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Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) / Headwaters Court Cases Collection

Collection Number


Contact Information

The University Library, Special Collections
Cal Poly Humboldt
One Harpst Street
Arcata CA 95521

Processed by

Kathryn LaSala, MLIS

Date Collection Processed




Collection Creator

Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC)

Dates Covered by Collection

1944-2005 (inclusive)
1990-1999 (bulk)

Size of Collection

42 Cubic feet; 35 boxes


This collection is the product of a series of court cases filed by the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC), Sierra Club, and United Steelworkers of America during the 1990s and early 2000s against Pacific Lumber Company (PALCO)/Maxxam.  The litigation in these cases focused on the environmental effects of PALCO’s logging practices around what is now the Headwaters Forest Reserve in Humboldt County, California. The bulk of the collection consists of evidentiary documents provided by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) and the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) for the court case EPIC v. CDF, et. al. The strengths of this collection are materials that relate to local endangered species such as the Northern Spotted Owl, the Marbled Murrelet, and the Coho Salmon, as well as affected watersheds including the Bear/Mattole River, Eel River, Van Duzen River, Yager Creek, Freshwater Creek, and Humboldt Bay.


Open for research by appointment


Copyright has not been assigned to Cal Poly Humboldt. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce in any format please contact the Special Collections Librarian.

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated in 2012 by EPIC to the Cal Poly Humboldt Library’s Special Collections.

Biographical Information

From EPIC’s website, (retrieved 03/28/2013):

The Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) is a community based, non-profit organization that works to protect and restore forests, watersheds, coastal estuaries, and native species in Northern California. EPIC was founded in 1977 when local residents came together to successfully end aerial applications of herbicides by industrial logging companies in Humboldt County.

Our work played a pivotal role in bringing the plight of the Headwaters Forest to the world’s attention during the 1990s. Three of the six groves in Headwaters Forest are now in public hands and EPIC continues to pursue actions to preserve the forests left unprotected as part of the infamous Headwaters Deal.

The Headwaters Forest Agreement, also known as the “Headwaters Deal,” resulted in the purchase of 7,472 acres of forest lands from PALCO at the cost of $380 million dollars in public funds. The forest, located approximately 6 miles southeast of Eureka, California, has been classified as a reserve and is under the stewardship of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Scope and Content

The majority of the EPIC/Headwaters Court Cases Collection consists of evidentiary materials used in the EPIC v. CDF, et. al. case, referred to as the “Administrative Record.” Types of documents found within the Administrative Record include: Timber Harvest Plans (THP), Habitat Conservation Plans (HCP), Sustained Yield Plans (SYP), reports, letters, memos, official comments, permits, maps, schedules, emails, findings, transcripts, public notices, payments, errata, newspaper articles, magazine articles, and non-technical journal articles. All documents in the Administrative Record fall into the following 12 categories, taken verbatim from the collection’s set of indexes:

  • Materials submitted by PALCO relating to project application
  • Documents relating to CEQA compliance and project approval
  • CEQA Findings and Statement of Overriding Consideration, including DFG/CDF staff reports, written testimony, and documents by anyone else
  • Transcripts or minutes of public hearings on the EIR or any CEQA document and any Headwaters permits/approvals
  • Notices issued by DFG and CDF regarding CEQA compliance and issuance of the permits/approvals
  • Written comments on the EIR or any CEQA documents
  • Final CEQA documents and permit decisions including documents cited and relied upon by the CEQA Findings or any Statements of Overriding Considerations
  • Drafts of environmental documents or portions thereof released for public view
  • Internal agency communications and staff notes relating to the project or CEQA
  • Documents to which none of the Administration Record categories apply
  • Documents relied upon in any environmental document for the project
  • Written evidence or correspondence to or from DFG/CDF regarding CEQA compliance or the permits/approvals

The set of seven indexes that follow the Administrative Record are organized by these 12 categories. The first index serves as a general index to the entire Administrative Record. The remaining six indexes each relate to a specific decision that resulted from one of the Headwaters court cases.

The collection also includes the legal documentation and some evidentiary materials related to subsequent court cases filed by EPIC, The Sierra Club, and United Steelworkers of America against CDF after the conclusion of the Headwaters Forest Agreement. Documents in this section are primarily copies of evidence used in the previous court cases with some additional materials that were received and/or created at a later date. Types of materials include: Incidental Take Permit (ITP), deposition testimonies, notices of conformance, official responses to findings, reports, official comments, and legal documents.

Arrangement of Collection

The EPIC/Headwaters Court Cases Collection is arranged into three series: Administrative Record, Indexes, and Supplemental Materials from Subsequent Cases. Series distinctions were made from the order of materials as they were donated.

Documents that comprise the Administrative Record series were arranged and assigned Bates numbers by D-M Information Systems, Inc., a litigation support service based out of Davis, California, that primarily assists in the document management process for large court cases. Materials that were received from CDF were given a Bates number with a CDF prefix. Materials that were received from DFG were given a Bates number with a DFG prefix.

The Indexes series is a set of  seven indexes created by D-M Information Systems, Inc. as a way to access the documents in series one after the Bates number had been affixed. Users of this collection will need to refer to the Indexes series first in order to identify and locate specific documents. Each index is divided into 12 categories. Within each category, documents are organized by date from earliest to most recent.

The first two series of the collection were originally housed in a large set of binders. During the processing stage, the decision was made to remove the binders and re-house materials into acid-free folders. Kept in original order, materials were transferred into archival folders and given the exact label as found on the original binder.  In most cases, the extensive size of each binder (500+ pages) required that materials be divided into multiple folders. When this occurred, all subsequent folders were given the exact heading of the originating binder along with an indication of extent (e.g. 1 of 3, 2 of 3, etc.). If no label was available, the collection’s processor created one following the prescribed format of labels on binders with similar content.

Documents in the Supplemental Materials for Subsequent Cases series were gathered and loosely assembled into two groups by EPIC. Lacking a formal arrangement system, materials were divided into acid-free folders by the collection’s processor, but left in the order in which they were donated. A general heading was assigned to each group and each set of folders were numbered sequentially.

Container List

Series: Administrative Record

Box 1
CDF/100001 — CDF/103500
Box 2
CDF/102802 — CDF/106999
Box 3
CDF/106301 — CDF/109801
Box 4
CDF/109802 — CDF/113311
Box 5
CDF/112602 — CDF/116812
Box 6
CDF/116113 — CDF/119608
Box 7
CDF/119609 — CDF/123174
Box 8
CDF/122474 — CDF/126679
Box 9
CDF/125979 — CDF/129483
Box 10
CDF/129484 — CDF/132988
Box 11
CDF/132288 — CDF/136493
Box 12
CDF/135793 — CDF/137304
DFG/100001 — DFG/102123
Box 13
DFG/102124 — DFG/105601
Box 14
DFG/104904 — DFG/109099
Box 15
DFG/108404 — DFG/111907
Box 16
DFG/111908 — DFG/115425
Box 17
DFG/114723 — DFG/118924
Box 18
DFG/118230 — DFG/121733
Box 19
DFG/121734 — DFG/125287
Box 20
DFG/124532 — DFG/128805
Box 21
DFG/128093 — DFG/131616
Box 22
DFG/131616 — DFG/135158
DFG/134458 — DFG/138625
Box 24
CDF/120208-001 — CDF/122390-046 [with gaps]
[DFG/105228-001] — DFG/120432 (with gaps)
PDFG/200000-001 — PDFG/200450 (with gaps)
Box 25
PDFG/200451—PDFG/205726 (with gaps)
Box 26
PDFG/205366—PDFG/206137 (with gaps)

Series: Indexes

Box 26
EPIC v. CDF, et al., Administrative Record, cat. 1-12
Box 27
EPIC v. CDF, et al., Administrative Record, cat. 12-supplement
USWA v. CDF, CDF-SYP [decision], sec. 1-11
Box 28
USWA v. CDF, CDF-SYP [decision], sec. 11-12
EPIC v. CDF, CDF-SYP [decision], sec. 1-12
Box 29
EPIC v. CDF, CDF-SYP [decision], sec. 12
EPIC v. CDF, CDF-CEQA [decision], sec. 1-12
EPIC v. CDF, DFG-1600 [decision], sec. 1-12
Box 30
EPIC v. CDF, DFG-1600 [decision], sec. 12
Sustained Yield Plan (SYP), SYP/000003 — SYP/002611
Box 31
EPIC v. CDF, DFG-ITP [decision], sec. 1-12
EPIC v. CDF, DFG-CEQA [decision], sec. 1-12

Series: Supplemental Materials for Subsequent Cases

Box 32
[Transmittal of Exhibits], folders 1-14
Box 33
[Transmittal of Exhibits], folders 15-27
Box 34
Submission of documents to the court pursuant to the second case, folders 1-14
Box 35
Submission of documents to the court pursuant to the second case, folders 15-21


“Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC)”, Humboldt County Pamphlet Collection, Humboldt State University Library.

Devall, B. (1999). Bioregion on the edge.[S.l. : s.n.] (GE43 D48 1999)

Dunning, J. (1998). From the redwood forest: Ancient trees and the bottom line: A headwaters journey. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Pub. Co. (SD387 O43 D86 1998)

Harris, D. (1997). The last stand: the war between wall street and main street over California's ancient redwoods. San Francisco, CA: Sierra Club Books. (HD9759.P3 H37 1997)

Widick, R. (2009). Trouble in the forest: California's redwood timber wars. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. (SD387 O43 W532 2009)

Related Works

Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) Collection [unprocessed]
Californians for Alternatives to Toxics (CATs) Collection [unprocessed]

Subject Headings

Coho salmon
Eel River (Calif.)
Headwaters Forest Wilderness (Calif.)
Logging--California--Humboldt County
Logging--California--Headwaters Forest Wilderness
Logging--Environmental aspects--California.
Marbled murrelet
Mattole River (Calif.)
Northern spotted owl
Old growth forest conservation
Redwoods--California--Humboldt County
Sustainable forestry
Van Duzen River (Calif.)

Corporate Names

Environmental Protection Information Center
Maxxam (Firm)
Pacific Lumber Company
Sierra Club
United Steelworkers of America