The California Licensed Foresters Association, with a membership responsible for the sustained management of millions of acres of California forestland, represents the common interests of California Registered Professional Foresters.
The Association provides opportunities for continuing education and public outreach to its membership, which includes professionals affiliated with government agencies, private timber companies, consultants, the public, and the academic community.
Governed by an elected Board of Directors, CLFA was established in 1980 after the passage of the landmark California Professional Foresters Law.PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE SEPTEMBER 2012
By: Matt Greene, CLFA President
The last few months have been very busy and exciting times in forestry. We have seen the passage of AB 1492 and the defeat of SB 455 and unfortunately AB 2170.
AB 2170, The Working Forest Management Plan (WFMP) is the Bill that CLFA and Forest Landowners of California co-authored to create a new type of long-term harvest plan that would have brought regulatory certainty to landowners that own between 2,501 acres and 15,000 acres in size.
The WFMP would allow landowners that want to practice selection forestry some regulatory assurances by filing a onetime permit. Although this Bill was ultimately pulled by Assemblymember Chesbro before it could be heard by the Natural Resource Committee, work has continued. CLFA and FLC have been meeting with the Legislature, interested supporters, NGO’s and those that opposed the Bill in July. There is hope that this Bill will be picked back up in the next legislative session.
SB 455 (Pavley) was a very controversial Bill that would have made forest conversions almost impossible for any project of greater than 3 acres. This Bill would have required a conservation easement be purchased for the amount of land that was proposed for conversion. The Bill would have also required equal carbon offsets to occur. The final version of the Bill was poorly drafted and ultimately the Bill didn’t come up for a vote.
AB 1492 was part of Governor Brown’s Budget Trailer Bill. This Bill as approved will extend the life of THPs, increase agency funding and participation for the review of harvest plans, create an accounting process for all agencies, and also limits fire liability cases. This Bill will place a tax on most all lumber products sold in California. Imported lumber will be taxed just the same as timber produced here in California. The public which has wanted more stringent environmental regulations will now have to pay for those protections, and the notion of a THP fee will go away. This could reduce costs to landowners significantly. As proposed, the Bill would create a tax paid by the end user that would replace fees associated with DFG Lake and Streambed Alteration Agreements, DFG Environmental Filing Fees, and Water Quality GWDRs and should fully fund these programs. The Center for Biological Diversity had sent the Governor a letter earlier in the year that they felt that CEQA was not being upheld, as DFG’s Timber Harvest Review Program had been severely hampered by budget problems.
Lost in all of this was SB 1541, a fourth forestry Bill all in the same legislative period. This is truly remarkable to see this many pieces of legislature crafted at one time. It is my hope that the Legislature has finally realized that our rural counties are still suffering and that a robust forest industry can help the States’ economy. CLFA built some very important partnerships this year and we will continue to try and push positive legislative issues in the days to come.
Changing gears 180 degrees, I am pleased to announce the return of CLFA’s message board. The purpose of this board is to provide a place where members can ask questions of other RPFs and CLFA members. This has been on our list of things to accomplish for several years now and we have finally gotten around to doing it. So, with that, I invite you to ask away; whether it be what your results have been about a piece of equipment that you want feedback on before purchasing, or maybe a piece of information that you are looking for, or even looking for help with a project. This is for members of CLFA only at this time. Sign-up today at: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/