On Fri., Sept. 24, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 1334, the Oak Woodlands Protection Act, into law.

This measure, introduced by state Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica) requires counties to consider a project’s effects on oak woodlands in deciding whether an environmental impact report is needed under the California Environmental Quality Act. The new law also instructs counties to require a project that will have a significant impact on oak woodlands to offset the loss of any oaks destroyed, and lists mitigation measures to accomplish this, including replanting, restoring, and conserving oak woodlands.

"We were thrilled to see the governor sign this bill to improve protection for our oak woodlands," said Paul Hughes, Executive Director of Forests Forever. "While it doesn’t by any means halt the destruction of oaks, it does strengthen the regulatory framework protecting them, and provides oaks defenders with new legal tools."

Forests Forever has been intensively campaigning for passage of SB 1334 since November 2003. If you are one of the thousands of our supporters who wrote or phoned legislators and the governor to urge passage of this bill, thank you!

Forests Forever supporters wrote, called, faxed or emailed state senators 1,967 times, assemblymembers 4,918 times, and Gov. Schwarzenegger 2,090 times about the oak woodlands bill. Due to your efforts, there is now, for the first time, a mitigation formula to help conserve the unique oaks of California.


Now, after congratulating yourself on a successful effort, we hope you will write one more letter.

Below is a sample letter to Gov. Schwarzenegger, thanking him for signing the Oak Woodlands Protection Act, SB 1334. Please feel free to put this letter in your own words.

Send your letter to:

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger:
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: 916/445-4633


Dear Gov. Schwarzenegger:

Thank you for signing into law Sen. Sheila Kuehl’s SB 1334, the Oak Woodlands Protection Act. This act gives much-needed protection to our state’s oak woodlands, iconic California landscapes that provide important habitat for many plants and animals.

The menu of mitigations offered by SB 1334 will help restore or replace oak woodlands that otherwise might have been heedlessly bulldozed out of existence. The Oak Woodlands Protection Act will give counties more control over development projects involving oaks, and provide developers with an array of options to help offset any damage to oak woodlands caused by their projects.

I am sure that I speak for all Californians when I express my gratitude to you for signing this important legislation to protect one of the state’s natural treasures.


Your name
Your address

If you have time for one more letter, send a note of thanks to the act’s legislative author, Sen. Sheila Kuehl at:

State Capitol, Room 4032
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 445-1353
Fax (916) 324-4823

Stay tuned as Forests Forever next presses forward to protect the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, protecting over 4 million acres of California’s federal forests!


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

from Forests Forever Foundation
and the Center for American Places