California budget proposal includes timber harvest reform that would extend harvest plans to five years, with one two-year extension, rather than current three-year plans with two one-year extensions, plus look at streamlining permit process

LOS ANGELES , May 17, 2012 () –

The latest budget proposal in California includes a reform package for timber harvest plans that would extend their duration and might include some streamlining in the permit process, reported Capital Press on May 17.

The budget document, which was submitted by California Gov. Jerry Brown, would extend timber harvest plans to five years with one two-year extension, rather than the current three-year plans with two one-year extensions.

The longer timeframes for the timber harvest plans, which are those submitted by professional foresters for logging on private land, would apply to plans submitted this year, Capital Press reported.

The changes are intended to “optimize” the duration and scale of standard timber harvest plans but not affect applicable protections for fish and wildlife, according to the governor’s proposal.

In addition, the state would review possible changes to the timber harvest review document as part of an overall effort to make the permit process shorter and more streamlined while using existing resources, reported Capital Press.

The proposals for revising the state’s budget were revealed on May 14 as part of a US$91 billion general fund budget plan that also includes a tax on retail sales of certain lumber products.

The tax would be used to help fund the departments of Forestry and Fire Protection, Fish and Game and Conservation, as well as the timber harvest plan-related reviews by the state Water Resources Control Board, Capital Press reported.

The primary source of this article is Capital Press, Salem, Oregon, on May 17, 2012.

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