Building Green with Wood

Building with wood has huge environmental and economic benefits, and in a world moving toward cleaner, greener products, wood from sustainably managed forests is being hailed as one of the greenest building materials from the USDA and others. The entire life cycle of wood is green. Grown in forests certified by third party verification, California‘s forests are managed under some of the most stringent standards in the world.  Under the California Forest Practice Act, foresters…

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Humboldt State University Students Breakdown Key Forestry Bills From 2016

In our ongoing efforts to support the next generation of professional foresters, Calforests partnered with Humboldt State University forestry students and asked for them to analyze three key forestry related bills that were proposed during the 2016 legislative session – SB 859, AB 2029 and AB 1958  Students divided into pairs to analyze and summarize the purpose of each bill; what the bill proposed to change about current forest practices; supporters and opponents of the…

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What’s Next for Biomass?

Biomass power plants provide tremendous opportunity to help address some of California’s urban, agriculture and forest wood waste disposal challenges.  Yet why at a time when we need it most are so many shutting down? Just last month, we received word that California forests now have more than 102 million trees killed by bark beetle and the drought.  And those numbers are expected to increase as tree mortality marches north. As many scramble to remove…

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California’s forests work for everyone

Its National Forest Products Week ‑‑ named by President Obama in recognition of the abundant value that forests bring to our environment and economy.  It deserves mention here in California because of its relevance to this state. California has more than 33 million acres of forestland.  Nine million of those acres are sustainably managed by private landowners who carefully balance both the economic and environmental aspects of California’s working forests. California forests not only provide…

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AB 2029: A win for rural communities

As we look at the condition of our forests today, we see that they are in dire need of restoration and management, especially in our national forests.  With the increased tree mortality, drought and increased risk of wildfire, the need to protect our forests is critical to protecting public safety and water supply. As private forest landowners, we have many tools in our toolbox to manage our lands for economic and environmental values and it’s…

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Protecting the Northern Spotted Owl

In 1990, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the Northern spotted owl (NSO) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act ‑‑ citing loss of old growth habitat as the primary reason.  Federal listing prohibits harming, harassing or injuring the NSO or its critical habitat.  At that time they thought that only 90 pairs of owls existed in Northern California. This listing drastically changed forestry operations and since that time, the industry has worked hard…

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Will The Legalization Of Medical Marijuana Impact Forestland Owners?

For years, California forests have suffered significant impacts from the illegal cultivation of marijuana.  In Northern California communities, millions of acres of lush forestland serve as the perfect hideout for those looking to avoid the laws and regulations that protect our wildlife and our watersheds. The result has been streams and riverbeds that run dry from water diversion; poisonous rodenticides that enter the food chain and threaten endangered wildlife; and, the safety of land owners…

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California Forests: Recognizing their benefits and risks on Earth Day

To celebrate Earth Day in California, we must first recognize the state of our most treasured natural resource – forests.  Here in California, we are home to 34 million acres of forestland.  We boast the tallest (coast redwood), oldest (bristlecone pine) and most massive trees (giant sequoia) in the world that provide us with immense environmental and economic benefits.  They provide us with millions of dollars in tourism and recreation, a steady source of wood…

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Seeing the Forest through the Trees: Thinning Can Safeguard Forests and Communities

Finally, California has taken note that our forests are in dire need of help.  With the death of more than 29 million trees and hundreds of thousands of acres burned by wildfire, Governor Jerry Brown took action in October by issuing an Emergency Proclamation and creating the Tree Mortality Task Force, which has begun to address the dangers of unhealthy forests. As we work to find solutions across the political landscape, we must take a…

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Calforests comments on CPUC biomass resolution

In response to the Governor’s proclamation on tree mortality, on February 5, 2016, the California Public Utilities Commission issued a draft resolution, E-4770, which seeks to authorize biomass procurement in high hazard zones. Although Calforests agrees with the concept of a resolution to increase biomass energy capacity, the resolution does not go far enough to truly implement the Governor’s emergency proclamation, nor his 2012 Bioenergy Action Plan.  Below is a summary of our comments on…

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