Code Section Group

Public Resources Code - PRC


  ( Division 4 repealed and added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144.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


  ( 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  ( Chapter 8 repealed and added by Stats. 1973, Ch. 880.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 2. Definitions [4521 - 4529.5]
  ( Article 2 added by Stats. 1973, Ch. 880. )


Unless the context otherwise requires, the definitions set forth in this article shall govern the construction of this chapter.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1973, Ch. 880.)


“Board” means the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 972, Sec. 18. Effective January 1, 1999.)


“District” means a forest district.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1973, Ch. 880.)


“License” means a license to engage in timber operations, issued pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with Section 4571) of this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 1975, Ch. 372.)


“Person” includes any private individual, organization, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, city, county, district, or the state or any department or agency thereof.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1010, Sec. 209. Effective January 1, 1995.)


“Resource conservation standards” means the minimum acceptable condition resulting from timber operations.

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


“Rules” means the district forest practice rules adopted by the board.

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


“Slash” means branches or limbs less than four inches in diameter, and bark and split products debris left on the ground as a result of timber operations.

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


“Timberland” means land, other than land owned by the federal government and land designated by the board as experimental forest land, which is available for, and capable of, growing a crop of trees of a commercial species used to produce lumber and other forest products, including Christmas trees. Commercial species shall be determined by the board on a district basis.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 584, Sec. 5. (AB 1414) Effective January 1, 2012.)


“Timber operator” means a person who is engaged in timber operations or who contracts with others to conduct the operations on his or her behalf, except a person who is engaged in timber operations as an employee with wages as his or her sole compensation.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 584, Sec. 6. (AB 1414) Effective January 1, 2012.)


(a) (1) “Timber operations” means the cutting or removal, or both, of timber or other solid wood forest products, including Christmas trees, from timberlands for commercial purposes, together with all the incidental work, including, but not limited to, construction and maintenance of roads, fuelbreaks, firebreaks, stream crossings, landings, skid trails, and beds for the falling of trees, fire hazard abatement, and site preparation that involves disturbance of soil or burning of vegetation following timber harvesting activities, but excluding preparatory work such as treemarking, surveying, or roadflagging.

(2) “Commercial purposes” includes (A) the cutting or removal of trees that are processed into logs, lumber, or other wood products and offered for sale, barter, exchange, or trade, or (B) the cutting or removal of trees or other forest products during the conversion of timberlands to land uses other than the growing of timber that are subject to Section 4621, including, but not limited to, residential or commercial developments, production of other agricultural crops, recreational developments, ski developments, water development projects, and transportation projects.

(b) For purposes of this section, the removal of trees less than 16 inches in diameter at breast height from a firebreak or fuelbreak does not constitute “timber operations” if the removal meets all of the following criteria:

(1) It is located within 500 feet of the boundary of an urban wildland interface community at high risk of wildfire, as defined in pages 751 to 776, inclusive, of Volume 66 of the Federal Register (66 FR 751-02), as that definition may be amended from time to time. For purposes of this paragraph, “urban wildland interface community at high risk of wildfire” means an area having one or more structures for every five acres.

(2) It is part of a community wildfire protection plan approved by the department or part of a department fire plan.

(3) The trees to be removed will not be processed into logs or lumber, unless the work is being conducted by, or in partnership with, a public agency or a nonprofit organization that has received a grant from the department for vegetation management or fuel reduction, in which case the logs or lumber may be sold.

(4) The work to be conducted is under a firebreak or fuelbreak project that has been subject to a project-based review pursuant to a negative declaration, mitigated negative declaration, or environmental impact report in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000)). For projects to be conducted on forested landscapes, as defined in Section 754, the project and the project-based review shall be prepared by or in consultation with a registered professional forester.

(5) The removal of surface and ladder fuels is consistent with former paragraph (9) of subdivision (j) of Section 4584, as that section read on December 31, 2018.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 626, Sec. 11. (SB 901) Effective January 1, 2019.)


“Timber owner” means a person who owns commercial timber, timberland, or timber rights, including Christmas tree rights, on lands of another except a federal agency.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 584, Sec. 8. (AB 1414) Effective January 1, 2012.)


As used in this chapter:

(a) “Basal area per acre” means the sum of the cross-sectional areas at breast height of the tree stems of commercial species per acre.

(b) “Countable tree” means a tree that can be used in calculating the degree of stocking under the following criteria:

(1) The tree must be in place at least two growing seasons.

(2) The tree must be live and healthy.

(3) The tree must have at least one-third of its length in live crown, except in pure stands of Douglas fir the tree must have at least one-fourth of its length in live crown.

(4) The tree must be a commercial species from a local seed source or a seed source which the registered professional forester determines will produce commercial trees physiologically suited for the area involved.

(c) “Stocking” means a measure of the degree to which space is occupied by well-distributed countable trees.

(d) “Site classification” means the classification of productive potential of timberland into one of five classes by board regulation, consistent with normally accepted forestry practices. Site I shall denote sites of highest productivity, site II and site III shall denote sites of intermediate productivity potential, and site IV and site V shall denote sites of lowest productivity potential.

(e) “Fuel break” means a strip of modified fuel to provide a line from which to work in the control of fire.

(f) “Stream” means a natural watercourse as designated by a solid line or dash and three dots symbol shown on the largest scale United States Geological Survey map most recently published.

(Amended by Stats. 1978, Ch. 1181.)


This chapter does not apply to a person who engages in activities regulated by this chapter, as an employee, with wages as his or her sole compensation.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 584, Sec. 9. (AB 1414) Effective January 1, 2012.)


The penalties and remedies which are prescribed in this chapter are concurrent and alternative to any other civil, criminal, or administrative rights, remedies, or penalties which are provided or allowed by law with respect to such violation.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1973, Ch. 880.)


Service of documents where required under this chapter may be made by registered or certified mail addressed to the respondent’s latest address registered on file with the department. Where other forms of service are prescribed, personal service is not precluded.

(Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1300.)

PRCPublic Resources Code - PRC2.