Recently Forests Forever and allies successfully fought off attempts by the California lumber retailers lobby to siphon off millions of dollars from a new revenue stream that had been set up to fund timber harvest inspections. The vital inspections help keep logging companies accountable and compliant with environmental rules.
Yet despite the clear intention for the use of these funds, the monies still have not been fully released for the protection of watersheds. Without further action the funds could well be misdirected.
The issue arose last year when California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 1492, which restores funds Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had taken away from timber harvest inspections conducted by the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (DFW).
Forests Forever campaigned successfully to restore the funding - we could not have done it without you! - and A.B. 1492 provided full funding for the DFW's Timberland Conservation Program.
Help us continue to keep California's timber harvest watchdogs in place!
But AB 1492 did more than just give Californians back their timber harvest reviews; it paved the way for funding two forestry pilot projects that conservationists have long been clamoring for. Overseen by the state's Board of Forestry, the projects would develop and refine ways of reducing logging-caused pollution and restoring ravaged forest ecosystems across entire watersheds.
To assure that those projects receive full financial support, please contact Russell Henly, newly appointed by Brown as Assistant Secretary of Forest Resources Management at the California Natural Resources Agency. Urge Henly to ensure that the pilot projects proceed as planned. Similarly, tell the state's Board of Equalization that timber harvest inspections and environmental monitoring must receive steady, reliable funding, as A.B. 1492 intended.
The sooner these agencies act, the sooner fish, wildlife and forest communities will rebound from having taken a beating for decades.
FORESTS FOREVER published an educational feature on the need for internet posting of timber harvest plans and on cumullative watershed effects in its Summer 2009 newsletter. To read it click here and go to the article starting on page three.
We also ran a profile of Forests Forever Advisory Council member Richard Gienber, a respected watershed restorationist, in our 2010 newsletter. Click here and go to page six.