STATE FOREST BILL GOES TO GOVERNOR!
A bill Forests Forever has supported from the first has been passed
by the state legislature and now needs only the governor’s
signature to become law.
The State Forest System Reform Act (SB 1648) sponsored by Sen. Wesley
Chesbro (D-Arcata) would change the official purpose of California’s
eight taxpayer-owned forests– chief among them 50,000-acre
Jackson State Forest in Mendocino County– to include restoration
logging, education, recreation, and research as well as timber production.
In addition to giving equal consideration to other forest uses besides
timber extraction, the bill would limit clearcutting in Jackson
Forest to projects "for specific research purposes," prohibit
logging groups of trees alive before 1850, and protect 11 groves
of old-growth trees totaling 459 acres.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has not yet revealed whether he plans
to sign or veto the bill. Timber interests and the California Department
of Forestry will be working to see that the bill doesn’t become
law. Please write to the governor and urge him to sign SB 1648,
the State Forest System Reform Act.
There is a sample letter below. If you prefer, you can visit the
website of the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest
and send an email to the governor:
For more background on the history of the Jackson Forest campaign,
and Forests Forever’s involvement in it, visit: www.forestsforever.org/jacksonpage.html
Dear Gov. Schwarzenegger:
I strongly urge you to sign SB 1648, the State Forest System Reform
Sponsored by Sen. Wesley Chesbro (D-Arcata), this bill would change
the official purpose of California’s eight taxpayer-owned
forests– chief among them 50,000-acre Jackson State Forest
in Mendocino County– to include restoration logging, education,
recreation, and research as well as timber production. The bill
also contains protections for our fast-disappearing old growth.
SB 1648 would bring management of our state forests into the twenty-first
century. It will update legislation created in 1947 when there were
vast virgin forests and many fewer people in California.
This bill provides for a sensible balance among multiple uses of
our public forests. It will also end the public dissension and legal
stalemate that has halted all forest operations in Jackson Forest
for four years. SB 1648 will put our public forest back to work,
while protecting the environment and other public values.
By signing this bill into law, you will be preserving the state
forests of California for future generations.
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