BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES AND WATER
                             Senator Fran Pavley, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:            AB 417          Hearing Date:    June 9,  
          2015
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          |Author:    |Dahle                  |           |                 |
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          |Version:   |February 19, 2015    Introduced                      |
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          |Urgency:   |No                     |Fiscal:    |Yes              |
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          |Consultant:|William Craven                                       |
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            Subject:  Forest practices: resource conservation standards.


          BACKGROUND AND EXISTING LAW
          The following provisions are contained in the Z'Berg-Nejedly  
          Forest Practice Act of 1973 (FPA):

          1)Requires the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection (Board) to  
            adopt rules and regulations such as the Forest Practice Rules  
            (FPR) to assure the continuous growing and harvesting of  
            commercial forest tree species and to protect the soil, air,  
            fish and wildlife, and water resources, including but not  
            limited to, streams, lakes, and estuaries. 

          2)Requires the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF)  
            to oversee the FPA and the FPR in consultation with other  
            public agencies and the interested public. 

          3)Within five years after completion of timber operations,  
            requires either of the following minimum stocking standards  
            for an area covered by a timber harvest plan. 

             a)   An average point count of 300 per acre, except for site  
               IV classification or lower (i.e., sites with the lowest  
               productivity potential), which shall have an average point  
               count of 150 per acre. (The point count of a tree is  
               determined by tree size. For example, a tree that is less  
               than four inches in diameter at breast height counts as one  
               point. A tree over 12 inches in diameter counts as six  







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               points.);

             b)   An average residual basal area (i.e., the sum of tree  
               diameter for an acre) of at least 85 square feet per acre,  
               except for site II classification (i.e., sites with  
               intermediate productivity potential) or lower, which shall  
               have the minimum average residual basal area of 50 square  
               feet per acre. 

          4)Authorizes the Board to develop alternative stocking standards  
            for the average point count method of stocking if those  
            standards address the variables in forest characteristics and  
            achieve suitable resource conservation, but does not authorize  
            alternative stocking standards for average residual basal area  
            method.



          PROPOSED LAW
          This bill expands the authority of the Board to develop  
          alternative stocking standards, when necessary, if those  
          alternative standards reasonably address the variables in forest  
          characteristics and achieve suitable resource conservation. 




          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT
          The author and supporters point out that AB 2082 (Dahle) in 2012  
          authoirzed the Board to adopt alternative stocking standards  
          related to the point count, but did not include the same  
          flexibility with regard to the average residual basal area. AB  
          417 would provide the Board with the flexibility to adopt  
          alternative stocking standards on any basis it chooses that  
          achieve specific conservation goals and objectives. 

          Other supporters point out that the flexibility provided by the  
          bill would help deal with the variability of climate change in  
          forestlands. 

          ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION
          None receive. 

          COMMENTS








          AB 417 (Dahle)                                          Page 3  
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          The author's intent was to make sure that the flexibility given  
          to the Board, provided in this measure, would require a  
          rulemaking procedure to define specific forest health and  
          ecological goals. The technical amendment would accomplish that  
          objective. 

          SUGGESTED AMENDMENTS 
          
          AMENDMENT 1
          4561.2. Notwithstanding Section 4561.1 or the resource  
          conservation standards relating to stocking pursuant to Section  
          4561, the board may adopt alternative stocking standards that  
          meet the purposes of Section 4561 if those alternative standards  
          reasonably address the variables in forest characteristics and  
          achieve suitable resource conservation  provided such standards  
          contribute to specific forest health and ecological goals as  
          defined by the Board.  


               
          SUPPORT
          Board of Forestry and Fire Protection
          California Forestry Association
          Central Coast Forest Association
          Humboldt Redwood Company and Mendocino Redwood Company

          OPPOSITION
          None Received

          
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