The year 2016 saw a string of important victories in Forests Forever's struggle to protect California's beloved oak woodlands, as well as to launch a comprehensive overhaul of the state's inefficient, ineffective logging regulations.
Of the roughly seven million acres of oak woodlands in the state, the vast majority enjoy scanty or no protection. They are rapidly being bulldozed to make way for housing developments, vineyards, and shopping malls.
In Mendocino County we played a key role in qualifying, then promoting, a voter initiative that effectively would ban the large-scale tree-poisoning method known as "hack and squirt," used primarily on oaks. On June 7 it passed on a solid 62 percent majority!
We also helped to qualify a ballot measure in Napa County that would establish no-cut stream buffers while limiting the destruction of oak woodlands.
In the City of Richmond in the East Bay we are on the verge of qualifying a citizens initiative that will protect some 430 acres of precious oak forest and savanna threatened with development.
If all that weren't enough, 2016 also saw the selection of a forest-watershed pilot project location—something we have advocated for years—and its guiding committee was tapped, with a seat held by Forests Forever's advocate Richard Gienger! The pilot project got underway earlier this month.
Forests Forever, now in its 27th year of existence, brought other valuable assets and accomplishments to the fight in 2016.
We see an extremely busy and productive year ahead in 2017. Click here to review some of the milestones we see coming.
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