A bill that would make conservation of oak woodlands a part of the planning process for California counties has been passed by the state legislature, and now needs only the governor’s signature to become law.

California's oak woodlands are beautiful and biodiverse, supporting a complex, interdependent web of plants and animals. They are also are the fastest-disappearing woodlands in the state. Oaks are vanishing at an average rate of 20,000 acres a year. More than 1 million acres of native oak forests have been wiped out since 1945– "converted" permanently to subdivisions, shopping centers and freeways.

The Oak Woodlands Protection Act, written by Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica), would require counties to take the conversion of oak woodlands into account in determining whether a proposed project meets the environmental analysis and assessment requirements of California law. It also would require counties to impose mitigation measures on any project that will have a significant impact on oak woodlands.

Some of the mitigation measures listed in the bill include purchase of conservation easements to preserve oak woodlands, replanting or restoring former oak woodlands, and contributing to the Oak Woodlands Conservation Fund.

Forests Forever has been intensively campaigning on SB 1334 since November 2003. If you are one of the thousands of our supporters who wrote or phoned your legislator since then, thank you! Our efforts resulted in a recent 41 to 34 victory on the Assembly floor!


The Oak Woodlands bill is now on the governor’s desk. Gov. Schwarzenegger has not revealed whether he plans to sign or veto it. Please write to the governor and urge him to sign The Oak Woodlands Protection Act. He has only until Sept. 30 to act!


Dear Gov. Schwarzenegger:

I strongly urge you to sign the Oak Woodlands Protection Act, SB 1334.

The Oak Woodlands Protection Act would add much-needed protection for our state's oak woodlands, which are disappearing at a rate of 20,000 acres a year. More than 1 million acres of native oak forests have been lost since 1945.

Oak woodlands are not only beautiful but also provide important habitat for an astonishing array of plants and animals. These state treasures should not be heedlessly removed for shopping malls and housing developments.

By signing this bill into law, you will help preserve the oak woodlands of California for future generations.

Thank you.


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

from Forests Forever Foundation
and the Center for American Places