EUREKA -- Chris Heppe climbed the trail at Headwaters Forest as sunlight streamed through the towering redwood trees.
Moisture glistened off a carpet of ferns. The only sound was the bubbling of a nearby stream.
"See that?'' he said, pointing to blue paint on an immense redwood 20 feet around and 1,000 years old. "That means it was going to be harvested. Cut down. But they never got to it."
Ten years ago this week, the state and federal government spent $480 million to buy 7,472 acres from Pacific Lumber and other landowners to create the Headwaters Forest Reserve six miles south of Eureka. The deal ended one of the most bitter environmental conflicts in California history, pitting blue-collar loggers 1986 to 2008 Headwaters Forest timeline against tree-sitters in dreadlocks, and establishing Pacific Lumber owner Charles Hurwitz as the greatest eco-villian for U.S. environmental groups since the Exxon Valdez's Capt. Joseph Hazelwood.
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