California’s forests suffered a setback when on Apr. 17 a bill to limit clearcutting in California was killed in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee following a lobbying blitz by Big Timber.

Assembly Bill 2926, introduced by Assembly Speaker Pro Tem Sally Lieber (D-Mountain View), would have placed strict limits on the practice of clearcutting and encouraged more environmentally friendly methods of timber harvesting such as selective cutting.

California is losing forests to clearcutting at an accelerating pace. Since 1990 nearly 687 square miles of California forests have been clearcut– more than three and a half times the surface area of Lake Tahoe.

One company alone (Sierra Pacific Industries, based in Anderson) has been authorized to clearcut more than 250,000 acres in the Sierra Nevada in the past two decades.


• Destroys wildlife habitat and endangers native plants and animals;

• Increases sedimentation into rivers and streams, harming water quality and fish populations;

• Raises the risk of intense wildfires by converting forests into sun-baked slash piles and later to fire-prone tree plantations;

• Degrades the state’s natural beauty, hurting tourism, recreation, retirement and property values; and
• Contributes to global warming by removing trees that absorb and store carbon dioxide, and by exposing forest soils to accelerated weathering.


With A.B. 2926 we placed the timber industry on the defensive, a rare situation. As expected, they reacted with irrational fear and mounted an overwhelming lobbying push to keep this issue out of the spotlight.

It’s time to raise the stakes and call upon the state’s most powerful elected officials to support a ban on clearcutting.

Please write to the three top officials in the state– Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, and Attorney General Jerry Brown. Tell them about the destruction of California’s forest legacy by a few greedy timber companies that contribute only a small percentage of revenue and jobs to the state.

Let them know that this issue is not going to go away until clearcutting in California has been stopped!


Dear _____________ :

I was outraged when the timber lobby killed A.B. 2926 last week in committee. This modest measure would have limited the worst excesses of clearcutting.

The health of California’s environment and economy is being jeopardized by clearcutting. Clearcutting harms native plants and animals, contaminates water supplies, increases the risk of forest fires, destroys California’s natural beauty, and contributes to global warming.

It also damages recreation and tourism, hurting the rural counties that depend on these industries.
Since 1990 nearly 687 square miles of California forests have been clearcut– more than three and a half times the area of Lake Tahoe.

To curb this ecologically devastating practice and encourage cleaner and more responsible methods of timber harvesting, I urge you to bring this issue directly to the state’s voters and express your strong support for ending clearcutting.

Please help protect California’s remaining forests for future generations.


(Your name and address here)

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 445-2841
Lt. Gov. John Garamendi
State Capitol, Room 1114
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 445-8994
Jerry Brown, Attorney
General of California
1300 I Street, Suite 1740
Sacramento, CA 95814

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

from Forests Forever Foundation
and the Center for American Places