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California taxpayers subsidize the logging industry to the tune of $18 million a year, according to testimony at an Assembly hearing Tuesday.
The key question before the Accountability and Administrative Review Committee was whether any of that subsidy is justified.
Owners of the state’s 8.7 million acres of private forestland argue they provide public benefits including wildlife habitat, clean air and carbon sequestration – not to mention about 22,000 jobs.
Environmental groups counter that logging causes habitat loss and water pollution and that the industry should cover all of the state’s cost to police those problems.
Data provided by the Legislative Analyst’s Office show that regulating logging on private land costs state government $18.8 million a year. That includes processing timber harvest plans, inspecting logging areas before and after harvest, and protecting downstream areas from erosion that harms salmon habitat.
The industry pays state agencies about $550,000 a year in permitting fees.
A coalition of conservation and sportsmen’s groups formally notified the state of California today that the state’s management program for timber harvest is out of compliance with laws designed to protect the state’s fish and wildlife. Recent changes in program funding have largely eliminated California Department of Fish and Game review of decisions by the California Department of Forestry (Cal Fire), the state agency that oversees logging in the state. Continue reading
Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) has already had plans approved or pending to use clearcut type/evenaged logging methods on approximately 16,000 acres – equivalent to 25 square miles in Calaveras County. You can see what has already been clearcut on a … Continue reading
You can see what has already been clearcut on a satellite map made for EPFW at www.sierraforest.org. (For more information on the specific clearcutting logging projects mentioned here view this pdf.) Sierra Pacific Industries is currently clearcutting in the Tuolumne … Continue reading
Thursday, Jun. 23, 2011 – 4:38 pm Five environmental and fishing groups today called on Gov. Jerry Brown to protect salmon habitat in Battle Creek, where erosion from state-approved may threaten a costly restoration project. Continue reading
The controversy about the clearcutting in Battle Creek watershed continues to grow. Check out the new blogs below by Doug Craig about the clearcutting in Battle Creek and the salmon restoration project there. Also see how you can join the conversation and take actions at The Pelican Network go to http://www.pelicannetwork.net/stopclearcut.htm. Continue reading
The Sacramento Bee published a critical investigative story, “Troubled Waters of Battle Creek,” on the front page of the Sunday June 19th paper that reveals the state’s failure to protect our forests and fish.
Go to http://www.sacbee.com/2011/06/19/3711308/troubled-waters-of-battle-creek.html to learn how clearcut logging is severely threatening the Battle Creek watershed’s salmon spawning grounds while over $100 million of public money is being spent to restore the watershed.