A new forestry-reform
bill in Sacramento could have major
repercussions in the way logging is
conducted in California, closing
the most glaring failure of the Forest
Practice Act. Should the measure
become law, its impact could reverberate
across the state’s forests and
watersheds for decades.
Forests cannot be protected on
a project-by-project basis as
the Board of Forestry has vainly attempted
to do for so long. For the well-being
of wildlife, watersheds, communities
and forest-dependent industries, the
state must evaluate logging projects
cumulatively which is just what
Assembly Bill 2575
The bill focuses on two groundbreaking
pilot projects to be conducted by
the California Dept. of Forestry (CDF)
to develop and refine sound techniques
for quantitatively assessing the effects
of logging operations on soil,
air, water, wildlife and climate,
and to protect and repair salmon and
It would enhance public participation
in timber harvests, watershed management
and salmon restoration.
bill to pass, it needs an outpouring
of public support. It needs your backing.
Action is needed immediately.
On Monday, Apr. 19, the California
Assemblys Committee on Natural Resources
is scheduled to hold a hearing on
A.B. 2575, the Comprehensive Forest
Land Recovery and Restoration Act,
introduced in February by Assemblymember
Wesley Chesbro (D-North Coast), the
newly appointed chair of the committee
Forests Forever is the organizational
sponsor of the bill, and helped to
develop it along with forest policy
expert and Forests Forever Advisory
Council member Richard Gienger.
Write, call, fax, or email Assemblymember
Wesley Chesbro (Assemblymember.Chesbro@assembly.ca.gov)
— or leave him a message online
— and thank him for introducing
this important piece of legislation.
Let him 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.
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0001
Tel: (916) 319-2001
Fax: (916) 319-2101
(Also represents Del Norte and
710 E Street, Suite 150
Eureka, CA 95501
Tel: (707) 445-7014
Fax: (707) 445-6607
& Lake Office
311 N. State Street
Ukiah, CA 95482
Tel: (707) 463-5770
Fax: (707) 463-5773
50 "D" Street, Suite
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Tel: (707) 576-2526
Fax: (707) 576-2297
Also contact your local Assemblymember
and urge him or her to back A.B. 2575
either when it comes before them in
committee, or when the bill is considered
by the full chamber.
To find your Assemblymember
and contact information, visit the
California State Assembly Internet
portal at http://www.assembly.ca.gov/
The 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
Chesbro formulated A.B. 2575 in large
part to dovetail with final regulations
adopted last September by the Board
of Forestry (BOF).
The 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.
This 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.
As 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 important tasks.
In 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.
Toward 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.