Board of Forestry Unanimously Passes

Package of New Logging Regulations

 

 

For Immediate Release                                                          Contact:  Louis Blumberg

                                                                                                                (916) 798-6342

March 15, 2000

 

SACRAMENTO

 

Today, the Board of Forestry adopted new regulations that will increase protection of coho salmon and water quality in California.  Originally proposed in July 1999 by the Resources Agency and CalEPA, these new regulations constitute an important element of the Governor’s program to restore salmon by improving water quality and protecting its habitat. 

 

The unanimous vote by the 7-member board late this morning followed a full-day of public hearings yesterday.  The decision signaled the end of a

nine-month-long process that has been marked by considerable controversy including litigation, petitions and public demonstrations from all sides.  It was against this backdrop of dissension that the Governor stepped forward to find a balanced solution built around common areas of agreement. “The Governor broke through this logjam,” said Mary Nichols, Secretary for Resources. “He insisted that his appointees to the Board of Forestry fashion an agreement that is good for the environment, sensitive to the needs of the landowners, and affords salmon significant new protection.”

 

The new regulations provide critical protection for streams and rivers that contain endangered salmon.  Specifically, the adopted rules contain:

 

·        significant new streamside protection on rivers and streams that will provide shade and cool water for fish

·        provisions that require specific numbers of large trees be left standing to eventually fall into rivers to create deep pools for fish

·        new prohibitions on clearcuts on unstable “inner gorge” slopes

·        new restrictions on road construction and winter operations

 

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(New Logging Regulations—Page 2--)

 

 

·        construction and logging techniques to minimize the impact on stream crossings

·        requirements that culverts allow for passage of fish and accommodate a

100-year storm event

new limits on how much water can be removed from rivers and streams during timber operations

 

The new regulations mark an important step forward in the Administration’s continuing, comprehensive salmon recovery program.  In addition to the new rules, the Administration is undertaking a series of interrelated activities designed to protect salmon and their habitat including:

 

§         Increased oversight and enforcement of timber bolstered by funding in the Governor’s budget this year for 71 new field positions for THP review and enforcement

§         Implementing new authority by the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to assess fines up to $10,000 each for violations of the current rules

§         Promoting greater inter-agency coordination in the review of proposed logging plans

§         Implementation by the Resources Agency of an 8-point Salmon Recovery plan with specific actions targeted at restoring and rehabilitating salmon habitat

§         Conducting interdisciplinary watershed assessments for all North Coast watersheds and making this information available to landowners and the public

 

“The adoption of new rules today is the beginning of a new approach to protecting forest and fish,” said Andrea Tuttle, Director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.  Director Tuttle noted that the Administration will begin working collaboratively with all sides to develop a watershed assessment approach that matches forest practices with the specific needs of the landscape.  “We need an approach that builds information over time and reflects current science,” said Director Tuttle.  “We’d like landowners to be able to demonstrate and take credit for their good practices.”

 

The Board of Forestry regulations will be in effect from July 1, 2000 through January 1, 2001 when the Board will consider rules that will further these objectives and provide new flexibility for land owners to comply will these requirements. 

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