Today's Law As Amended


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AB-875 Forest management.(2013-2014)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.

 Article 5.5 (commencing with Section 4564) is added to Chapter 8 of Part 2 of Division 4 of the Public Resources Code, to read:

Article  5.5. Watershed Pilot Projects
4564.
 (a) By July 1, 2014, the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency and the Secretary for Environmental Protection, in consultation with the state’s timber harvest plan review agencies, relevant federal agencies, and qualified stakeholders from the timber industry and environmental and science communities, shall select a pilot project assessment team to undertake the pilot projects described in Section 4565.
(b) Before selecting the pilot project assessment team, the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency and the Secretary for Environmental Protection shall hold at least one public meeting to discuss the assessment team selection process and the general manner in which the team will approach the projects. This meeting shall occur at a special session hearing of the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection.
(c) (1) The pilot project assessment team shall include all of the following:
(A) Two representatives from each state agency that is regularly involved in the timber harvest review process. If feasible, each agency shall have representatives who, collectively, have expertise in the sciences and art of cumulative impacts and the collection and organization of data.
(B) If available, qualified representatives from federal agencies involved in forestry issues.
(C) Two qualified representatives from the environmental community.
(D) Two qualified representatives from the timber industry.
(E) Two registered professional foresters, one of whom shall have experience with preparing harvest plans for landowners who are not primarily engaged in the manufacture of forest products.
(F) Two scientists, including, but not limited to, qualified fisheries and wildlife biologists.
(G) Two individuals from the watershed restoration practitioners community.
(2) For each group of representatives, there shall be one person who has experience with forestry issues in the Coast Forest District and one person who has experience with forestry issues in the Northern Forest District.
(d) (1) As approved by the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection, members of the pilot project assessment team may be reimbursed for their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of official business related to the pilot projects.
(2) Members of the pilot project assessment team shall not receive more than five thousand dollars ($5,000) in any fiscal year.
(3) This subdivision shall not apply to a public employee whose participation is consistent with his or her job description.
4565.
 (a) By July 1, 2015, the pilot project assessment team shall undertake two pilot projects, one in a Coast Forest District watershed containing Central California Coast Coho Salmon and one in a Northern Forest District watershed in the Sierra Nevada, with the primary goal of improving the state’s collection, organization, management, use, and distribution of vital forestry-related information. The pilot project shall accomplish all of the following:
(1) Make the evaluation and response to cumulative impacts credible and effective.
(2) Enable restoration measures to be identified for listed anadromous salmonids, other wildlife, watersheds, and forest health issues.
(3) Determine appropriate and effective post-harvest monitoring procedures and standards.
(b) The pilot projects shall have a focus on (1) developing efficiencies and cost savings for state agencies and landowners and (2) improving the evaluation of ecological performance. The pilot project assessment team may use the State of Washington’s Watershed Analysis Manual, the Methods Manual developed by the State of California’s North Coast Watershed Assessment Program, the Recovery Strategy for California Coho Salmon, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration fisheries’ recovery plans for California evolutionarily significant units, the State Wildlife Action Plan, and other pertinent reports, programs, and documents as guidance to the extent that they do not conflict with this article.
(c) The pilot projects shall take place on a CalWater Planning Watershed level. The pilot project assessment team shall select watersheds that (1) are representative of both private and public trust values and (2) will produce analyses that are transferable to other watersheds.
(d) The pilot projects shall establish, to the extent feasible, templates, consistent symbology, uniform mapping requirements, and other requirements to bring information together (1) in a publically accessible electronic database and (2) in a manner that meets the basic needs of all stakeholders to make decisions on environmental conditions and impacts.
(e) By January 1, 2015, the pilot project assessment team shall develop a draft plan explaining the scope and process of the pilot projects and hold at least one public hearing to discuss the draft plan and take public comment.
(f) The pilot projects shall conclude on July 1, 2017.
4566.
 (a) By January 1, 2018, the pilot project assessment team shall complete a draft report of its findings, conclusions, and recommendations and hold at least one public meeting to discuss the draft report and take public comment. This public meeting shall occur at a special session hearing of the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection.
(b) The pilot project assessment team’s recommendations shall include all of the following:
(1) Measures to develop a centralized database system that will meet the goals described in subdivision (a) of Section 4565 and contain the focus described in subdivision (b) of Section 4565.
(2) Guidance on how to incorporate the centralized database system into processes that will meet the goals described in paragraphs (1) to (3), inclusive, of subdivision (a) of Section 4565 and contain the focus described in subdivision (b) of Section 4565.
(3) Identification of any impediments to implementing paragraphs (1) and (2).
(c) By July 1, 2018, the pilot project assessment team shall have completed the final report of its findings, conclusions, and recommendations and hold a public meeting, no later than September 1, 2018, to discuss the final report.
(d) Prior to a public meeting held pursuant to subdivision (c), the pilot project assessment team shall, at a minimum, make its report and any supporting documents available to the public through the department’s Internet Web site.
(e) (1) No later than August 1, 2018, the pilot project assessment team shall deliver copies of the final report to the Legislature.
(2) The requirement for submitting a report imposed pursuant to paragraph (1) is inoperative on July 1, 2022, pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code.
(3) A report submitted pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.

SEC. 4.SEC. 2.

 Section 4629.6 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

4629.6.
 Moneys deposited in the fund shall, upon appropriation by the Legislature, only be expended for the following purposes:
(a) To reimburse the State Board of Equalization for its administrative costs associated with the administration, collection, audit, and issuance of refunds related to the lumber products and engineered wood assessment established pursuant to Section 4629.5.
(b) To pay refunds issued pursuant to Part 30 (commencing with Section 55001) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
(c) To support the activities and costs of the department, the Department of Conservation, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the State Water Resources Control Board, and regional water quality control boards associated with the review of projects or permits necessary to conduct timber operations. On or after July 1, 2013, except for fees applicable for fire prevention or protection within state responsibility area classified lands or timber yield assessments, no currently authorized or required fees shall be charged by the agencies listed in this subdivision for activities or costs associated with the review of a project, inspection and oversight of projects, and permits necessary to conduct timber operations of those departments and boards.
(d) For transfer to the department’s Forest Improvement Program  Program, upon appropriation by the Legislature,  for forest resources improvement grants and projects administered by the department pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 4790) and Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 4799.06) of Part 2.5. 2 of Division 4. 
(e) To fund existing restoration grant programs, with priority given to the Fisheries Restoration Grant Program administered by the Department of Fish and Wildlife and grant programs administered by state conservancies. those programs described in subdivision (b) of Section 6217.1 relating to salmon and anadromous trout species. 
(f) (1) As a loan to the Department of Fish and Wildlife for activities to address environmental damage occurring on forest lands resulting from marijuana cultivation. Not more than five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) may be loaned from the fund in a fiscal year pursuant to this paragraph. This paragraph shall become inoperative on July 1, 2017.
(2) Any funds deposited into the fund pursuant to subdivision (d) or (f) of Section 12025 or subdivision (b), (c), (e), or (f) of Section 12025.1 of the Fish and Game Code shall be credited toward loan repayment.
(3) Moneys from the General Fund shall not be used to repay a loan authorized pursuant to this subdivision.
(g) (f)  To the department  department, upon appropriation by the Legislature,  for fuel treatment grants and projects pursuant to authorities under the Wildland Fire Protection and Resources Management Act of 1978 (Article 1 (commencing with Section 4461) of Chapter 7). 7 of Part 2 of Division 4). 
(h) (g)  To the department  department, upon appropriation by the Legislature,  to provide grants to local agencies responsible for fire protection, qualified nonprofits, recognized tribes, local and state governments, and resources conservation districts, undertaken on a state responsibility area (SRA) or on wildlands not in an SRA that pose a threat to the SRA, to reduce the costs of wildland fire suppression, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote adaptation of forested landscapes to changing climate, improve forest health, and protect homes and communities.
(i) To the Natural Resources Agency to provide a reasonable per diem for attendance at a meeting of the advisory body for the state’s forest practice program by a member of the body who is not an employee of a government agency.

SEC. 3.

 Section 6217.1 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

6217.1.
 (a) This section and the process described in this section governs the expenditure of any funds received by the State of California from the federal government for the purposes of salmon and steelhead trout conservation and restoration, the expenditure of funds authorized for the Coastal Watershed Salmon Habitat Program pursuant to Article 7 (commencing with Section 79104.200) of Chapter 6 of Division 26 of the Water Code, and the expenditure of funds appropriated to the Department of Fish and Game for salmon and steelhead trout conservation and restoration from the California Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks, and Coastal Protection Fund pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 5096.650) of Chapter 1.696 of Division 5 of the Public Resources Code.
(b) For purposes of this section, “project” means an activity that improves fish habitat in coastal waters utilized by salmon and anadromous trout species.
(c) (1) The Department of Fish and Game shall grant funds from the Salmon and Steelhead Trout Restoration Account in the Resources Trust Fund, as follows:
(A) At least 87.5 percent of the funds shall be allocated as project grants through the existing grant program operated by the fisheries management program of the Department of Fish and Game.
(B) Not more than 12.5 percent of the funds may also be used for project contract administration activities and biological support staff.
(2) (A) A project shall require the consent of a willing landowner, and emphasize the development of coordinated watershed improvement activities.
(B) Projects that restore habitat for salmon and anadromous trout species that are eligible for protection as listed or candidate species under state or federal endangered species acts shall be given top funding priority.
(C) Projects shall be cost-effective and treat causes and not symptoms of fish habitat degradation. Projects may implement instream, riparian, water quality, water quantity, and watershed prescriptions and shall be designed to protect and  restore the structure and function of fish habitat.
(3) Any grant funds allocated to a project that exceed the actual cost of completing the project shall be returned to the Salmon and Steelhead Trout Restoration Account.
(d) (1) A citizen’s advisory committee shall be appointed by the Director of Fish and Game to give advice on the grant program.
(2) The advisory committee shall consist of seven representatives recommended by the California Advisory Committee on Salmon and Steelhead Trout, one representative from the agriculture industry, one representative from the timber industry, one representative of public water agency interests, one academic or research scientist with expertise in anadromous fisheries restoration, and three county supervisors from coastal counties in which anadromous trout exist. The county supervisor members shall be recommended by the California State Association of Counties.
(3) The advisory committee shall provide oversight of, and recommend priorities for, grant funding under this section. In making funding decisions, the Department of Fish and Game shall consider the project selection priorities established by the advisory committee.
(4) Members of any advisory committee established for these purposes shall be reimbursed for travel and incidental expenses related to the performance of their duties under this section. Reimbursement for the advisory committee created pursuant to this section shall be made from the funds designated in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (c). Reimbursement for other Department of Fish and Game salmon and steelhead trout advisory committees shall be funded by appropriate sources.
(5) If a member of the advisory committee, or a member of his or her immediate family, is employed by a grant applicant, the employer of a grant applicant, or a consultant or independent contractor employed by a grant applicant, the advisory committee member shall make that disclosure to the other members of the committee, and shall not participate in reviewing or making recommendations on the grant application of that applicant.
(e) Except as provided in subdivision (f), the money in the Salmon and Steelhead Trout Restoration Account shall be allocated as follows:
(1) Not less than 65 percent of the money shall be used for salmon habitat protection and restoration projects.  projects and training to increase fisheries protection.  Of that amount, at least 75 percent shall be used for watershed (upslope) and riparian area protection and restoration activities. These activities may include, but are not limited to, grants to acquire and install fish screens to protect juvenile and adult salmon and steelhead trout from entrapment in water diversions, and grants to remove substandard culverts, stream crossings, and bridges that constitute barriers to spawning of salmon and steelhead trout and passage of fish. These funds may also be used for the acquisition, from willing sellers, of conservation easements for riparian buffer strips along coastal rivers and streams to protect salmon and steelhead trout habitat or for projects that protect and improve water quality and quantity.
(2) Up to 35 percent of the money shall be allocated for any of the uses listed in this paragraph.
(A) Watershed evaluation, assessment, and planning necessary to develop a site-specific and clearly prioritized plan to implement watershed improvements.
(B) Multiyear grants for watershed planning and project monitoring and evaluations.
(C) Watershed organization support and assistance.
(D) Project maintenance and monitoring after the project implementations are complete.
(E) Public school watershed and fishery conservation education projects.
(F) Private sector technical training and education project grants, including teaching private landowners about practical means of improving land and water management practices that, if implemented, will contribute to the protection and restoration of salmon stream habitat; scholarship funding for workshops and conferences that teach restoration techniques; operation of nonprofit restoration technical schools; and production of restoration training and education workshops and conferences.
(G) Fish and wildlife habitat improvements, as defined by Section 4793, and authorized under the California Forestry Incentive Program (CFIP).
(H) The salmon restoration project of the California Conservation Corps.
(I) The state’s share of the federal Watershed Stewards Program.
(J) County salmonid conservation programs.
(J) (K)  Monitoring projects that utilize protocols approved by the Department of Fish and Game and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to provide baseline or trend data, or both, for anadromous fish populations or the physical and biological factors known to be limiting recovery.
(K) (L)  Artificial propagation programs designed to restore depleted stocks of salmonids that comply with the directives of the joint Department of Fish and Game and NMFS Hatchery Operations Review Committee.
(f) The advisory committee, in any fiscal year, may make a recommendation to the Department of Fish and Game to allocate money from the Salmon and Steelhead Trout Restoration Account for the purposes stated in subdivision (e), but in different percentage requirements than the 65/35 split stated in paragraphs (1) and (2) of that subdivision. Following that recommendation, the Director of Fish and Game may suspend the percentage requirements stated in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (e) for that fiscal year only.