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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.
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