Assembly Bill 1431, authored by Assembly Member Jim Frazier, is an RCRC-sponsored bill that would codify various sections of the 2018 California Forest Carbon Plan. Part of the RCRC Board of Directors approved Wildfire Prevention and Response Package, AB 1431 would stress the urgency of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from wildfires while placing accountability on the agencies responsible for implementing programs and projects to meet those goals. AB 1431 would also allow the Legislature greater oversight by requiring the California Natural Resources Agency and the California Environmental Protection Agency to report annually on the progress of meeting the goals outlined in the Plan.
Goals in AB 1431 include:
- Increase forest restoration and fuels treatment from 17,500 acres to 60,000 acres per year by 2030;
- Increase the area reforested annually by 25 percent above 2018 levels;
- Increase vegetation management to 500,000 acres per year on nonfederal lands;
- Urge the federal government to achieve similar treatment levels on federal lands;
- Expand wood products manufacturing in the state;
- Increase carbon storage through increased use of durable wood products in buildings;
- Streamline planning and permitting for forest health and restoration projects;
- Reduce small landowners’ financial barriers to land management; and,
- Increase by 10 percent the acreage of forest land protected by conservation easements that include specific management objectives to sequester carbon.
AB 1431 passed out of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee this week and was referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. RCRC’s letter can be accessed here. For more information, send an email to Staci Heaton, RCRC Acting Vice President Governmental Affairs, or John Kennedy, RCRC Legislative Advocate, or call (916) 447-4806.