Point Reyes Light: Governor orders new focus on ailing forests

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Point Reyes Light


By Jordan Bowen

After a year of calamitous wildfires that capped four years of historic drought, Governor Jerry Brown is ordering additional resources and prioritization toward managing the health of the state’s ailing forests. 

In an executive order issued this month, the governor directed the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the Natural Resources Agency and the Department of Fish and Wildlife to tackle the serious threats facing the state’s 33 million acres of forests and nearly 1,300 square miles of urban forest canopy. 

The order could help public and private landowners in West Marin receive state assistance and regulatory relief to help manage dead and dying trees, and directs state agencies to increase cooperation with federal parks.

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State Assemblyman Marc Levine, who represents Marin and Sonoma Counties, called it “the kind of responsible and forward-looking commitment of resources that we have been calling for,” and noted the governor’s pledge of an additional $96 million in funds to adapt to the “year-round” fire season.

Specifically, the order requires state agencies to implement the practices recommended in the Forest Carbon Plan, a 186-page report released in May that highlights the cumulative, increasingly alarming impacts of drought, wildfire, climate change and native and exotic pests and diseases on the state’s woodlands.