Wed., May 19, the California Assembly’s
Committee on Appropriations will hold
a key hearing on A.B. 2575,
the “Comprehensive Forest
Land Recovery and Restoration Act.”
in February by Assemblymember Wesley
Chesbro (D-North Coast), Chair of
the Natural Resources Committee, A.B.
2575 advanced in that panel in April
on a vote of 6-0.
as the powerful Appropriations Committee
takes up the matter, swift passage
there is imperative. As countless
legislators have discovered over the
years, hundreds of bills end up in
the committee’s suspense file,
where they often languish and die.
immediate goal now is to keep A.B.
2575 alive and headed for a full Assembly
floor vote. Your emails and calls
today to Appropriations Committee
members will help immeasurably.
2575 focuses on two proposed pilot
watershed projects to be conducted
by the California Dept. of Forestry
(CDF) to evaluate and respond
to the cumulative impacts of multiple
timber harvests in a single watershed
reform is imperative if California
is serious about restoring and safeguarding
its salmon and steelhead habitat.
the recent steep decline in anadromous
fish runs shows, forest health cannot
be protected on a project-by-project
basis. The state must evaluate
timber harvest plans (THPs) cumulatively
– but up to now has failed to
work out a reliable, agreed-upon methodology
for doing so.
A.B. 2575, pilot projects will use
site-specific, or non-standard, operational
methods to measure and minimize cumulative
impacts, allowing restoration to proceed.
Forever is the organizational sponsor
of A.B. 2575.
way past due for California to take
on dealing with cumulative impacts
on California forestlands,”
says Forests Forever Advisory Council
member Richard Gienger. “A good
process would not only reduce impacts
from individual THPs, it would also
inform landowners, agencies, and public
and private watershed restoration
interests about where the most effective
work could be done to recover listed
fish and wildlife species, reduce
fuel hazards, prevent erosion, improve
silvicultural conditions, and realize
these and other distinct benefits
for the economy and the community.”
of the Assembly John
A. Pérez as well as members
of the Appropriations Committee.
Urge them to support this important
piece of forestry reform legislation.
Let them know you
agree that evaluating and addressing
the cumulative impacts of multiple
timber harvests in a watershed over
time is crucial to protecting
watershed health, endangered species,
public safety, and the long-term economic
value of timberlands.
Also contact your
Assemblymember and urge him or her
to back A.B. 2575. It is especially
important to reach conservation-minded
Assemblymembers serving on the Appropriations
Committee. These include:
find your Assemblymember and contact
information, visit the California
State Assembly Internet portal at
formulated A.B. 2575 in large part
to dovetail with final regulations
adopted last September by the Board
of Forestry (BOF).
BOF regulations govern commercial
timber harvests on watersheds where
anadromous fish species have been
designated as threatened or endangered.
The rules require the BOF and CDF
to work with other agencies, stakeholders,
and appropriate scientific participants
in a “transparent process to
describe and implement two pilot projects
to address cumulative watershed impacts.”
strong emphasis in A.B. 2575 on assessing
the cumulative impacts of
multiple logging projects in a watershed
over time is a key forestry reform
long sought by Forests Forever.
bill would require the CDF to start
really making use of cumulative impact
data,” said Forests Forever
Legislative Advocate Luke Breit. “And,
as pilot projects often become
the law of the land, this could
have a huge impact on how logging
is carried out throughout the state.”
the Chesbro bill puts it, “A
good cumulative effects process can
provide the information necessary
to restore and recover fish and wildlife
populations, to improve the quality
and quantity of timber, to take actions
to reduce fire hazards, to sequester
carbon, to produce energy, and to
create jobs in taking on these vitally
addition, A.B. 2575 would compel
the CDF to ensure that its pilot projects
balance public, industry and agency
involvement. In the past, the
public has been effectively shut out.
that end, the act would require
the CDF to post all electronically
available timber harvest plans online
for easy access to the public as well
as agencies and timber operators.