Vanity Fair contributor arrested sneaking into Bohemian GrovePhillip Matier, Andrew Ross
San Francisco Chronicle
Jul. 17, 2008
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In the woods: Vanity Fair contributor Alex Shoumatoff faces trespassing charges after apparently trying to sneak into the famous, rich and powerful Bohemian Club's annual retreat over the weekend.
For more than a century, the club has been hosting its secretive summertime retreats up at the 2,700-acre Bohemian Grove.
The party atmosphere, however, has been tempered of late by the club's battle with a fourth-generation member, John "Jock" Hooper, who resigned in 2004 over the Bohemian plan to harvest oak and fir trees from its wilderness.
The club insists the logging would thin no more than 1.5 percent of its second-growth trees, and that the idea is to protect the grove's beloved redwoods from fires like the ones now raging around the state.
But Hooper doesn't buy it, and is fighting the club's cutting plan before the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
When Hooper enlisted the help of former Harvard classmate Shoumatoff to write about the harvesting controversy, the club fought back by hiring San Francisco PR man Sam Singer - last heard spinning the San Francisco Zoo's side of the tiger-mauling story - to launch a counterattack.
First, Singer branded Hooper as a hypocrite for running a logging operation that cut 5 percent of the conifer trees from a farm he owns in Mendocino County.