Golden Gate University Environmental Law Journal


It is time to remove governance of California’s core sustainable forest management mandate from CalFire to allow it to focus on its overwhelming fire agency obligations. In the absence of adequate and dedicated funding and resource personnel, CalFire is not satisfying California’s forest resource management goals and objectives. After decades of decline, California must renew its fundamental commitment to sustainable forest management. The governance of forest resource management requirements, as set forth in the Z’Berg Nejedly Forest Practice Act of 1973,10 should be transferred to another agency, the focus of which is resource and land conservation. California needs one dedicated and adequately funded agency with professionally trained staff who understand the complexity and interrelationships within the entire forest system, its productivity, and all of its resources. This different agency would be required and accountable to secure California’s commitment in governing forest resource management. An agency like this would be able to ensure that our forests are restored, enhanced, and maintained to protect the environmental, economic, and social resources that healthy forests provide. An independent agency dedicated to governing forest resource management and land conservation is more critical than ever as California faces and attempts to respond to the irrefutable climate crisis. Our forests must be increasingly available to provide enhanced carbon sequestration for the survival of this and future generations. Such a separation enables healthy forests and leaves CalFire to do its excellent firefighting work.