VICTORY FOR CALIFORNIA’S OAK WOODLANDS!
On Fri., Sept. 24, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill
1334, the Oak Woodlands Protection Act, into law.
This measure, introduced by state Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica)
requires counties to consider a project’s effects on oak woodlands
in deciding whether an environmental impact report is needed under
the California Environmental Quality Act. The new law also instructs
counties to require a project that will have a significant impact
on oak woodlands to offset the loss of any oaks destroyed, and lists
mitigation measures to accomplish this, including replanting, restoring,
and conserving oak woodlands.
"We were thrilled to see the governor sign this bill to improve
protection for our oak woodlands," said Paul Hughes, Executive
Director of Forests Forever. "While it doesn’t by any
means halt the destruction of oaks, it does strengthen the regulatory
framework protecting them, and provides oaks defenders with new
Forests Forever has been intensively campaigning for passage of
SB 1334 since November 2003. If you are one of the thousands of
our supporters who wrote or phoned legislators and the governor
to urge passage of this bill, thank you!
Forests Forever supporters wrote, called, faxed or emailed state
senators 1,967 times, assemblymembers 4,918 times, and Gov. Schwarzenegger
2,090 times about the oak woodlands bill. Due to your efforts, there
is now, for the first time, a mitigation formula to help conserve
the unique oaks of California.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Now, after congratulating yourself on a successful effort, we hope
you will write one more letter.
Below is a sample letter to Gov. Schwarzenegger, thanking him for
signing the Oak Woodlands Protection Act, SB 1334. Please feel free
to put this letter in your own words.
Send your letter to:
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger:
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear Gov. Schwarzenegger:
Thank you for signing into law Sen. Sheila Kuehl’s SB 1334,
the Oak Woodlands Protection Act. This act gives much-needed protection
to our state’s oak woodlands, iconic California landscapes
that provide important habitat for many plants and animals.
The menu of mitigations offered by SB 1334 will help restore or
replace oak woodlands that otherwise might have been heedlessly
bulldozed out of existence. The Oak Woodlands Protection Act will
give counties more control over development projects involving oaks,
and provide developers with an array of options to help offset any
damage to oak woodlands caused by their projects.
I am sure that I speak for all Californians when I express my gratitude
to you for signing this important legislation to protect one of
the state’s natural treasures.
If you have time for one more letter, send a note of thanks to the
act’s legislative author, Sen. Sheila Kuehl at:
State Capitol, Room 4032
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax (916) 324-4823
Stay tuned as Forests Forever next presses forward to protect the
Roadless Area Conservation Rule, protecting over 4 million acres
of California’s federal forests!