California’s 33 million acres of forestland and an urban forest canopy capture and clean our water supply, provide habitat for countless wildlife, cool our cities, support local economies, and serve as spiritual and cultural centers for indigenous and local communities across the state. Forested lands also are the state’s largest land-based carbon sink, drawing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it in wood and in forest soils. Growing evidence, however, suggests forests will become a source of overall net carbon emissions if actions are not taken to enhance their health and resilience and to reduce the threats they face from wildfire, insects, disease, and a changing climate.
California Forest Carbon Plan
Response to these threats is guided by the California Forest Carbon Plan that was developed by the Forest Climate Action Team—composed of state, federal, and local agency representatives—under the leadership of the California Natural Resources Agency, California Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and recommends:
- Significantly increase the pace and scale of forest and watershed improvements on nonfederal forest lands through incentives and other mechanisms.
- Support Federal goals and actions to improve forest and watershed health and resiliency on Federal lands.
- Prevent forest land conversions through easements and acquisitions, as well as land use planning.
- Innovate solutions for wood products and biomass utilization to support ongoing sustainable forest management activities.
- Protect and enhance the carbon sequestration potential and related benefits of urban forests.
- Support key research, data management, and accountability needs.
AB 1492 Timber Regulation and Forest Restoration Program
The California Natural Resources Agency shares with the California Environmental Protection Agency the responsibility for implementing the Timber Regulation and Forest Restoration Program established in the Public Resources Code (starting at section 4590) under Assembly Bill 1492 (Committee on Budget, Chapter 289, Statutes of 2012). The program is directed to work across all forestry related agencies to seek transparency and efficiency improvements to the State’s timber harvest regulation programs, provide for development of ecological performance measures, establish a forest restoration grant program, and require program reporting to the Legislature.
More information on the program can be found here.