Quincy, a northern California logging town, was in deep distress. From bullet holes in an office window to near misses from swerving logging trucks, the environmental community and the timber industry were at war. Lower timber harvests, job losses, and less revenue to run county governments added to the frustration and animosity.
A handful of Quincy leaders decided that their small community would be different from so many others locked in similar controversies. Three men—an elected county supervisor, a timber company executive, and an environmental lawyer—met at the town library to talk. It was "the only neutral place we could think of, and once there, we knew we had to keep our voices down," said one. They decided to create the Quincy Library Group (QLG), now a 30-member, citizen-based committee that bases its ideas on sound technical information, a broad political base, and local participation.
The QLG focuses on Lassen, Plumas, and Sierra Counties in northeastern California, which are primarily federal lands. Like Quincy, the region is heavily dependent on the logging industry.