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SB-456 Fire prevention: wildfire and forest resilience: action plan: reports.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 05/20/2021 09:00 PM
SB456:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  May 20, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  April 19, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  March 08, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 456


Introduced by Senator Laird

February 16, 2021


An act to add Article 11 (commencing with Section 4770) to Chapter 10 of Part 2 of Division 4 of the Public Resources Code, relating to fire prevention.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 456, as amended, Laird. Fire prevention: forest health: wildfire and forest resilience: action plan: reports.
Existing law establishes in the Natural Resources Agency the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, and requires the department to be responsible for, among other things, fire protection and prevention, as provided. The former Governor, Edmund G. Brown Jr., issued an executive order relating to, among other subjects, the streamlining of permitting for landowner-initiated projects for the improvement of forest health and the reduction of forest fire fuels on their properties. Pursuant to this executive order, a Forest Management Task Force involving specified state agencies was convened and an action plan was created.
This bill would require the task force, including the agency and the department, on January 1, 2022, to develop a comprehensive implementation strategy to achieve the goals and key actions identified in the action plan, as provided. The bill would require the implementation strategy to address specified actions, including increasing the pace and scale of forest health wildfire and forest resilience activities, as provided. The bill would require the task force, on or before January 1, 2023, and annually thereafter until January 1, 2048, to submit a report containing specified information, including progress made in achieving the goals and key actions identified in the action plan, to the appropriate policy and budget committees of the Legislature. The bill would require the task force, on or before January 1, 2026, and every 5 years thereafter, to update the action plan, as provided. The bill would require the task force to invite the participation of specified federal entities in the creation, alignment, and coordination of joint efforts related to the above-described provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Article 11 (commencing with Section 4770) is added to Chapter 10 of Part 2 of Division 4 of the Public Resources Code, to read:
Article  11. California Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan Goals

4770.
 For purposes of this article, “task force” means the Forest Management Task Force established by the Governor to oversee the implementation of Executive Order No. B-52-18.

4771.
 (a) On January 1, 2022, the task force, including, but not limited to, the Natural Resources Agency, the California Environmental Protection Agency, the Office of Planning and Research, and the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, in coordination with the relevant lead federal, state, local, and tribal agencies, shall develop a comprehensive implementation strategy to achieve the goals and key actions identified in the state’s “Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan” issued by the task force in January 2021.
(b) The implementation strategy required by subdivision (a) shall include, but not be limited to, the identification of lead agencies and a description of the activities necessary to achieve the goals and key actions identified in the state’s “Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan.” Implementation that is appropriate to the state’s different regions shall be included in the strategy.
(c) The implementation strategy required by subdivision (a) shall, in addition to the contents identified in subdivision (b), address all of the following actions:
(1) Increasing the pace and scale of forest health activities, including wildfire and forest resilience activities. This includes all of the following:
(A) A joint strategy to annually treat 500,000 acres of federal land and 500,000 acres of nonfederal land by 2025. The type of the treatments shall be monitored, tracked, and reported pursuant to subdivision (e).
(B) A strategy to expand forest management and improve the health and resilience of forested state lands. lands in the state.
(C) A comprehensive program to coordinate and align state and federal assistance programs for small private landowners, including grant programs, stewardship education workshops, and postfire rapid response teams.
(D) A strategic action plan to expand the use of prescribed fire.
(E) Expansion of the Department of Conservation’s Regional Fire and Forest Capacity Program through the development of a statewide network of regional forest and community fire resilience plans.
(F) A comprehensive statewide reforestation strategy.
(G) A permit synchronization plan to align permitting under the Z’berg-Nejedly Forest Practice Act of 1973 (Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 4511)) and forest practice rules and regulations adopted by the board with relevant permitting and regulatory requirements of the State Water Resources Control Board and the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
(H) A science-based review and recommendations to guide and inform state investments and regional strategies on actions needed to improve the health and fire resilience of chaparral, shrublands, and surrounding communities.
(2) Supporting development and expansion of fire-adapted communities, Strengthening the protection of communities and reducing their fire risk, including all of the following:
(A) A statewide framework, including performance measures, to support local and regional community fire risk reduction and adaptation programs and projects.
(B) Development and maintenance of a network of more than 500 fuel break projects across the state.
(C) Expansion of existing defensible space and home hardening programs. programs, particularly targeting high fire threat communities, including, but not limited to, assistance programs for defensible space and home hardening, with priority given to the most vulnerable communities in the state.
(D) Strengthening of investor-owned utility wildfire mitigation plans.
(E) A framework for collaborative fuels reduction projects to protect roadway travelers and communities along highways, and to reduce roadside ignitions along primary and secondary emergency evacuation routes.
(F) A Smoke Ready California campaign to provide coordinated messaging and content to help Californians plan for and protect themselves from wildfire smoke impacts.
(3) Creating a sustainable wood products market in California, including both of the following:
(A) A comprehensive framework and market strategy to align the state’s wood use policies and priorities, and to create economic opportunities for the use of forest materials that store carbon, reduce emissions, and contribute to sustainable local economies.
(B) A catalyst fund to provide low-cost financing for businesses that use forest biomass and encourage private sector innovation.
(4) Sustaining and expanding outdoor recreation on forestland, including both of the following:
(A) Updating the Department of Parks and Recreation’s Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP).
(B) Creating a joint strategy with the United States Forest Service to expand sustainable recreation across the state’s forested regions, emphasizing equitable access to underserved communities and rural recreation-dependent communities.
(5) Protecting and expanding urban canopy and forestry, including a comprehensive program, with regional targets, to significantly increase California’s urban tree canopy, targeting disadvantaged and low-income communities and low-canopy areas.
(6) Driving innovation and measuring progress in achieving these goals, including both of the following:
(A) An applied research plan.
(B) A forest data hub to serve as multiinstitutional clearinghouse for supporting, integrating, evaluating, and synthesizing reporting and monitoring efforts.
(d) In developing the implementation strategy required by subdivision (a), the task force shall seek to coordinate and integrate the implementation strategy with the key goals and priorities of all of the following frameworks:
(1) The Natural and Working Lands Climate Smart Strategy and biodiversity strategies developed pursuant to Executive Order No. N-82-20.
(2) The state’s climate adaptation strategy, known as the Safeguarding California Plan, adopted pursuant to Section 71153.
(3) The 2022 scoping plan update developed pursuant to the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Division 25.5 (commencing with Section 38500) of the Health and Safety Code)). Code).
(4) Any other related natural resources policy frameworks.
(e) (1) On or before January 1, 2023, and annually thereafter until January 1, 2048, the task force shall submit a report to the appropriate policy and budget committees of the Legislature on progress made in achieving the goals and key actions identified in the state’s “Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan,” on state expenditures made to implement these key actions, and on additional resources needed to achieve these goals and key actions.
(2) (A) The annual report described in paragraph (1) shall also include information on the prior year’s acreage treatment goals goals, including treatment described in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (c), to (i) ensure compliance with the goals and (ii) assess annually additional resource requirements to achieve those goals. Metrics for reporting shall include total acres treated, level of risk for catastrophic fires within treated areas, statewide fire risk reduction, and resources expended to treat and barriers to treatment, if any.
(B) When establishing yearly treatment goals, described in subparagraph (A), the task force shall use the most advanced predictive tools to determine priority areas for treatment. treatment, with the goal of most effectively and efficiently reducing the overall fire risk to the state.
(3) Pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, the requirement for submitting a report to the Legislature pursuant to this subdivision is inoperative on January 1, 2052.
(f) On or before January 1, 2026, and every five years thereafter, the task force, or its successor entity, shall update the state’s “Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan.” The Natural Resources Agency shall coordinate development of the update with the related state frameworks identified in subdivision (d), and with the phased development of the 20-year plan identified in the “Agreement for Shared Stewardship of California’s Forests and Rangelands” entered into between the state and the Pacific Southwest Region of the United States Forest Service.
(g) The task force shall invite the participation of the United States Forest Service and other federal entities, as applicable, in the creation, alignment, and coordination of joint efforts pursuant to this section.