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  ( Division 4 repealed and added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144.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 8. Z'berg-Nejedly Forest Practice Act of 1973 [4511 - 4630.2]

  ( Chapter 8 repealed and added by Stats. 1973, Ch. 880. )

ARTICLE 1. General Provisions [4511 - 4517]
  ( Article 1 added by Stats. 1973, Ch. 880. )

4511.
  

This chapter shall be known as the Z'berg-Nejedly Forest Practice Act of 1973.

(Added by Stats. 1973, Ch. 880.)

4512.
  

(a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the forest resources and timberlands of the state are among the most valuable of the natural resources of the state and that there is great concern throughout the state relating to their utilization, restoration, and protection.

(b) The Legislature further finds and declares that the forest resources and timberlands of the state furnish high-quality timber, recreational opportunities, and aesthetic enjoyment while providing watershed protection and maintaining fisheries and wildlife.

(c) The Legislature thus declares that it is the policy of this state to encourage prudent and responsible forest resource management calculated to serve the public’s need for timber and other forest products, while giving consideration to the public’s need for watershed protection, fisheries and wildlife, sequestration of carbon dioxide, and recreational opportunities alike in this and future generations.

(d) It is not the intent of the Legislature by the enactment of this chapter to take private property for public use without payment of just compensation in violation of the California and United States Constitutions.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 534, Sec. 1. (AB 1504) Effective January 1, 2011.)

4512.5.
  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) State forests play a critical and unique role in the state’s carbon balance by sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it long term as carbon.

(b) According to the scoping plan adopted by the State Air Resources Board pursuant to the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Division 25.5 (commencing with Section 38500) of the Health and Safety Code), the state’s forests currently are an annual net sequester of five million metric tons of carbon dioxide (5MMTCO2). In fact, the forest sector is the only sector included in the scoping plan that provides a net sequestration of greenhouse gas emissions.

(c) The scoping plan proposes to maintain the current 5MMTCO2 annual sequestration rate through 2020 by implementing “sustainable management practices,” which include potential changes to existing forest practices and land use regulations.

(d) There is increasing evidence that climate change has and will continue to stress forest ecosystems, which underscores the importance of proactively managing forests so that they can adapt to these stressors and remain a net sequester of carbon dioxide.

(e) The board, the department, and the State Air Resources Board should strive to go beyond the status quo sequestration rate and ensure that their policies and regulations reflect the unique role forests play in combating climate change.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 296, Sec. 256. (AB 1023) Effective January 1, 2012.)

4513.
  

It is the intent of the Legislature to create and maintain an effective and comprehensive system of regulation and use of all timberlands so as to ensure both of the following:

(a) Where feasible, the productivity of timberlands is restored, enhanced, and maintained.

(b) The goal of maximum sustained production of high-quality timber products is achieved while giving consideration to values relating to sequestration of carbon dioxide, recreation, watershed, wildlife, range and forage, fisheries, regional economic vitality, employment, and aesthetic enjoyment.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 534, Sec. 3. (AB 1504) Effective January 1, 2011.)

4514.
  

This chapter or a ruling, requirement, or policy of the board is not a limitation on the following:

(a) On the power of a city or county or city and county to declare, prohibit, and abate nuisances.

(b) On the power of the Attorney General, at the request of the board, or upon his or her own motion, to bring an action in the name of the people of the State of California to enjoin pollution or nuisance.

(c) On the power of a state agency in the enforcement or administration of the law that it is specifically authorized or required to enforce or administer.

(d) On the right of a person to maintain at any time an appropriate action for relief against a private nuisance as defined in Part 3 (commencing with Section 3479) of Division 4 of the Civil Code or for any other private relief.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 584, Sec. 1. (AB 1414) Effective January 1, 2012.)

4514.3.
  

(a) Timber operations conducted pursuant to this chapter are exempt from the waste discharge requirements of Article 4 (commencing with Section 13260) of Chapter 4 of Division 7 of the Water Code as long as both the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the State Water Resources Control Board certify after January 1, 2003, that the provisions of this chapter constitute best management practices for silviculture pursuant to Section 208 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.

(b) The exemption contained in subdivision (a) does not apply when any of the following occurs:

(1) The board requests issuance of waste discharge requirements.

(2) There has been a finding by the State Water Resources Control Board that the board has failed to maintain a water quality regulatory process consistent with the certification required under subdivision (a).

(3) After monitoring the water quality impacts from timber operations conducted in compliance with this chapter, there has been a finding by the State Water Resources Control Board that compliance with best management practices would result in less water quality protection than required in water quality control plans approved pursuant to Section 13245 of the Water Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 900, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2004.)

4514.5.
  

A person may commence an action on his or her own behalf against the board or the department for a writ of mandate pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 1084) of Title 1 of Part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure to compel the board or the department to carry out a duty imposed upon them pursuant to this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 162, Sec. 144. (SB 1171) Effective January 1, 2013.)

4516.
  

Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter, the California Tahoe Regional Planning Agency shall have the right, within the reasonable exercise of its powers, to adopt rules and regulations by ordinance or resolution which are stricter than those provided under this chapter and regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter. The agency’s rules and regulations may include, but are not limited to, matters relating to soil erosion control, protection of stream character and water quality, flood control, stand density control, reforestation methods, mass soil movements, submission of timber harvesting plans, location and grade of roads and skid trails, excavation and fill requirements, slash and debris disposal, haul routes and schedules, hours and dates of logging, and performance bond requirements.

Whenever state funds are not expended for the support of the California Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, as provided in Section 67131 of the Government Code, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency shall have the right to adopt rules and regulations pursuant to this section.

(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1561, Sec. 2.)

4516.5.
  

(a) Individual counties may recommend that the board adopt additional rules and regulations for the content of timber harvesting plans and the conduct of timber operations to take account of local needs. For purposes of this section, “timber operations” includes, but is not limited to, soil erosion control, protection of stream character and water quality, water distribution systems, flood control, stand density control, reforestation methods, mass soil movements, location and grade of roads and skid trails, excavation and fill requirements, slash and debris disposal, haul routes and schedules, hours and dates of logging, and performance bond or other reasonable surety requirements for onsite timber operations and for protection of publicly and privately owned roads that are part of the haul route. Where a bond or other surety has been required, the director shall not issue a work completion report without first ascertaining whether the county in which the timber operations were conducted has knowledge of any claims intended to be made on the bond or surety.

(b) The board shall, in conformance with Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code and within 180 days after receiving recommended rules and regulations from a county, adopt rules and regulations for the content of timber harvesting plans and the conduct of timber operations consistent with the recommended rules and regulations, subject to Section 4551.5, if the board finds the recommended rules and regulations are both of the following:

(1) Consistent with the intent and purposes of this chapter.

(2) Necessary to protect needs and conditions of the county recommending them.

(c) The rules and regulations, if adopted by the board, shall apply only to the conduct of timber operations within the recommending county and shall be enforced and implemented by the department in the same manner as other rules and regulations adopted by the board.

(d) Except as provided in subdivision (e), individual counties shall not otherwise regulate the conduct of timber operations, as defined by this chapter, or require the issuance of any permit or license for those operations.

(e) The board may delegate to individual counties its authority to require performance bonds or other surety for the protection of roads, in which case, the procedures and forms shall be the same as those used in similar circumstances in the county. The board may establish reasonable limits on the amount of performance bonds or other surety which may be required for any timber operation and criteria for the requirement, payment, and release of those bonds or other surety. If the county fails to inform the director of the claims within 30 days after the completion report has been filed, the bond or surety shall be released.

(f) This section does not apply to timber operations on any land area of less than three acres and which is not zoned timberland production.

(Amended by Stats. 1984, Ch. 1446, Sec. 1.)

4516.6.
  

(a) To provide for adequate public review and comment, notwithstanding Section 4582.7, the director shall not approve a timber harvesting plan in any county for which rules and regulations have been adopted pursuant to Section 4516.5 or 4516.8 until 35 days from the date of filing of the plan, and timber operations shall not commence until five days from the date of approval of the plan. The board may provide, by regulation, for those periods to be waived or shortened by the department upon a determination, pursuant to criteria and procedures established by the board, that the proposed timber operations will cause no significant environmental damage or threat to public health and safety or to the environment, or that the timber operations are necessary to reduce that threat. If the chairperson of the board of supervisors of the county in which the proposed timber operations are located notifies the director and the plan submitter that the county intends to appeal the approval of the plan and that the county meets the requirements for filing an appeal, no timber operations shall occur until the final determination of the appeal. If the board of supervisors determines not to appeal the approval of the plan, it shall immediately notify the director and the plan submitter in writing of that determination, and timber operations pursuant to the plan may commence immediately.

(b) (1) The board of supervisors of the county for which rules and regulations have been adopted pursuant to Section 4516.5 or 4516.8 may, not later than 10 days after approval of the plan by the director, appeal that approval to the board, if the county has both participated in the initial inspection of the plan area with the director and participated in a multidisciplinary review of the plan.

(2) The board may establish procedures for filing the appeal and may specify findings that the board of supervisors is required to make in filing the appeal to demonstrate that a substantial issue is raised with respect to public health and safety or the environment.

(c) The board shall grant to a county that meets the requirements for filing an appeal an initial hearing to consider the county’s request for an appeal at the next regularly scheduled board meeting following the receipt of the request.

(d) The board shall grant a public hearing on the appeal if it determines at an initial hearing pursuant to subdivision (c) that the appeal raises substantial issues with respect to public health and safety or the environment.

(e) (1) The board shall hold a public hearing on the appeal granted pursuant to subdivision (d) within 30 days from the date of granting the hearing or at the next regularly scheduled board meeting, whichever occurs first, or within a longer period of time that is mutually agreed upon by the board, the county, and the plan submitter. Upon conclusion of the hearing, the board shall approve or deny the plan. The basis of the board’s decision shall be conformance with this section and the rules and regulations of the board, including any rules or regulations enacted with respect to the county pursuant to Section 4516.5 or 4516.8, and this chapter. In denying a plan, the board may make findings that set forth conditions under which it believes that the plan would have been approved.

(2) The board may delegate conduct of the hearing and the decision to a committee of three members to be appointed for that hearing by the chairperson of the board. The committee shall consist of at least two general public members of the board. The chairperson of the board or the chairperson’s designee shall conduct the hearing. The decision of the committee shall have the full force and effect of a decision of the full board.

(f) This section does not apply to timber operations on any land area of less than three acres and that is not zoned for timberland production.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 538, Sec. 563. Effective January 1, 2007.)

4516.8.
  

In addition to the authority provided in Section 4516.5, the Counties of Marin, Monterey, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz may recommend that the board adopt additional rules and regulations for the content of timber harvesting plans and the conduct of timber operations which provide a requirement that each timber harvesting plan contain a description of all log hauling routes, a statement of whether an encroachment permit is required by any public agency, and a requirement that no timber harvesting plan be approved by the director without the condition that the timber operator secure all required encroachment permits prior to commencement of timber operations.

(Added by Stats. 1986, Ch. 1157, Sec. 2.)

4517.
  

If any provision of this chapter or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the chapter which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this chapter are severable.

(Added by Stats. 1973, Ch. 880.)

PRCPublic Resources Code - PRC1.