Code Section Group

Public Resources Code - PRC

DIVISION 4. FORESTS, FORESTRY AND RANGE AND FORAGE LANDS [4001 - 4958]

  ( Division 4 repealed and added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144. )

PART 2. PROTECTION OF FOREST, RANGE AND FORAGE LANDS [4101 - 4789.7]

  ( Part 2 added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144. )

CHAPTER 10. Protection of Forest and Lands [4671 - 4750.7]

  ( Chapter 10 added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144. )

ARTICLE 9. Sudden Oak Death Management Act of 2002 [4750 - 4750.7]
  ( Article 9 added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 854, Sec. 1. )

4750.
  

This article shall be known and may be cited as the Sudden Oak Death Management Act of 2002.

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 854, Sec. 1. Effective September 25, 2002.)

4750.1.
  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) The need for expanding the current efforts to slow the spread of sudden oak death grows more urgent with the discovery of each new plant host and the spread of the disease to an increasing number of counties.

(b) The cause of sudden oak death, a fungus known as Phytophthora ramorum, has only recently been discovered. There is currently no known cure for trees and other plant species infected with this fungus, leaving removal as the only current option. Although costly, infected trees and other plant species can be removed.

(c) Ten counties have now confirmed the presence of sudden oak death in several trees and other plant species. The counties are Marin, Sonoma, Monterey, Mendocino, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Solano, and Alameda. Trees and other plant species in several other counties are potentially affected with sudden oak death, but are not yet confirmed.

(d) In addition to the tens of thousands of tanoaks (Lithocarpus densiflorus), coast live oaks (Quercus agrifolia), and black oaks (Quercus kelloggii) that are currently dying of Phytophthora ramorum, the fungus has also been confirmed in Shreve’s oak (Quercus parvula, var. shrevei), rhododendron (Rhododendron species, except azaleas), California bay laurel (Umbellularia californica), madrone (Arbutus menziesii), huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum), arrowwood (Viburnum x bodnantense), bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum), California buckeye (Aesculus californica), California coffeeberry (Rhamnus californica), a honeysuckle (Lonicera hispidula), manzanita (Arctostaphylos manzanita), and Toyon or Christmas berry (Heteromeles arbutifolia). Several more species are suspected of infestation.

(e) Research is urgently needed to determine the range of host trees and other plants that may be infected, to help develop sufficient control strategies.

(f) There is now a significant danger that sudden oak death may spread to other regions of California, other states, or countries. Currently, federal agencies, California, Oregon, Canada, and South Korea have imposed quarantines in an attempt to halt the spread of the fungus.

(g) The effect of the spread of this devastating disease is potentially disastrous: massive die-offs of oak trees covering thousands of acres; a serious increase in fire threats in areas that include densely populated areas; a dramatic change in forest cover and ecosystems with a devastating effect on California’s wildlife; and severe consequences to California’s economy, including threats to tourism and the continued sale of nursery stock and forest products.

(h) Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature to provide continuing funding to the Resources Agency for its program to combat sudden oak death. Funding is necessary to address this situation quickly and adequately, and to ensure that necessary actions are taken to protect the public safety and the environment. It is the intent of the Legislature that the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, with recommendations from the California Oak Mortality Task Force, administer this program.

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 854, Sec. 1. Effective September 25, 2002.)

4750.2.
  

As used in this article, “task force” means the California Oak Mortality Task Force.

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 854, Sec. 1. Effective September 25, 2002.)

4750.3.
  

It is hereby declared to be the policy of the state, to the extent feasible, to stop the spread of sudden oak death and conserve oak trees and other plant species affected by the disease. The purpose of this article is to accomplish all of the following:

(a) Prevent the introduction and spread within this state of sudden oak death caused by Phytophthora ramorum.

(b) Reduce or eliminate the loss of oak trees and other plant species infected with Phytophthora ramorum.

(c) Encourage the coordination of efforts between federal, state, and local agencies and organizations to effectively allocate resources to manage Phytophthora ramorum.

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 854, Sec. 1. Effective September 25, 2002.)

4750.4.
  

(a) (1) The department shall implement a program to detect, remove, and treat, if possible, trees infected with Phytophthora ramorum. This program shall encourage tree management and replanting in urban and other infected areas and assist counties in seeking innovative solutions to problems caused by Phytophthora ramorum.

(2) The department is primarily responsible for carrying out the intent of this article in cooperation with the task force and other private and public entities or persons and appropriate local, state, and federal agencies.

(b) (1) The department shall cooperate with those agencies of the federal government that have powers and duties concerning forestry, and shall perform all actions necessary to secure for this state the benefits of federal forestry programs.

(2) To facilitate the implementation of this article, the director may enter into agreements and contracts with any public or private entity, including any local agency, that has forestry related jurisdictional responsibilities. The director may consult with those entities and agencies when carrying out the objectives of this article.

(c) The director shall take all necessary steps to prevent or retard the introduction, establishment, and spread of Phytophthora ramorum.

(d) The department and the Department of Food and Agriculture shall cooperate in setting quarantine boundary lines, if necessary, and in enforcing the provisions relating to plant quarantine and pest control in Division 4 (commencing with Section 5001) of the Food and Agricultural Code if a quarantine is established with regard to Phytophthora ramorum.

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 854, Sec. 1. Effective September 25, 2002.)

4750.5.
  

(a) The department shall provide information and technical assistance to cities, counties, districts, regional entities, homeowner neighborhood groups, and nonprofit organizations on Phytophthora ramorum.

(b) The department and any other state agency may assist local tree maintenance programs by loaning surplus equipment for regional and local urban forestry. Eligible programs shall include, but are not limited to, urban tree care by nonprofit organizations.

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 854, Sec. 1. Effective September 25, 2002.)

4750.6.
  

The director, with advice from the task force, may enter into contracts to provide assistance for project costs associated with the implementation of this article. Eligible projects shall include all of the following:

(a) Infected tree detection, including coordination of local agency efforts and citizen involvement.

(b) Funding for seedlings, tree stock, and replanting.

(c) Other categories of projects recommended by the task force and approved by the director.

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 854, Sec. 1. Effective September 25, 2002.)

4750.7.
  

(a) (1) The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection shall expend funds, subject to appropriation in the Budget Act, on sudden oak death management activities pursuant to this section. The department shall take into account the recommendations of the task force for the expenditure of the funds.

(2) The department shall expend the funds appropriated pursuant to this subdivision to take various actions to control the spread of Phytophthora ramorum, to find effective treatments to prevent or eliminate sudden oak death, and to assist state and local agencies and private property owners to perform, identify, remove, and appropriately dispose of trees and plants that have become infected or expired due to sudden oak death.

(3) (A) Of the amount to be expended pursuant to this subdivision, the department shall expend the amount of funds it deems necessary on sudden oak death monitoring including, but not limited to, open-space surveys, roadside surveys, aerial surveys, monitoring technique workshops, development of baseline information on the distribution, condition, and mortality rates of oaks in California, and maintaining an up-to-date geographic information system database.

(B) (i) Except as provided in clause (ii), of the amount to be expended pursuant to this subdivision, the department shall expend not less than 35 percent on sudden oak death management activities pursuant to contracts with counties, which may include, but need not be limited to, hazard tree assessment, contracts with counties for hazard tree removal pursuant to the process established by clause (iii), biomass utilization, assessment and management of restoration and mitigation options, establishment and operation of demonstration projects, including green waste treatment facilities, and grants to counties for oak tree restoration pursuant to the process established by clause (iv). The department shall first endeavor to contract directly with the affected county. If the county declines to enter into a contract, or if the county has not commenced the process established by clause (iii) within 60 days of notification by the department of the need for a contract with the affected county, the department may enter into one or more contracts with one or more other appropriate entities at the local level.

(ii) Of the amount of funds appropriated in the Budget Act of 2002 that is expended under this subdivision, the department shall expend not less than seven hundred thousand dollars ($700,000) pursuant to clause (i).

(iii) The department shall utilize a portion of the funds to be expended pursuant to this subparagraph to contract with affected counties for the removal of trees that have died or are dying as a result of sudden oak death. An affected county may apply to the department for a contract, and shall provide the department with an action plan for the removal and disposition of affected trees within its jurisdiction. The department shall approve or deny an affected county’s action plan in a timely manner. If the department approves the action plan of an affected county, the department may enter into a contract with that county. The department shall consider the recommendation of the task force prior to approving or denying a county action plan and prior to entering into a contract under this clause. An action plan approved by the board prior to January 1, 2003, is deemed sufficient to comply with this section.

(iv) The department shall utilize a portion of the funds to be expended pursuant to this subparagraph to contract with affected counties for activities designed to restore oak trees in areas that have been affected by sudden oak death. An affected county may apply to the department for these funds, and provide the department with an action plan for the restoration of affected trees within its jurisdiction. The department shall approve or deny an affected county’s action plan in a timely manner. If the department approves the action plan of an affected county, the department may enter into a contract with that county. The department shall consider the recommendations of the task force prior to approving or denying a county action plan and prior to entering into a contract under this clause. The department may reallocate to other sudden oak death management activities authorized under this section any amount allocated under this subdivision and not expended within one year after the date it was originally allocated.

(C) Of the amount to be expended pursuant to this subdivision, the department may expend the amount of funds it deems necessary on research activities, including, but not limited to, research on forest pathology and Phytophthora ecology, forest insects associated with oak decline, urban forestry and arboriculture, forest ecology, fire management and silviculture, genetic resistance, ecosystem impacts, and landscape ecology, epidemiology, and monitoring techniques.

(D) Of the amount to be expended pursuant to this subdivision, the department may expend the amount of funds it deems necessary on education activities, including, but not limited to, support for two regional education project coordinators, one public information officer, Internet Web site design and maintenance training, and development and distribution of educational materials on sudden oak death for homeowners, arborists, urban foresters, park managers, public works personnel, utility crews, recreationists, nursery workers, landscapers, naturalists, and firefighting personnel.

(E) Of the amount to be expended pursuant to this subdivision, the department may expend the amount of funds it deems necessary on fire protection and prevention activities, including, but not limited to, assessing fire risk in heavily impacted areas, inspecting property to encourage increased clearing of vegetation in heavily infested areas and to mitigate the fire risk, producing and distributing safety information for firefighters working in areas affected by sudden oak death, and treating vegetation to prevent fire.

(F) Of the amount to be expended pursuant to this subdivision, the department may expend the amount of funds it deems necessary to fund administrative activities necessary to oversee the activities listed in subparagraphs (A) to (E), inclusive, including, but not limited to, an overall statewide task force coordinator, miscellaneous expenses associated with the operation of the task force, and staff of the department to carry out contract preparation, administration, and fiscal audits of contract expenditures.

(b) Of the amount to be expended under this section, the department may allocate funds to the Department of Food and Agriculture for regulatory activities, including, but not limited to, nursery surveys and other regulatory enforcement activities performed by agricultural commissioners, diagnostic services, and public agency coordination efforts. Of the amount allocated to be expended under this subdivision, the department may expend the amount of funds it deems necessary to fund administrative activities necessary to oversee the activities listed in this subdivision.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 224, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2005.)

PRCPublic Resources Code - PRC9.