NEARLY THERE: OAK WOODLANDS AND HERITAGE TREE BILLS MOVE ON!
Two bills Forests Forever has supported from the beginning are going
into the home stretch in the Assembly.
The Oak Woodlands Protection Act
The Oak Woodlands Conservation Act, Senate Bill 1334 (formerly SB
711), sponsored by state Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica) would
help protect California’s remaining oak forests. Currently,
no laws exist to mitigate the removal of oaks. Senate Bill 1334
would require counties with an oak woodlands management plan to
include provisions for replacing oaks or restoring oak habitat.
The bill provides several ways this might be accomplished, including
restoration of oak woodlands, purchasing conservation easements,
or contribution to the Oak Woodlands Conservation Fund.
The bill is scheduled to come before the Assembly Appropriations
Committee on Aug. 4. After passing this committee, the bill will
go to a floor vote. Powerful pro-development interests have been
opposed to this bill all along, and passage will not be easy.
The Oak Woodlands Protection bill has been amended several times
in its passage through the legislature, but even as amended it is
well worth supporting, since it would provide additional tools for
protecting oaks and restoring oak habitat.
The Heritage Tree Preservation Act
The Heritage Tree Preservation Act (SB 754) by Sen. Don Perata (D-Oakland)
would ban the cutting of California’s last old-growth trees,
defined as trees that meet species-specific diameters and were alive
in 1850, California’s first year of statehood.
The bill would protect selected species– coast redwoods, giant
sequoias, Port Orford cedars, douglas-firs and hardwoods–
on non-federal forestland. This includes land owned by major timber
California has already lost over 97 percent of its ancient trees,
some of which are more than 2,000 years old.
The bill is now in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, and is
scheduled for a hearing on August 4.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Forests Forever has pushed for passage of the Oak Woodlands bill
since November 2003. We have supported the Heritage Tree Preservation
Act since its inception– one of our board members wrote virtually
all of the initial bill.
Now we are in sight of victory. But timber and development interests
remain fiercely opposed. Your phone calls, letters, and e-mails
are needed to help push these bills past the opposition.
We are asking our supporters to contact two influential assemblymembers,
Joseph Canciamilla (D-Pittsburg) and John Dutra (D-Fremont), and
urge them to do everything in their power to pass the Heritage Tree
Preservation Act, SB 754, and the Oak Woodlands Protection Act,
Write to Assemblymember Judy Chu, Chair of the Assembly Appropriations
Committee and urge her to vote YES on both SB 754 and SB 1334.
Also, please contact the assemblymember from your district and tell
him or her to actively support both SB 1334 and SB 754.
Assemblymember Judy Chu, Chair, Assembly Appropriations Committee,
Rm. 2114, State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814. Fax: 916/319-2181.
Phone numbers and e-mail addresses for members of the Assembly Appropriations
Committee can be found on the California Assembly website at:
You can find information on how to contact Canciamilla, Dutra, and
all other members of the Assembly at:
RE: Support SB 754 and SB 1334
Dear Assemblymember ____________________:
I urge you to vote YES on both SB 754, the Heritage Tree Preservation
Act, and the Oak Woodlands Protection Act, SB 1334.
Senate Bill 754 protects our oldest and largest trees, which have
become a symbol of California to people around the world. The bill
bans the cutting of California Heritage Trees, defined as those
trees on non-federal forestland that were alive in 1850 and meet
species-specific diameter requirements. Please support SB 754, because
once these trees are gone, they are gone forever.
Senate Bill 1334, The Oak Woodlands Protection Act, would add much-needed
protection for our state's oak woodlands, which are disappearing
at a rate of 20,000 acres a year. Our oak woodlands are not only
beautiful but also provide important habitat for an astonishing
array of plants and animals. These state treasures should not be
heedlessly removed for shopping malls and housing developments.
Please support the Oak Woodlands Protection Act, SB 1334.
City, State, Zip
more information on the Heritage Tree Preservation Act and to read
the bill text, visit:
To find out more about the Oak Woodlands Protection Act, visit: