California forests win strong advocates in Nov. 2010 election!

Almost all Forests Forever-backed candidates sweep into office

Where candidates were concerned, California’s forests came out a big winner in the November 2010 general election.

Clockwise from bottom right: Dave Jones; Debra Bowen; Bill Lockyer; Jerry Brown; Barbara Boxer; Gavin Newsom; Kamala Harris; Holly Mitchell (below); Luis Alejo (above); Bob Wieckowski; Das Williams (below); and Mike Gatto (above).

Beginning with Jerry Brown in his bid for a return to the governor’s office, all of the top-of-the-ticket contenders endorsed by Forests Forever won decisive victories – with the possible exception of Kamala Harris for attorney general, in a tight race unlikely to be decided before early December.

“Gov.-elect Jerry Brown will undoubtedly be a better force for the environment than his opponent would have been,” said Forests Forever Legislative Advocate Luke Breit. “During his first two terms as governor and as attorney general, he has been a a great believer in environmental protection. He strongly supported A.B. 32 and opposed Proposition 23.” See related story, below.
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Voters split on forest-friendly ballot propositions

They back budget sanity and CO2 controls but not parks fee

Two wins and two losses characterized Forests Forever’s recommendations for and against ballot propositions in the Nov. 2 general election.

The two wins were big ones that will make a huge difference in the state’s ability to effectively control greenhouse gas emissions and create green industries incorporating long-term sustainable logging practices, in turn employing thousands of workers. One of the victorious measures expedites on-time action on the politically contentious state budget, freeing up lawmakers’ attention and resources for other state matters, including forestry reform.

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AB 1504 a welcome victory in a rough season

Governor's signature a rare concession to forests defenders

Photo by Paul Hughes

Forests Forever’s efforts to pass forestry-reform legislation this year produced a big win in Sacramento that will help determine the extent to which California’s forests serve as a cushion against global warming.

That victory followed another win in the state legislature on a Forests Forever-sponsored bill that ultimately got scuttled by the governor’s veto. The measure would have ordered two forestry pilot projects to determine methods of undoing the cumulative damage done by multiple logging projects in watersheds containing salmon runs. Though such studies are vital to restoring lost runs, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the measure for reasons that don’t quite add up.

Forests Forever also made great headway on another salmon-related bill introduced in 2009, a measure that ended up being sidelined through nobody’s fault and likely will be re-introduced in the near future.

Meanwhile our big legislative accomplishment is cause for celebration, in part because it represents a rare instance in which the legislature and governor at a time when both were focused primarily on the state’s budget crisis, agreed to act on a forest issue.

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

from Forests Forever Foundation
and the Center for American Places