Forests Forever

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California's Iconic Oak Woodlands Need Protection!

Speak Up for AB 2162 (Chu) The Oak Woodlands Conservation Act!

Take Action to protect California's forests now!


In 2004 the U.S. Congress named the Oak the National Tree of the United States. The same year, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law S.B. 1334, which was designed to provide protection to the 8.5 million acres of oak woodlands across California.

Unfortunately, this measure has been administered exclusively at the local level, on an effectively voluntary basis, and has proven to be ineffective and even counterproductive. In many counties, and on all commercial agricultural land, there is no real regulation at all. Over 30,000 acres a year of oak woodlands are "converted" (a.k.a. destroyed) (Guisti et al. 2004). Losses are attributable to building of subdivisions and shopping centers, freeways, and agricultural development. Other impacts include destruction from many grazing
Bulldozer hauling away destroyed oaks by Hwy 101 in Mendocino County, CA
and ranching operations, firewood marketing, and pests and diseases. California is at risk of losing one million additional acres of oak woodlands by 2040, on top of the one million acres already lost since 1950, if adequate protections are not put in place.

California's oak woodlands provide habitat for nearly half of the 632 terrestrial vertebrate species found in the state as well as 2,000 species of plants. Oaks provide temperature moderation, scenic beauty, water capture and purification, and are crucial for erosion prevention, nutrient cycling and bee pollination. California's oak woodlands and associated understory and soil horizons sequester 675 million metric tons of carbon, equivalent to emissions from 140,000 cars in a year.

The proposed Oak Woodlands Conservation Act would establish a new permit process for all oak woodland removal projects, to be administered by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The Act's purpose is to require uniform statewide regulation to slow or halt the destruction or degradation of California's oak woodlands.

The bill has been referred to the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources. Your letter, email, or call of support today will help move this important legislation forward!

You can also send letters directly from the Forests Forever website. The website includes links to social media, to a feature that allows users to send emails to individuals in their address book that encourages them to also take action, and to a feature that generates letters to the editor of local daily papers.

Write, email, or call using the following:

Governor Jerry Brown
State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Tel: (916) 445-2841
Direct email is not available, but messages can be sent through a portal at: https://govnews.ca.gov/gov39mail/mail.php
Assemblymember Kansen Chu
State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0025
Tel: (916) 319-2025
assemblymember.chu@assembly.ca.gov
Assemblymember Das Williams, Chair Committee on Natural Resources State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0037
Tel: (916) 319-2037
assemblymember.williams@assembly.ca.gov
Assemblymember Brian Jones, Vice-chair Committee on Natural Resources
State Capitol
Room # 3141
Sacramento, CA 94249-0071
Tel: (916) 319-2071
assemblymember.jones@assembly.ca.gov
cc: ayme.burkhalter@asm.ca.gov
Speaker of the Assembly, Anthony Rendon
State Capitol
Room 219
Sacramento, CA 95814
Tel: (916) 319-2063
speaker.rendon@assembly.ca.gov
Forests Forever
Attn.: Christian Bucknell, Outreach Coordinator
209 Kearny St.
San Francisco, CA 94108
Tel: (415) 974-3636x212
oaks.bill@forestsforever.org

In your own words, let them know:

Please support A.B. 2162 (Chu) — The Oak Woodlands Conservation Act.

This revenue-neutral legislation will provide an economically viable means of protecting our state's primary old-growth natural resource for future generations. This bill advances California's progress in meeting its critical goals to sequester carbon and ensure clean air, healthy watersheds and sustainable wildlife habitat for our fast-growing state.

Take Action to protect California's forests now!

Cumulative impacts from drought, land conversion and disease threaten oak woodlands, thereby endangering this entire ecosystem so important to people, plants and animals throughout California.

Oaks provide cooling shade to make communities more livable. Oaks store water during rains and release it gradually, thus preventing erosion and flooding. Additionally, oak aesthetic values should be preserved for citizens and tourists alike.

Remember to include your name and address and ask for a response!


For the forests,

Paul Hughes
Executive Director
Forests Forever


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References:

 

Forests Forever:
Their Ecology, Restoration, and Protection
by
John J. Berger

NOW AVAILABLE
from Forests Forever Foundation
and the Center for American Places