Legislative Update

February 5, 2018

By Brian White, KP Public Affairs, FLC Legislative Advocate and Larry Camp, FLC Legislative Committee

The Legislature has been in session for approximately one month and has dealt primarily with bills carried over from the 2017 legislative session. A number of spot bills have been introduced but at this point it is difficult to assess their impact on smaller forest landowners. Everyone expects to see a number of new bills in the next few weeks focused on fire, tree mortality, building codes for structures in the wildland-urban interface (WUI), insurance coverage and costs, as well as forest health. We will attempt to update the newsletter with email distribution to the membership. In the Governor’s last State of the State message on January 25, the lead action item called for more forest management to create fire resilient forests and store carbon.

Through the efforts of our Legislative Advocate, Brian White, FLC Board members (along with members of the California Licensed Foresters Association) visited several legislative offices to meet with representatives and staffers. FLC has been requested to provide input on several legislative proposals at this point.

Bill # Author Subject Description Status Position
AB425 Caballero Timber Harvest Plans: Exemptions: Temporary Roads This bill would expand the Forest Fire Prevention Pilot Project Exemption to allow the construction or reconstruction of temporary roads on slopes of 40% or less if certain conditions are met, including that a registered professional forester designates temporary road locations, landing locations, associated class III watercourse crossings, unstable areas, and connected headwall swales, including convergent slopes, on specified maps. Placed on Senate Inactive File, 2 Year Bill Support
AB1433 Wood Natural and Working Lands: Unified Program Application and Process The bill would require the Strategic Growth Council to establish a task force of state agencies to develop an application form and process for programs that would provide financial assistance for natural and working lands to protect and improve the resilience of natural systems and reduce greenhouse gases. Programs include conservation, urban greening and wetlands restoration. Placed on Senate Inactive File, 2 Year Bill Watch
SB100 De Leon California Renewables Portfolio Standaard Program This bill would revise the Renewables Portfolio Standard Program to increase the percentage targets for procurement of renewables by electric utilities and shorten the time frame for achieving those targets. This could help the biomass energy industry but that is very uncertain. The Farm Bureau and many others oppose it. Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee Watch
SB49 De Leon California Environmental, Public Health, and Workers Defense Act of 2017 This bill would require California agencies to maintain and enforce environmental, public health and worker rights regulations that are at least as stringent as the baseline standard, which would be the federal laws in existence as of January 19, 2017. It would also provide a mechanism for citizens to sue agencies and businesses if they believe the baseline standard was not met. The bill is meant to fend off attempts by the current federal government to roll back regulations. A recent amendment would sunset this bill on January 20, 2021. Assembly Rules Committee Oppose - Signed
Coalition Letter