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  ( Division 4 repealed and added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144.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  ( Chapter 8 repealed and added by Stats. 1973, Ch. 880.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 5. Resource Conservation Standards [4561 - 4562.9]
  ( Article 5 added by Stats. 1973, Ch. 880. )


It is the purpose of this section to set forth resource conservation standards for timber operations, and to ensure that a cover of trees of commercial species, sufficient to utilize adequately the suitable and available growing space, is maintained or established after timber operations.

To that end, the following resource conservation standards define minimum acceptable stocking, and an area covered by a timber harvesting plan shall be classified as acceptably stocked if either of the following conditions exist within five years after completion of timber operations:

(a) The area contains an average point count of 300 per acre, except that in areas that the registered professional forester who prepares the timber harvesting plan has determined are site IV classification or lower, the minimum average point count shall be 150 per acre. Point count shall be computed as follows:

(1) A countable tree that is not more than four inches in diameter at breast height to count as one.

(2) A countable tree over 4 inches and not more than 12 inches in diameter at breast height to count as three.

(3) A countable tree over 12 inches in diameter at breast height to count as six.

(b) (1) The average residual basal area, measured in stems one inch or larger in diameter is at least 85 square feet per acre, except that in areas that the registered professional forester who prepares the timber harvesting plan has determined are site II classification or lower, the minimum average residual basal area shall be 50 square feet per acre.

(2) The board, on a finding that it is in furtherance of the purposes of this chapter, may encourage selection, shelterwood, or other types of management of timber if consistent with the biological requirements of the tree species and may regulate the size and shape of areas in which even-age management of timber is utilized.

(3) Rock outcroppings and other areas not normally bearing timber shall not be considered as requiring stocking and are exempt from the stocking provisions.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 162, Sec. 147. (SB 1171) Effective January 1, 2013.)


The resource conservation standards relating to stocking enumerated in Section 4561 shall constitute minimum requirements, and these shall be the standards to which all timber harvesting plans shall conform unless the board adopts higher stocking standards for each district. The board shall adopt standards for each district, after a public hearing, which are equal to or stricter than the standards of this chapter and shall report such standards to the Legislature.

It is not the intent of the Legislature in designating minimum standards that such standards shall be deemed to be preferred as the standards to be adopted by the board. The board may, by a majority vote as provided in Section 736, adopt higher minimum standards of stocking if, in the opinion of the board, growing conditions, tree species, site quality, or other factors justify such stricter standards and if such action is consistent with the purposes of this article.

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


Notwithstanding Section 4561.1 or the resource conservation standards relating to stocking pursuant to Section 4561, the board may adopt alternative stocking standards that meet the purposes of Section 4561 if those alternative standards reasonably address the variables in forest characteristics, achieve suitable resource conservation, and contribute to specific forest health and ecological goals as defined by the board.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 182, Sec. 1. (AB 417) Effective January 1, 2016.)


The board may from time to time, after a public hearing, amend permanent stocking standards applicable to commercial timberland where the growing timber does not meet the acceptable stocking standards as enumerated in Section 4561.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 383, Sec. 17. Effective January 1, 2006.)


(a) The site designated for testing purposes by subdivision (b) is exempt from any stocking requirements.

(b) Testing may be permitted only on a 35-acre area located in the Pudding Creek drainage of Mendocino County in Sections 19 and 30, T19N, R16W, M.D.B. & M.

(Added by Stats. 1985, Ch. 1270 [Sec. 2]. Effective September 30, 1985.)


In order to reduce the incidence and spread of fire on timberlands, the board shall adopt rules in the fire protection zone as such zone is defined by the board, including, but not limited to, land along either side of the rights-of-way along public roads in widths to be determined by rule by the board in various areas, and in such other areas as the board deems necessary, to govern the disposal of solid nonforest wastes and slash created by timber operations.

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


It is the purpose of this section to insure that soil erosion associated with timber operations is adequately controlled to protect soil resources, forest productivity, and water quality. The prevention, retardation, and control of accelerated erosion are the principal goals of this section. The board shall promulgate regulations for each district to govern timber operations that may cause significant soil disturbance.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 193, Sec. 164. Effective January 1, 2005.)


The purpose of this section is to ensure the protection of beneficial uses that are derived from the physical form, water quality, and biological capability of streams. To these ends, in addition to the rules provided for in Section 4551.5, the board shall adopt rules for control of timber operations that will result or threaten to result in unreasonable effects on the beneficial uses of the waters of the state. The rules shall include rules for:

(a) The disposal of petroleum products, sanitary wastes, refuse, and cleaning agents in proper dumps or waste treatment facilities to prevent them from entering streams.

(b) Construction of logging road and tractor trail stream crossings to assure substantially unimpaired flow of water and to assure free passage of fish both upstream and downstream.

(c) Minimizing damage to unmerchantable streamside vegetation, particularly hardwood trees.

(d) Minimizing damage to streambeds or banks resulting from skidding or hauling logs through, across, or into streams, by operating tractors or other heavy equipment in or near streambeds, or by construction of log landings or logging roads in or near the channels of streams.

(e) Control of slash, debris, fill, and side cast earth, resulting from timber operations, which may be carried into streams.

(f) Minimizing the effects of erosion on watercourses and lakes by both of the following:

(1) Installation and maintenance of drainage facilities and soil stabilization treatments as required on timber operations.

(2) Planned abandonment of roads and landings.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 584, Sec. 24. (AB 1414) Effective January 1, 2012.)


The board shall adopt regulations requiring maintenance of installed drainage facilities and soil stabilization treatments on skid trails, roads, and landings for a period of at least one year, but not to exceed three years, after filing of the work completion report, if the report is approved.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 153, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2005.)

PRCPublic Resources Code - PRC5.