CalTREES Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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This page contains responses to frequently asked questions about the California Timber Regulations and Environmental Evaluation System. Additional information about CalTREES, including project updates, benefits, and trainings can be found on the CalTREES Information Portal.


General FAQs

What is CalTREES?
The California Timber Regulations and Environmental Evaluation System (CalTREES) is an on-line system that 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.

Who will be impacted by CalTREES? 
The system will impact multiple State entities, including CAL FIRE and Review Team Agencies (i.e., the State and Regional Water Boards, Department of Fish and Wildlife, and California Geological Survey).  Additionally, Registered Professional Foresters (RPFs), Licensed Timber Operators (LTOs), and landowners will soon have the option to electronically submit, track, and update timber harvesting documents on-line via CalTREES. The public will also have access to CalTREES to search for timber harvesting documents and related data and submit comments electronically.

What CalTREES features are currently available?
As of January 2019,

  • Submitters have new timber harvesting forms.
  • State staff electronically input timber harvesting documents that have been submitted via paper.
  • State staff participate in online, collaborative reviews of timber harvest documents.
  • Public can access CalTREES to search and review timber harvest documents by document number, county, date range, and more.

What are the remaining CalTREES features and when can I begin using them? 

  • Registered Professional Foresters, Licensed Timber Operators, and landowners may begin submitting timber harvest documents in CalTREES as early as Winter 2018/2019.
  • Public stakeholders may begin to submit online comments and request automatic notifications in CalTREES starting in Winter 2018/2019. 

What training and support is available?
To ensure that new users have the tools and support they need during the onboarding process, the following are now available on the CalTREES Information Portal:

  • Links to User Manuals, including step-by-step instructions.
  • Access to pre-recorded training videos and webinars.
  • Opportunities to practice and receive guided instruction in group sessions.
  • Contact information for additional support (i.e., CalTREES Help Desk for technical support and CAL FIRE Regional Offices for Forest Practice Program and general timber harvesting questions.)

Where can I learn more about CalTREES? 
More information on CalTREES is available on the CalTREES Information Portal.

Timber Harvesting Forms FAQ

Why have the timber harvesting forms been updated?
To improve efficiency, CAL FIRE released revised harvesting document forms that both conform with the Forest Practice Act and Rules and align with the new CalTREES software.

Will the updated timber harvesting forms undergo further refinement?
Yes.  Members of the California Licensed Foresters Association and California Forestry Association are currently beta testing the forms and will provide feedback to California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) and CAL FIRE no later than March 1, 2019.  CNRA and CAL FIRE will review the inventory of issues and make any necessary technical or Board rule-related form revisions prior to the required use of the forms, which will occur on July 1, 2019.

Where can I submit comments about the new timber harvesting forms?
Prior to March 1, 2019, please transmit all technical and Board rule-related issues to George “YG” Gentry at georgeg@calforests.org. He, on behalf of the RPF community, will act as a single liaison to CNRA and CAL FIRE with an inventory of issues and verify that remediation of such issues, where appropriate, has been incorporated into the CalTREES forms and the CalTREES on-line system.

When will I be required to use the new timber harvesting forms?
RPFs, LTOs, and Landowners must begin to use the new forms for all harvest document submittals as of July 1, 2019.

Searching and Reviewing Timber Documents FAQ

Where can I find the CalTREES application to search for timber harvesting documents?
The CalTREES application is located at the following url: https://caltreesplans.resources.ca.gov/caltrees

Am I able to search submitted timber harvesting documents?
Yes, CalTREES provides the ability to search for specific fields within the database, as well as review PDF timber harvesting documents that have been submitted.

How do I search for timber harvesting documents?
For detailed instructions, please visit the “Public Workshops” section on the CalTREES Information Portal.

What is a “wildcard” and how can this help me narrow my search criteria?
The CalTREES application has a wildcard character (%) that can be used to assist with searching for plans in CalTREES. The wildcard is used to take the place of any other character or string of characters in the field (e.g., the name of a Region or County). The wildcard can be used multiple times in a search field to assist in narrowing down the search results. Additional details can be found in the CalTREES Search and Review User Guide.

Is there a dropdown list of Counties to help narrow my search?
Not currently, but you can use the “wildcard” feature and a three-letter identifier for each County.

What criteria can I search by?
See Appendix A of the CalTREES Search and Review User Guide for a complete list of Search Criteria.

Notifications FAQ

Can I receive notifications about timber harvesting documents?
In the Winter 2018/2019, you will be able to register to receive notifications based on selected criteria (e.g., County, Watershed, Legal Description, Notice of Submission, Notice of Filing). Prior to the release of this function in CalTREES, notifications will continue to be provided by mail or email.

Timber Harvest Document Online Submission FAQ

Am I required to submit timber harvest documents online?
Not at this time. Beginning April 1, 2019, harvest document submittal will be available via online submittal, hard copy submittal on older Plan forms, or hard copy submittal via the updated timber harvesting forms. Effective July 1, 2019, all online or hard copy submittals must use the updated timber harvesting forms.

What are the benefits of submitting timber harvest documents online?
CalTREES offers many benefits for Registered Professional Foresters, Licensed Timber Operators, and landowners:

  • The system is designed to guide you through the process by using updated timber harvesting forms.
  • The system will indicate required fields on each form and provide you with reminders about regulatory requirements.
  • Because you can electronically track progress, there will be better transparency and accountability of review timelines.
  • The system will provide electronic notifications and two-way communication between the State and document/plan submitters.
  • The system improves the efficiency of the collaborative review process, to allow faster approvals of timber harvest documents.

I submit timber harvest documents online, where will the data be stored?
The CalTREES application and database are stored in a secure data center managed by California Natural Resources Agency. 

If I save my progress on a partially-completed timber harvest document in CalTREES, is my data visible to the public?
No; You will have an opportunity to save progress towards a completed document and preview the document prior to confirming your electronic submission. Emergency and Exemptions are only visible after they have been electronically submitted AND CAL FIRE has validated them.  THPs, NTMPs and Substantial Deviations are visible once they have been electronically submitted to CAL FIRE.

How can I track the progress of my timber harvest document once submitted?
If you submit the document electronically via CalTREES, you can log in at any time to see the document status and designate how to receive correspondence from State reviewers (i.e., system notifications, email notifications, or mail).  For those who submit paper timber harvest documents, all correspondence and status notifications will be sent via mail.

Timber Harvesting Document Review FAQ

Will CAL FIRE and other Review Team Agencies collaborate online using CalTREES?
Yes; one of the main goals of CalTREES is to improve the collaborative review process for timber harvesting documents.  CalTREES will enable reviewers to communicate, expedite, and track comments from each State entity involved.

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