Lumber company wants to sell 29,000 acres redwoods in NorCal |

Lumber company wants to sell 29,000 acres redwoods in NorCal

EUREKA, Calif. (AP) ” A lumber company struggling to emerge from bankruptcy is seeking permission to sell land that is home to some of the state’s most majestic redwood stands.

Pacific Lumber Co. has asked a U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Texas for permission to sell nearly 29,000 acres of Northern California redwood forest and to continue logging the rest.

A statement seeking approval of the 102-page proposal was made public Monday by Pacific Lumber President George O’Brien.

“This plan saves a 140-year-old company and creates a viable forest products enterprise that can provide excellent long-term jobs,” O’Brien said.

The company asked for court protection from creditors in January. It wasn’t able to make payments on about $714 million in bonds ” a holdover from debt accrued by Houston financier Charles Hurwitz, who bought the company in 1986.

Environmentalists, who pitched a battle in the 1990s to preserve the trees, now are afraid Hurwitz will use the bankruptcy to break out of logging restrictions Pacific Lumber had agreed to in a 1998 deal.

It will be up to the Bankruptcy Court Judge Richard Schmidt to decide whether to accept Pacific Lumber’s plan or let bondholders propose their own solution for dealing with the lands.

A hearing is scheduled before Schmidt on Oct. 23, in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press.

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