herbicides and clearcuts and cut fewer trees.

But the family says it bought the land and two sawmills in part to show that a timber company can be environmentally sensitive. They say they intend to have their logging practices certified as sustainable from an independent team of experts.



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