Forest Stewardship

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.

The Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Program seeks to increase regional capacity to prioritize, develop, and implement projects that improve forest health and fire resilience, facilitate greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and increase carbon sequestration in forests throughout California. Block grants will be utilized by recipients to support regional implementation of landscape-level forest health projects consistent with the California Forest Carbon Plan and Executive Order B-52-18.

On January 24, 2019 the Natural Resources Agency released for public comment the draft Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Program Guidelines. These guidelines and more information on the program can be found on the Department of Conservation’s webpage, and will be open for public comment through February 8, 2019.

Please contact Loretta Moreno, loretta.moreno@resources.ca.gov, with comments on the draft guidelines or questions about the program.

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.

Links:

California Forest Carbon Plan PDF

California Forest Carbon Plan one-page summary

Timber harvest permitting in California is moving into a new era with the launch of CalTREES by CAL FIRE and the AB 1492 Timber Regulation and Forest Restoration Program. This on-line system will streamline the submission and review processes for timber harvesting documents. The system will feature easy-to-use forms and real-time reporting and analytics. To read more, click here.

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 on the AB 1492 webpage.

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 Natural Resources Agency Assistant Secretary of Forest Resources Management is the lead for coordinating implementation of the Timber Regulation and Forest Restoration Program by the two agencies and their responsible departments or boards [Natural Resources Agency: Department of Conservation (California Geological Survey), Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Environmental Protection Agency: State Water Resources Control Board and Regional Water Quality Control Boards].

The major components of the Timber Regulation in California Forest Restoration Program provide a funding stream via a one-percent assessment on lumber and engineered wood products sold at the retail level, 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.

A particular challenge for the program will be the development of ecological performance measures for the State’s nonfederal timberlands. While the California Natural Resources Agency and the California Environmental Protection Agency have the lead responsibility for this task, working with the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection’s Effectiveness Monitoring Committee will provide an important opportunity for furthering the work on this task. Hand-in-hand with the ecological performance measures will be the identification and collection of the environmental data that are needed to support the measures. To be successful, the ecological performance measures must have a sound scientific basis and be supported by the review team agencies, other state and federal natural resource agencies, regulated forestland owners, and a wide range of stakeholders. Providing stakeholder input opportunities for the development of ecological performance measures and other aspects of the Timber Regulation and Forest Restoration Program will be critical to the program’s success. To learn more, click here.

Annual Reporting Assembly Bill 1492 requires annual reporting to the Legislature. The annual reports are available here. The reports provide substantial background and statistics on the work that the California Natural Resources Agency and the California Environmental Protection Agency are undertaking to implement the Timber Regulation and Forest Restoration Program.

To read more about the Campbell Creek Planning Watershed Pilot Project Draft Report Released for Public Review and the pilot project, click here.