Forest Forever-sponsored measure passes Assembly!
Urge your Senator to vote YES on A.B. 380!
Despite the ongoing budget crunch in Sacramento, a vital piece of forestry reform legislation received a resounding 79-0 vote of approval by the full Assembly on May 31 and now is headed to the Senate!
With strong momentum behind it, A.B. 380 — the Forests Forever-sponsored Comprehensive Forest Land Recovery and Restoration Act authored by Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro (D-North Coast) — garnered a unanimous 17-0 vote in the Assembly's Appropriations Committee before going to the floor.
It's a good time to celebrate a rare win for forest activists!
Even so, the bill has scarcely reached the halfway mark so far. And floor votes in the Senate are often unpredictable. Passage of A.B. 380 in that chamber cannot be taken for granted!
To guide the bill to victory in the Senate, your immediate help is needed!
That the bill has come so far so quickly is a welcome relief, following a worrisome stall in the Assembly.
In early May, after sailing through two key committees unopposed, A.B. 380 hit a snag in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. There it was alleged to have a significant impact on the state budget and as a result was placed into the committee's suspense file, a kind of limbo for legislation.
Fortunately, thanks to a strong show of support from constituents of the various committee members and the general public—including many supporters of Forests Forever— Assembly Appropriations Committee Chair Felipe Fuentes (D-Sylmar) yanked the bill from suspense and put it to a vote, resulting in its unanimous approval in his committee.
Now with A.B. 380 headed to the Senate, your state Senator needs to hear from you!
The stronger the show of support, the likelier it will sail through the committee process unimpeded and ultimately on to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk for his signature.
Tell your Senator that passage of A.B. 380 will save the state in both dollars and resources. Healthy forest ecosystems lower the costs of water treatment, prevent loss of habitat, and are a boon to healthy economies such as tourism, recreation and sustainable forestry jobs.
1. Contact your California state Senator about A.B. 380. Ask his or her support for this vital measure to protect anadromous fish and their habitat. As a floor vote looms, your letters and calls can help them make the right decision!
Senators' names, districts and contact information can be located via the California State Senate Internet portal.
2. Write, fax, or call Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. Urge him to back A.B. 380 and help move it through the Senate and on to the Governor's desk. Let Steinberg 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 productivity of forestlands.
State Capitol, Room 205
Sacramento, CA 95814
Tel: (916) 651-4006
Fax: (916) 323-2263
1020 N Street, #576
Sacramento, CA 95814
Tel: (916) 651-1529
Fax: (916) 327-8754
Email Sen. Steinberg here (District 6 constituents only).
3. Thank Assembly Appropriations Committee Chair Felipe Fuentes (D-Sylmar) for taking A.B. 380 out of the committee's suspense and allowing members to say yea or nay. Fortunately they all said yea! Letter, fax, or call:
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0039
9300 Laurel Canyon Blvd.
Arleta, CA 91331-4314
Email Assemblymember Fuentes here.
4. Contact Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro and thank him for introducing A.B. 380. Let him know you support his plan to focus pilot projects on the vital task of restoring forested watershed in California.
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0001
Tel: (916) 319-2001
Fax: (916) 319-2101
|Humboldt (Also represents Del Norte
and Trinity Counties.):
710 E Street, Suite 150
Eureka, CA 95501
Tel: (707) 445-7014
Fax: (707) 445-6607
|Mendocino & Lake:
311 N. State Street
Ukiah, CA 95482
Tel: (707) 463-5770
Fax: (707) 463-5773
50 "D" Street,
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Tel: (707) 576-2526
Fax: (707) 576-2297
Email Assemblymember Chesbro here.
A.B. 380 focuses on two pilot projects authorized under the Anadromous Salmonid Protection Rule adopted by the Board of Forestry (BOF) in September 2009. As of this writing the projects are already in the beginning stages of launch by the California Dept. of Forestry (CDF).
But according to Appropriations Committee Analyst Jay Dickerson, the state Dept. of Fish and Game (DFG) has put forth an estimate of its costs in helping to implement the measure at upwards of $1 million. Yet Dickerson admits this estimate may be exaggerated and says the exact costs of the projects are unknown.
"The bill could result in additional General Fund costs of an unknown amount, possibly in the tens of thousands of dollars," says Dickerson. But he adds that CDF "indicates it could absorb those costs with existing budget resources."
The fact is the pilot projects are already underway! A.B. 380 would codify an undertaking that the BOF has already begun and agreed to fund. The bill’s chief value lies in clarifying and locking in— through its enactment as statute— the projects’ aims as being a proper assessment of cumulative watershed effects, as well as greatly reducing the chances that BOF or CDF could later dilute or sideline the projects.
Your letters and calls to Fuentes and other members of the Appropriations Committee can help!
If Californians are to take seriously their responsibility for restoring and safeguarding their salmon and steelhead habitat, everyone from the landowners to the loggers to the regulators must start paying attention to the accumulating impacts from an ever-increasing number of logging projects spreading across watersheds.
Forested mountains and valleys are becoming patchworks of clearcuts and other logging projects that carve up habitats, leaving behind roads, silt, debris, clogged streams, and precious few salmon and steelhead spawning grounds.
The measure will assure that the CDF's pilot projects actually do what the Forest Practice Rules already call for: quantifying the cumulative effects of logging in watersheds containing salmon runs, and taking effective steps in addressing those effects.
“A.B. 380 would nail down the pilot projects, writing them into the law books,” said Paul Hughes, executive director of Forests Forever. “This would not only remove CDF’s discretion to kill or weaken the projects, but also would help assure that their main purpose – addressing watershed-scale cumulative effects of logging – doesn’t drift off course.”