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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Humboldt State University Students Breakdown Key Forestry Bills from 2015

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 Assembly Bills that were proposed during the 2015 legislative session ‑‑ AB 417, AB 429 and AB 590.  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…

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Now is the time to invest in our forests and California can lead the way

On the heels of the UN Climate Conference in Paris, a deal was struck between nations to keep the impact of climate change to below 2 degrees Celsius. As a subnational government, California has taken a lead in reducing climate change since the passage of AB 32 in 2006.  Since then, Governor Brown has set aggressive goals to reduce emissions by 40% below 1990 levels and has called for the State to use 50% of…

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Healthy Forests Provide Communities with Significant Environmental Benefits

On October 30, 2015, the Governor moved forward with plans to improve forest health and reduce the risk to rural communities by issuing his Emergency Declaration to address the unprecedented issue of tree mortality in California.  He cited more than 22 million trees that have already died due to the drought and we know there are millions more in severe stress, not to mention those that have died from wildfire.  Heading into our fourth year…

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