The headwaters deal paid 480 million to the Maxxam corporation and created a new permit called the "Incidental Take Permit". The Incidental Take Permit (ITP) is part of the Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and Sustained Yield Plan (SYP) for all timberland owned by Maxxam's Pacific Lumber Company. The benign sounding HCP is actually an environmentally devastating loophole in the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that allows PL/Maxxam to legally kill endangered species such as the Marbled Murralett, Northern Spotted Owl, and Salmon. Roadless pristine places such as Mattole, Nanning Creek, and Demonstration Forest have now become open game. Maxxam has since been racing to cut these areas, despite a court order to stop.
The storms of December 2002 have dramatically exposed the failure of the Headwaters Deal signed in 1999. The devastation to the environment has been immense. The HCP does nothing to conserve habitat or protect endangered species. The HCP however, has been shown to be much more effective at protecting Maxxam/Pacific Lumber's profit margin. Environmental degradation, lost species, lost heritage, lost safety and lost health is the price paid by salmon fisheries, private property owners, Humboldt County residents and taxpayers.