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Weekly Forest News Digest from Greg Giuisti

Feds need to move more rapidly to sustainable forests, Trinity Journal Editorial, April 11, 2012,

Inside today’s Trinity Journal you’ll find our annual “Be Prepared for Wildfire” guide. In it you’ll find plenty of tips on preparing your property, your home and your family for the inevitability of wildfire in Trinity County. It will encourage you to follow three simple steps — Ready, Set, Go!  But as we individually prepare for the prospect of wildfire, it is time to waken the slumbering masses within upper levels of state and federal government who have allowed our forest fuel loads to reach dangerous levels. .....

Regulators Don’t Feel the Budget Squeeze, By Loren Kaye, President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education, Fox & Hounds, April 10th, 2012

Even as Gov Brown does an admirable job of restraining the overall growth in state employment, the regulatory bureaucracy balloons.  Boosted by strong constituencies in the Legislature, and insulated by their reliance largely on industry fees, fines and penalties, regulatory agencies have seen their staffs grow by fourteen percent over the past four years – in the teeth of the worst recession in modern times....

Trees planted in Angeles forest after Station fire not taking hold, Los Angeles Times, April 9, 2012,

A year ago,  U.S. Forest Service crews planted nearly a million pine and fir trees in the San Gabriel Mountains to try to reclaim land scorched clean by the devastating Station fire. Most of them shriveled up and died within months, as skeptics had predicted......

California to get millions for public lands, Matt Weiser, Sacramento Bee,  APR. 09, 2012

California will get more than $8 million in federal funds to protect and manage public lands and sensitive habitats.  The money comes from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, created in 1964 to funnel federal royalties from oil and mineral leasing programs into environmental projects and land protection. The program has been a political football for decades. The Bush administration sought to defund the program, and the Obama administration vowed to revive it......

California deer population declines as habitat disappears, By Matt Weiser, Sacramento Bee, APR. 08, 2012

An estimated 445,000 deer live in California, or about equal to the city of Sacramento's human population. Which sounds like a lot, until you realize the deer are spread over the entire state: 99 million acres. If there were only 445,000 people in California, how long would it take you to find somebody you really wanted to hang out with?......

Yuba County forest funds in jeopardy, By Ben van der Meer/ADbvandermeer, Appeal-Democrat, 2012-04-07

The latest hit to budgets in Yuba County this year could be a matter of the federal government not seeing the forest for the fees.  If a 12-year-old program to shift a portion of timber fees to county government and school districts isn't somehow continued, the amount both receive in Yuba County is likely to shrink, providing another headache during austere fiscal times.  In 2000, Congress passed the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act, which stipulated a stable amount of money go each year to counties where there's timber harvesting, to make up for losses from tax-exempt national forest lands......

Rural property owners to get first fire bills, KERANA TODOROV, Napa Valley Register, April 7, 2012

An estimated 7,000 property owners in high-risk fire areas in unincorporated Napa County will soon pay more for fire protection. The first bills — $115 for most assessed property owners in Napa County  — are expected to be sent in late July or early August, CalFire representatives said last week.  The new fee, which covers the 2011-2012 fiscal year, funds fire prevention services statewide......

2012 Sudden Oak Death Blitz is May 12, BILL PRAMUK, Napa Valley Register  April 6, 2012

 “2011 was a bad year for our oaks,” said Matteo Garbelotto, Director of the UC Berkeley Forest Pathology and Mycology Lab, in reference to prolonged spring rains that resulted in a significant spread of the Sudden Oak Death (SOD) pathogen in California.  Increased outbreaks were evident in areas that were previously affected, like Marin and Sonoma and new areas like the East Bay and Carmel Valley, Garbelotto wrote in a recent announcement.....

Forest plan will require give & take, Porterville Recorder, 2012-04-06

Sometime this year or early next year the Sequoia National Forest is going to begin work coming up with a plan that will guide how the forest is managed for the next 20 or 30 years.  It is a huge task ahead for the forest that has been a major battlefield for environmentalists the past three decades. This will be the first update of its plan since the late 1980s......

A look at forest lands bought with drilling fees, By The Associated Press News Fuze, San Jose Mercury News, April 6, 2012

Here is a state-by-state list of land purchases for the national forest system with $41.6 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund announced Friday. In California:

— Hurdygurdy Creek, Six Rivers National Forest: The land covers portions of three streams on the Smith River National Recreation Area and will help restore and protect salmon habitat and improve public access to backcountry recreation areas. $1 million

.....

Sonoma County timber-to-vineyard conversion headed for approval, By BRETT WILKISON, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT,  April 6, 2012

State officials signaled this week they intend to approve a controversial timber-to-vineyard conversion project in rural northwest Sonoma County, overruling the latest wave of objections, this time from some neighbors, local tribes and several elected officials. Napa-based Artesa Vineyards, owned by the Spanish wine giant Grupo Codorniu, plans to create 116 acres of premium chardonnay and pinot noir vineyards, 20 acres of roads and a nine-acre reservoir on 324 acres of second-growth forestland, former orchards and grazed meadows just east of Annapolis......

Endangered species listing not warranted for chinook in upper Klamath and Trinity rivers, By The Associated Press, The Oregonian, April 06, 2012

The chinook salmon on the Trinity River won't be listed on the endangered species list. Federal biologists have decided Endangered Species Act protection is not warranted for chinook salmon from the upper Klamath and Trinity rivers in Northern California and Oregon.  The decision from NOAA Fisheries Service was published Monday in the Federal Register.....

California Declares War on Suburbia, Planners want to herd millions into densely packed urban corridors. It won't save the planet but will make traffic even worse.By WENDELL COX, The Wall Street Journal, April 6, 2012

It's no secret that California's regulatory and tax climate is driving business investment to other states. California's high cost of living also is driving people away. Since 2000 more than 1.6 million people have fled, and my own research as well as that of others points to high housing prices as the principal factor.....

CA Energy Schemes: 'We are getting fleeced', Katy Grimes, CalWatchDog, April 5, 2012

The California Air Resources Board has created a stealthy new corporation in Delaware. The Western Climate Initiative Inc., which will manage cap-and-trade programs, even has its own form of currency.  WCI Inc. says it exists “to perform administrative and technical services to support the carbon trading market, including market monitoring of allowance auctions, and market trading of compliance instruments.”......

Conservation Easements Protect 8,544 Acres in California’s North Coast, Gridley Herald, April 5, 2012

MISSOULA, Mont.—In cooperation with conservation-minded landowners and California’s Wildlife Conservation Board, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has acquired a conservation easement on 8,544 acres of diverse wildlife habitat along the Eel River on California’s North Coast.  The purchase of easements on the Preston and Lawrence ranches in the Eel River watershed, just east of Highway 101 near Willits, will afford permanent protection against subdivision and will conserve this biologically rich landscape. .....

Occupy activists protest clearcutting at Forestry Board meeting, by Dan Bacher, IndyBay, April 4, 2012

During the battle to save the pristine salmon and steelhead habitat of Headwaters Forest in 1998, I received a phone call one morning from an environmental activist who told me that country legend Merle Haggard and actor Woody Harrelson would be appearing at the State Capitol for a noon time rally. .....

Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 5:23 PM

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