Forests Forever

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Forests Forever Action Alerts

8/30/05

TELL THE GOVERNOR TO SIGN SB744 AND PUT THPS ONLINE!

Public access to timber harvest plans could soon become much easier.

SB 744, introduced by state Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica), requires the California Board of Forestry to make timber harvesting plans (THPs) available on the internet. It has been passed by both houses of the state legislature.

The measure now rests on the governor's desk, waiting for him to sign it.

Making THPs available on the internet would greatly improve public access, making it much easier for concerned citizens to find and comment on them. Currently THPs are processed exclusively on paper, making dissemination of this information slow and cumbersome. Copies of these paper THPs are not readily accessible to the public.

The bill also would help ease the paperwork burden on the California Department of Forestry (CDF). It is especially appropriate that a process concerned with logging should help forests by using less paper. The CDF cranks out between 800 and 1,200 timber harvest plans a year, all processed on paper.

Making public access easier increases the transparency of government processes, and benefits everyone- except those who would prefer to have their plans become reality without public scrutiny. Not surprisingly, the timber lobby has been fighting to defeat this measure.

"All of Forests Forever's supporters who wrote letters on this bill in recent weeks deserve a hearty thank-you," Hughes said. "But there's one more letter to write. Let's finish the job."

WHAT YOU CAN DO

SB 744 now needs only the governor's signature to become law. The governor has not indicated publicly whether he intends to sign the bill. It will take a strong push to get his attention and support for this important, long-overdue reform.

Please write to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and ask him to sign Sen. Kuehl's SB 744, a bill to make timber harvest plans available to the public on the internet.

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear Gov. Schwarzenegger:

In this age of instant communication it is easy to keep government processes open and accessible by the public.

Sen. Kuehl's bill, SB 744, has passed both the Assembly and Senate. The bill requires that timber harvest plans be made available online by the state Board of Forestry and Fire Protection. The current, paper-only process is burdensome, unnecessarily costly, and difficult for the public to access.

Making timber harvest plans available on the internet ensures that they are easily available for review by concerned citizens.

Please sign Sen. Sheila Kuehl's SB 744.

Thank you.

Respectfully,

[Your name]
[Your address]

IF YOU CAN, PLEASE FAX YOUR LETTER TO THE GOVERNOR AT: (916) 445-4633.

OR GIVE HIM A CALL AT: (916) 445-2841.

Or you can mail it to him at the following address:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814

 

Forests Forever:
Their Ecology, Restoration, and Protection
by
John J. Berger

NOW AVAILABLE
from Forests Forever Foundation
and the Center for American Places