On Monday, January 24th, RCRC expressed support for Assembly Bill 522, authored by Assembly Member Vice Fong (R-Bakersfield) which extends the Forest Fire Prevention Exemption in the Z’berg-Nejedly Forest Practice Act of 1973 to January 1, 2026.

The Z’berg-Nejedly Forest Practice Act of 1973 prohibits a person from conducting timber operations unless a timber harvesting plan prepared by a registered professional forester has been submitted to the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The act authorizes the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection to exempt from some or all of those provisions of the act a person engaging in specified forest management activities, including the harvesting of trees for the purpose of reducing the rate of fire spread, duration and intensity, fuel ignitability, or ignition of tree crowns, as provided, known as the Forest Fire Prevention Exemption.

By extending the sunset of the Forest Fire Prevention Exemption, AB 522 would help ensure that forest management and wildfire mitigation projects are completed in a timely fashion so that communities can safeguard residents from the impacts of catastrophic wildfires.

Read RCRC’s letter of support here. For additional information, contact RCRC Senior Policy Advocate, Staci Heaton.