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  ( Division 4 repealed and added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144.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  ( Chapter 8 repealed and added by Stats. 1973, Ch. 880.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 7.5. Nonindustrial Timber Management Plan [4593 - 4594.7]
  ( Article 7.5 added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1290, Sec. 9. )

4593.
  

(a) The Legislature finds and declares that a substantial acreage of timberlands of the state are held by private nonindustrial owners and that it is the policy of the state to increase the productivity of these timberlands under prudent management plans to serve the public’s need for timber and other forest products.

(b) The Legislature further finds and declares that minimal environmental harm is caused by prudent management of nonindustrial timberlands because low volume production and dispersion around the state of these small tracts reduces damage to aesthetics, air quality, watersheds, and wildlife.

(c) The Legislature further finds and declares that it is the policy of the state to encourage prudent and responsible forest resource management of nonindustrial timberlands by approving nonindustrial timber management plans in advance and withdrawing governmental discretion to disapprove nonindustrial timber harvest notices submitted pursuant to the approved nonindustrial timber management plans.

(d) It is not the intent of the Legislature by the enactment of this article to limit the penalties and enforcement provisions of this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1290, Sec. 9. Operative January 1, 1991, or sooner, by Sec. 18 of Ch. 1290.)

4593.2.
  

Notwithstanding Section 4521, unless the context otherwise requires, the following definitions govern construction of this article:

(a) “Nonindustrial timberlands” means timberland owned by a nonindustrial tree farmer.

(b) “Nonindustrial tree farmer” means an owner of timberland with less than 2,500 acres who has an approved nonindustrial management plan and is not primarily engaged in the manufacture of forest products.

(c) “Uneven aged management” means the management of a specific forest, with the goal of establishing a well stocked stand of various age classes and which permits the periodic harvest of individual or small groups of trees to realize the yield and continually establish a new crop.

(d) “Sustained yield” means the yield of commercial wood that an area of commercial timberland can produce continuously at a given intensity of management consistent with required environmental protection and which is professionally planned to achieve over time a balance between growth and removal.

(e) “Nonindustrial timber management plan” means a management plan for nonindustrial timberlands with an objective of an uneven aged managed timber stand and sustained yield for each parcel or group of contiguous parcels meeting the requirements of Section 4593.3. A nonindustrial timber management plan may include multiple nonindustrial tree farmers, but shall not cover more than 2,500 acres.

(f) “Nonindustrial timber harvest notice” means notice of timber harvest operations pursuant to an approved nonindustrial timber management plan and meeting the requirements of Section 4594.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 626, Sec. 17. (SB 901) Effective January 1, 2019.)

4593.3.
  

A nonindustrial timber management plan may be filed with the department in writing by a person who intends to become a nonindustrial tree farmer with the long-term objective of an uneven aged timber stand and sustained yield through the implementation of a nonindustrial timber management plan. The management plan shall be prepared by a registered professional forester. It shall be a public record and shall include all of the following information:

(a) The name and address of the timberland owner.

(b) A description of the land on which the plan is proposed to be implemented, including a United States Geological Survey quadrangle map or equivalent indicating the location of all streams, the location of all proposed and existing logging truck roads, and indicating boundaries of all site I classification timberlands to be stocked in accordance with subdivision (b) of Section 4561 and any other site classifications if the board establishes specific minimum stocking standards for other site classifications.

(c) A description of the silviculture methods to be applied and the type of yarding equipment to be used.

(d) An outline of the methods to be used to avoid excessive accelerated erosion from timber operations to be conducted within the proximity of a stream.

(e) Special provisions, if any, to protect any unique area within the boundaries of the proposed nonindustrial timber management plan.

(f) A description of the existing stand, its current projected growth, alterations required to achieve the management objectives, the projected timber volumes and tree sizes to be available for harvest, and projected frequencies of harvest.

(g) A certification by the registered professional forester preparing the plan that he or she or a designee has personally inspected the plan area.

(h) Any other information the board provides by regulation to meet its rules and the standards of this chapter.

(i) This section shall become operative on January 1, 1996.

(Repealed (in Sec. 5) and added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 756, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 1993. Section operative January 1, 1996, by its own provisions.)

4593.4.
  

The board shall adopt regulations regarding the notice of receipt of the proposed nonindustrial timber management plan. The notice shall be given within two working days following submission of the proposed management plan and shall be consistent with Horn v. County of Ventura, 24 Cal. 3d 605, and all applicable laws. In adopting the regulations, the board shall take account of the extent of the administrative burden involved in giving the notice. The method of notice shall include, but not be limited to, mailed notice. The regulations may require the person submitting the nonindustrial timber management plan to provide to the department a list of the names and addresses of persons to whom the notice is to be mailed.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1290, Sec. 9. Operative January 1, 1991, or sooner, by Sec. 18 of Ch. 1290.)

4593.5.
  

The department shall provide notice of the filing of nonindustrial timber management plans to any person who requests, in writing, that notification.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1290, Sec. 9. Operative January 1, 1991, or sooner, by Sec. 18 of Ch. 1290.)

4593.6.
  

Upon receipt of the nonindustrial timber management plan, the department shall place it, or a true copy thereof, in a file available for public inspection in the county in which timber operations are proposed under the plan, and, for the purpose of interdisciplinary review, shall transmit a copy to the Department of Fish and Game, the appropriate California regional water quality control board, the county planning agency, and all other agencies having jurisdiction by law over natural resources affected by the plan. The department shall invite, consider, and respond in writing to comments received from public agencies to which the plan has been transmitted and shall consult with those agencies at their request.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1290, Sec. 9. Operative January 1, 1991, or sooner, by Sec. 18 of Ch. 1290.)

4593.7.
  

(a) The director has 45 days from the date the initial inspection is completed as provided in Section 4604, or a longer period mutually agreed upon by the director and the person submitting the nonindustrial timber management plan, to review the plan to determine if the plan is in conformance with the rules and regulations of the board and this chapter. If the director determines that the plan is not in conformance with the rules and regulations of the board or this chapter, the director shall return the plan, stating his or her reasons and advising the person submitting the plan of the person’s right to a hearing before the board.

(b) If the director does not act within the time periods provided in subdivision (a), a longer period shall be negotiated and mutually agreed upon by the director and the person submitting the nonindustrial timber management plan. If a longer period cannot be mutually agreed upon, the nonindustrial timber management plan shall be deemed denied and returned to the person submitting the plan.

(c) A person to whom a plan is returned may, within 10 days from the receipt of the plan, request the board for a public hearing before the board. The board shall schedule a public hearing to review the plan to determine if the plan is in conformance with the rules and regulations of the board and this chapter. Board action shall take place within 30 days from the filing of the appeal, or a longer period mutually agreed upon by the board and the person filing the appeal. If the plan is not approved on appeal to the board, the director, within 10 days of board action, may determine that the plan is in conformance if the plan is revised to bring it into full conformance with the rules and regulations of the board and this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1290, Sec. 9. Operative January 1, 1991, or sooner, by Sec. 18 of Ch. 1290.)

4593.8.
  

The nonindustrial tree farmer may submit a proposed amendment to the approved plan and may not take any action which substantially deviates, as defined by the board, from the approved plan until the amendment has been filed with the director and the director has determined that the amendment is in compliance with the rules and regulations of the board and the provisions of this chapter which were in effect at the time the nonindustrial timber management plan was approved, in accordance with the same procedures specified in Section 4593.7.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1290, Sec. 9. Operative January 1, 1991, or sooner, by Sec. 18 of Ch. 1290.)

4593.9.
  

The nonindustrial tree farmer may take actions which do not substantially deviate from the approved plan without the submittal of an amendment, but those actions shall be subsequently reported to the department. The board shall specify, by regulation, those nonsubstantial deviations which may be taken. The board shall specify the requirements for reporting those deviations.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1290, Sec. 9. Operative January 1, 1991, or sooner, by Sec. 18 of Ch. 1290.)

4593.10.
  

(a) Upon a change of ownership of the land described in the nonindustrial timber management plan, the transferring landowner shall provide the acquiring landowner with written notice that discloses the existence of the plan and informs the acquiring landowner of the need to notify the department if the acquiring landowner intends to assume the plan. The transferring landowner shall also send the department a copy of the notice provided to the acquiring landowner.

(b) If the transferring landowner fails to provide the notice required in subdivision (a) and the department discovers the change of ownership, the department shall provide the acquiring landowner with the notice described in subdivision (a).

(c) The acquiring landowner shall have one year from the date of the receipt of the notice required pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b), whichever is applicable, to notify the department in writing of his or her assumption of the plan. If the department does not receive notification within this period, the department may cancel the plan.

(d) A violation of this section by a landowner does not constitute a crime pursuant to Section 4601.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 291, Sec. 1. (AB 2239) Effective January 1, 2015.)

4593.11.
  

The nonindustrial tree farmer may cancel the nonindustrial timber management plan by submitting a written notice to the department. Once timber operations have commenced pursuant to a nonindustrial timber harvest notice, cancellation is not effective on land covered by the notice until a report of satisfactory completion has been issued pursuant to Sections 4585, 4586, and 4587.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1290, Sec. 9. Operative January 1, 1991, or sooner, by Sec. 18 of Ch. 1290.)

4594.
  

The nonindustrial tree farmer who owns, leases, or otherwise controls or operates on all or any portion of any timberland within the boundaries of an approved nonindustrial timber management plan, and who plans to harvest any of the timber thereon during a given year, shall file a nonindustrial timber harvest notice with the department in writing. A notice shall be filed prior to the harvesting of any timber and shall be effective for a maximum of one year from the date of filing. If the person who files the notice is not the owner of the timberland, the person filing the notice shall notify the timberland owner by certified mail that the notice has been submitted, and shall certify that mailing to the department. The notice shall be a public record and shall include all of the following information:

(a) The name and address of the timber owner.

(b) The name and address of the timber operator.

(c) The name and address of the registered professional forester preparing the nonindustrial timber harvest notice.

(d) A description of the land on which the work is proposed to be done.

(e) A statement that no archeological sites have been discovered in the harvest area since the approval of the nonindustrial timber management plan.

(f) A statement that no rare, threatened, or endangered plant or animal species has been discovered in the harvest area since the approval of the nonindustrial timber management plan.

(g) A statement that there have been no physical environmental changes in the harvest area that are so significant as to require any amendment of the nonindustrial timber management plan.

(h) A certification by the registered professional forester that the notice as carried out will implement best management practices for protection of the beneficial uses of water, soil stability, forest productivity, and wildlife as required by the current rules of the board, or a certification that practices consistent with the original plan will not result in any significant degradation to the beneficial uses of water, soil stability, forest productivity, or wildlife.

(i) Special provisions, if any, to protect any unique area within the area of timber operations.

(j) The expected dates of commencement and completion of timber operations during the year.

(k) A statement that the harvesting notice conforms to the provisions of the approved management plan.

(l) Any other information the board provides by regulation to meet its rules and the standards of this chapter.

(m) This section shall become operative on January 1, 1996.

(Repealed (in Sec. 7) and added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 756, Sec. 8. Effective January 1, 1993. Section operative January 1, 1996, by its own provisions.)

4594.2.
  

The registered professional forester who prepares the nonindustrial timber management plan or prepares the notice, or any other registered professional forester who is employed by the owner or operator, shall report to the owner or operator if there are deviations from the plan which, in his or her judgment, threaten the attainment of the resource conservation standards of the plan.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1290, Sec. 9. Operative January 1, 1991, or sooner, by Sec. 18 of Ch. 1290.)

4594.4.
  

If the board finds that a registered professional forester has made any material misstatement in any nonindustrial timber harvesting notice, nonindustrial timber management plan, or report under this chapter, the board shall take disciplinary action against him or her as provided under Section 775.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1290, Sec. 9. Operative January 1, 1991, or sooner, by Sec. 18 of Ch. 1290.)

4594.6.
  

Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, if a registered professional forester certifies by written declaration, on behalf of the timber owner or operator, that the nonindustrial timber harvesting notice conforms to, and meets the requirements of, the approved nonindustrial timber management plan under which it is filed, timber operations may commence immediately unless the notice has been filed by mailing, in which case operations may commence three days after the notice has been mailed.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1290, Sec. 9. Operative January 1, 1991, or sooner, by Sec. 18 of Ch. 1290.)

4594.7.
  

If it is determined that the objectives of uneven aged management and sustained yield are not being met by a nonindustrial tree farmer, or there are other persistent violations detected that are not being corrected, a previously approved nonindustrial timber management plan shall be canceled by the department and any further timber operations under the plan shall be terminated.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1290, Sec. 9. Operative January 1, 1991, or sooner, by Sec. 18 of Ch. 1290.)

PRCPublic Resources Code - PRC7.5.