Forest Management

Forest Management

Full Report

Executive Summary

Press Release

Fact Sheet

Study Description

Agenda

Overview

The Little Hoover Commission is reviewing the state’s forest management in response to the tree mortality crisis in the Sierra Nevada. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported in November 2016 that approximately 62 million trees have died statewide on federal, state and private lands this year, up 114 percent from the 29 million that died in 2015. The tally brings to 102 million the number of trees that have died in California forests during years of drought and bark beetle infestations since 2010. Most of the dead trees, the USDA stated, are in the southern and central Sierra region, though northern counties are showing increasing tree mortality.

In October 2015, Governor Brown declared a state of emergency and issued an executive order in response to the crisis. A Tree Mortality Task Force was created to “coordinate emergency protective actions and monitor ongoing conditions to address the tree mortality resulting from four years of unprecedented drought and resulting bark beetle infestations across large regions of the state.” As of May 2016, 10 counties and 28 state, eight federal, 10 utility and 23 nongovernmental entities had joined the task force to address the 19 directives in the executive order. Working groups focus on forest health & resilience, mapping & monitoring, prescribed fire, public outreach, regulations, resource allocation, and utilization (bioenergy and market development). 

Through its public process, the Commission will study the state’s response to the crisis, including the tree die-off’s intersection with catastrophic wildfire, greenhouse gas emission and watershed health. The Commission also intends to look beyond the crisis and examine the state’s plans for recovery and its strategy to position itself ahead of future crises. The Commission will build on previous and ongoing work, including its 2014 climate change adaptation study and testimony from the Fire Districts Association of California and others in its study on special districts. 

If you would like more information regarding this study, please contact project manager Krystal Beckham at krystal.beckham[at]lhc.ca.gov or at (916) 445-2125. To be notified electronically of meetings, events, or when the review is complete, please send a request to littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov.


Previous Studies
Print 
			Agenda
  • October 26
    2017
    Business Meeting
    9:30 a.m., 925 L Street, Room 175, Sacramento, CA
    Business Meeting
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Business Meeting
    Thursday, October 26, 2017, at 9:30 a.m.
    925 L Street, Room 175
    Sacramento, CA 95814
     

    1. Business Meeting Minutes from September 28, 2017
       
    2. Presentation from Jennifer Kent, Director, Department of Health Care Services (Written Testimony)
    3. Closed Session
              PERSONNEL
              The Commission will meet in closed session to discuss personnel matters consistent with Government Code section 11126, subdivision (a)(1).
       
    4. Subcommittee Reports
      a.  Forest Management – Status update
           – Discussion on Draft Recommendations

      b.  Voter Participation - Status update

      c.  Artificial Intelligence – Status update
       
    5. Commission Survey
       
    6. Project Selection
       
    7. Implementation and Impact Activity
       
    8. Reports from the California State Auditor’s Office
    Public Notice

    PUBLIC NOTICE

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    October 12, 2017

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Terri Hardy, Deputy Executive Director
    (916) 445-2125

    Notice of Meeting

    On Thursday, October 26, 2017, the Little Hoover Commission will conduct a business meeting to hear an update on a prior Commission report and study and conduct regularly scheduled activities.  The meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Conference Room 175 located on the first floor of 925 L Street in Sacramento. 

    At the meeting, the Commission will hear from Jennifer Kent, director of the California Department of Health Care Services, who will provide an implementation update on the recommendations from the Commission’s April 2016 report, Fixing Denti-Cal.  The Commission will learn about the department’s progress in achieving a 60 percent utilization goal for children and efforts to streamline and automate enrollment for dentists.

    Following this discussion, the Commission will meet in closed session to discuss personnel matters consistent with Government Code section 11126, subdivision (a)(1).  The Commission will then reconvene in open session and publically announce any actions taken in closed session consistent with Government Code section 11126.3, subdivision(f).

    The Commission will then discuss the potential recommendations for its forest management study.  The Commission will also receive status updates on two ongoing studies on voter participation and artificial intelligence.

    Following these updates, the Commission will conduct other business as detailed on the agenda.  

    If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact Commission Deputy Executive Director Terri Hardy at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Thursday, October 19, 2017.

    Video

  • August 24
    2017
    Forest Management
    9:30 a.m., State Capitol, Room 437, Sacramento, CA
    Public Hearing
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Public Hearing on Forest Management
    Thursday, August 24, 2017, at 9:30 a.m.
    State Capitol, Room 437
    Sacramento, CA 


    A Model of Collaborative Planning

    1. Barnie Gyant, Deputy Regional Forester, Pacific Southwest Region (Region 5), United States Forest Service (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Susan Britting, Executive Director, Sierra Forest Legacy (Written Testimony)
       

    CAL FIRE’s Role in Collaborative Planning, Reforestation and Climate Change Adaptation

    1. Matthew Reischman, Assistant Deputy Director, Resource Protection and Improvement, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Written Testimony)
       

    Protecting Forested Headwaters

    1. Van Butsic, Assistant Specialist and Adjunct Professor, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley (Written Testimony)
       

    When Forest Management Strategies Intersect with Air Quality

    1. Edie Chang, Deputy Executive Officer, California Air Resources Board (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Alan Abbs, Executive Director, California Air Pollution Control Officers Association (Written Testimony)


    Developing Markets for California Wood Products

    1. Evan Johnson, Science and Policy Advisor, Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery and Co-leader, Utilization – Market Development Group, Tree Mortality Task Force (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Claire Jahns, Assistant Secretary, Natural Resources and Climate Issues, California Natural Resources Agency (Written Testimony)


    Comments Submitted by Members of the Public

    • Randy Hanvelt, District 2 Supervisor, County of Tuolumne (Written Comments)
       
    • The John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute and Sierra Club California (Written Comments
    Public Notice

    PUBLIC NOTICE

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    August 10, 2017

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Carole D’Elia, Executive Director
    (916) 445-2125

    Notice of Meeting

    On Thursday, August 24, 2017, the Little Hoover Commission will conduct a public hearing on forest management and examine strategies for long-term forest resilience. The hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Room 437 of the State Capitol in Sacramento.

    At the hearing, the Commission will first hear from a panel consisting of members of the Dinkey Landscape Restoration Project. This panel will feature a representative from the U.S. Forest Service as well as a representative from Sierra Forest Legacy, who will discuss the Dinkey project as a potential model for collaboration in forest management. Next, the Commission will hear from a representative from CAL FIRE who will address the department’s participation in landscape-level collaborations, reforestation efforts and climate change adaptation. Also present at the hearing will be a researcher from the Water Policy Center at the Public Policy Institute of California who will discuss forested upper headwaters protection. The hearing also will include representatives from the California Air Resources Board and the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association who will address the impact of prescribed fire on air quality. Finally, the Commission will hear from a panel focusing on market development for California wood products. This panel will consist of a representative from the Tree Mortality Task Force’s Marketization Working Group and a representative from the California Natural Resources Agency. They will discuss the importance of market development in utilizing the 102 million dead trees and for long-term forest management.

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the hearing. Public comments will be limited to three minutes per person. The Commission also encourages written comments. 

    The Commission will convene a business meeting in room 175 of 925 L Street in Sacramento at approximately 12:30 p.m. An additional teleconference location accessible to the public during the biomass meeting will be: 15 Henry Street, Southampton, NY 11968.

    If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact Commission Executive Director Carole D’Elia at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Thursday, August 17, 2017.

  • August 23
    2017
    Forest Bioenergy
    1:00 p.m.
    Advisory Committee Meeting
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Advisory Committee Meeting on Forest Bioenergy
    Wednesday, August 23, 2017, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
    BMG Conference Room, Lower Level
    925 L Street, Sacramento, CA


    Meeting Background: The Little Hoover Commission currently is conducting a study on forest management in response to the tree mortality crisis in the Sierra Nevada. Its first two hearings focused on the response to the crisis by state and local government and the private sector. The Commission has scheduled an August 24, 2017, hearing on strategies for long-term forest resilience. Commissioners indicated they wanted to learn about forest bioenergy, but decided that the topic was too expansive to cover in a public hearing.  Consequently, Commissioners scheduled an advisory committee meeting to allow stakeholders to present their views on the role of forest bioenergy in California’s forest management.


    Meeting Goals: For stakeholders to share viewpoints with the Commission’s Forest Management subcommittee on the viability of forest bioenergy as a forest management tool. The intent is to inform Commission recommendations.


    1:00 – 1:10 p.m.              

    Welcome and Introductions
    Pedro Nava, Chair, Little Hoover Commission
    Janna Sidley, Chair, Forest Management Subcommittee

    Commission Study Process and Advisory Committee Role
    Carole D’Elia, Executive Director, Little Hoover Commission


    1:10 – 2:50 p.m.              

    Discussion: The Commission is interested in lessons learned from using forest bioenergy in response to the tree mortality crisis, and in the potential role of forest bioenergy in long-term forest management.

    • In response to the tree mortality crisis: Are the directives in the Governor’s 2015 Proclamation of a State of Emergency and subsequent implementing legislation and California Public Utilities Commission Resolutions effective in removing and processing the hazard trees?  How is progress toward meeting the Proclamation directives being measured? What adjustments could be made for forest bioenergy to be a more effective tool in responding to the tree mortality crisis? 
       
    • Forest bioenergy as a long-term forest management tool: What role can and should forest bioenergy play in long-term forest management? Bioenergy costs more than other types of renewable energy, and some of the benefits of forest bioenergy as a forest management tool, such as utilization of small diameter trees or jobs creation, are not typically factors that would justify higher electricity costs. If forest biomass does become a forest management tool, how could the higher cost of bioenergy be fairly distributed?


    2:50 – 3:00 p.m.              

    Final Comments

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the discussion. Please notify Commission staff if you would like to make a comment.

    Public Notice

    PUBLIC NOTICE

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    August 10, 2017

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Carole D’Elia, Executive Director
    (916) 445-2125

    Notice of Meeting

    On Wednesday, August 23, 2017, the Forest Management Subcommittee of the Little Hoover Commission will hold an advisory committee meeting to hear from key stakeholders to consider the viability of forest bioenergy as a forest management tool. The intent of the meeting is to inform Commission recommendations. The meeting will begin at 1:00 p.m. in the BMG Conference Room located on the lower level of 925 L Street in Sacramento, California.

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the meeting. The Commission also encourages written comments.

    If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact Commission Executive Director Carole D’Elia at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Wednesday, August 16, 2017.

  • April 27
    2017
    Forest Management
    State Capitol, Room 437, Sacramento, CA
    Public Hearing
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Public Hearing on Forest Management
    Thursday, April 27, 2017, at 9:30 a.m.
    State Capitol, Room 437
    Sacramento, CA 


    Opening Remarks

    The Cost of Forest Neglect: The Counties’ Perspective

    1. Mike Albrecht, RPF, Project Coordinator, Tuolumne County Tree Mortality Task Force; President & Co-owner, Sierra Resource Management, Inc. (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Brittany Dyer, District Chief of Staff, Supervisor Tom Wheeler, District 5, County of Madera (Written Testimony)
       
    3. Eric Coyne, Deputy County Administrative Officer, Economic Development, Film & Tourism, County of Tulare (Written Testimony)
       

    The Impact of Unhealthy Forests on Water Supply and Quality

    1. David Eggerton, General Manager, Calaveras County Water District (Written Testimony)
       

    Insurance Availability and Affordability  

    1. Joel Laucher, Chief Deputy Commissioner, California Department of Insurance (Written Testimony)
       

    BUSINESS MEETING & LUNCH – ROOM 125


    On the Front Lines: Utilities

    1. Jadwindar Singh, Director, Electric Compliance, Quality, and Vegetation Management, Pacific Gas & Electric Company (Written Testimony)
       

    A View from the State’s Largest Private Forest Owner

    1. Cedric Twight, Manager, California Regulatory Affairs, Sierra Pacific Industries (Written Testimony)


    Restoring the Ecosystem

    1. Susan Britting, Executive Director, Sierra Forest Legacy  (Written Testimony)
       
    2. David Edelson, Sierra Nevada Project Director, The Nature Conservancy (Written Testimony)


    Comments Submitted by Members of the Public

    Public Notice

    PUBLIC NOTICE

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    April 13, 2017

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Carole D’Elia, Executive Director
    (916) 445-2125

    Notice of Meeting

    On Thursday, April 27, 2017, the Little Hoover Commission will conduct a public hearing on forest management in response to the tree mortality crisis that has killed 102 million trees in California. Thehearingwillbeginat9:30a.m.inRoom437oftheStateCapitolinSacramento.

    At the hearing, the Commission will first hear from county representatives who will discuss the challenges they face both in meeting the county’s forest management obligations and in assisting residents, some of whom cannot afford to treat the trees on their property. Next, the Commission will hear from a water district general manager who will discuss the impact of the dead trees on water quality and quantity, as well as regional partnerships in which the district participates that could perhaps be a model for others dealing with tree mortality. Also present at the hearing will be a representative from the Department of Insurance who will address insurance concerns raised by county representatives. The hearing also will include representatives from Pacific Gas & Electric and Sierra Pacific Industries, who will discuss the challenges they face in responding to tree mortality on their land and the roles they can play in sustainable forest management. Finally, the Commission will hear from representatives from Sierra Forest Legacy and The Nature Conservancy about potential solutions and a discussion on who benefits from healthy forests, and how that should influence policymaking.

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the hearing. Public comments will be limited to three minutes per person. The Commission also encourages written comments.

    The Commission will convene a business meeting in room 125 of the State Capitol at approximately 11:30 a.m. The public hearing will reconvene at approximately 12:45 p.m.

    All public notices for meetings are on the Commission’s website, www.lhc.ca.gov. If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact Commission Executive Director Carole D’Elia at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Thursday, April 20, 2017. 

    Video
  • January 26
    2017
    Forest Management
    State Capitol, Room 437, Sacramento, CA
    Public Hearing
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Public Hearing on Forest Management
    Thursday, January 26, 2017, at 9:30 a.m.
    State Capitol, Room 437
    Sacramento, CA 


    Opening Remarks

    Introduction to Tree Mortality in the Sierra Nevada and California Forest Management

    1. Scott Stephens, Professor, Fire Science and Chair, Division of Ecosystem Science, University of California, Berkeley (Written Testimony)
       

    The State of California’s Response to the Tree Mortality Crisis and Role in Forest Management

    1. Chief Ken Pimlott, Director, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Mark Ghilarducci, Director, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Written Testimony)
       
    3. Ashley Conrad-Saydah, Deputy Secretary for Climate Policy, California Environmental Protection Agency (Written Testimony)
       
    4. Malcolm Dougherty, Director, California Department of Transportation (Written Testimony)
       
    5. Jim Branham, Executive Officer, Sierra Nevada Conservancy (Written Testimony)
       

    Transitioning to the Local Perspective: What Are the Resource Conservation Districts’ Concerns?  

    1. Karen Buhr, Executive Director, California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (Written Testimony)
       

    Comments Submitted by Members of the Public

    Public Notice

    PUBLIC NOTICE

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    January 12, 2017

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Carole D’Elia, Executive Director
    (916) 445-2125

    Notice of Meeting

    On Thursday, January 26, 2017, the Little Hoover Commission will conduct a public hearing on forest management in response to the tree mortality crisis that has killed 102 million trees in California. The hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Room 437 of the State Capitol in Sacramento.

    At the hearing, the Commission will first hear from a fire ecologist at the University of California, Berkeley. He will provide an overview of the tree die-offs and their impact, an assessment of California’s forest management policies and an analysis of best practices in forest policy that California could potentially implement. Next, the Commission will hear from a panel of state representatives that includes the director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), the director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), deputy secretary for climate policy for the California Environmental Protection Agency, the director of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and the executive officer for the Sierra Nevada Conservancy. They will discuss the role of their organization in responding to the tree mortality crisis, including coordinating with a diverse array of stakeholders, prioritizing threats to public safety and identifying funding opportunities. They also will discuss their work to create healthy and resilient forests and ecosystems that can survive future disease, insects and other threats. Finally the executive director for the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts will discuss the impacts of the tree mortality crisis and larger climate change issues on the districts and what her members hope to see from the state, both in the short-term response to the tree die-offs and in longer-term forest management.

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the hearing. Public comments will be limited to three minutes per person. The Commission also encourages written comments.

    Immediately following the hearing, the Commission will hold a business meeting in conference room 175 on the first floor of 925 L Street in Sacramento, California.

    All public notices for meetings are on the Commission’s website, www.lhc.ca.gov. If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact Commission Executive Director Carole D’Elia at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Thursday, January 19, 2017. 

    Video
Print 
		Agenda
  • October 26
    2017
    Business Meeting
    9:30 a.m., 925 L Street, Room 175, Sacramento, CA
    Business Meeting
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Business Meeting
    Thursday, October 26, 2017, at 9:30 a.m.
    925 L Street, Room 175
    Sacramento, CA 95814
     

    1. Business Meeting Minutes from September 28, 2017
       
    2. Presentation from Jennifer Kent, Director, Department of Health Care Services (Written Testimony)
    3. Closed Session
              PERSONNEL
              The Commission will meet in closed session to discuss personnel matters consistent with Government Code section 11126, subdivision (a)(1).
       
    4. Subcommittee Reports
      a.  Forest Management – Status update
           – Discussion on Draft Recommendations

      b.  Voter Participation - Status update

      c.  Artificial Intelligence – Status update
       
    5. Commission Survey
       
    6. Project Selection
       
    7. Implementation and Impact Activity
       
    8. Reports from the California State Auditor’s Office
    Public Notice

    PUBLIC NOTICE

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    October 12, 2017

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Terri Hardy, Deputy Executive Director
    (916) 445-2125

    Notice of Meeting

    On Thursday, October 26, 2017, the Little Hoover Commission will conduct a business meeting to hear an update on a prior Commission report and study and conduct regularly scheduled activities.  The meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Conference Room 175 located on the first floor of 925 L Street in Sacramento. 

    At the meeting, the Commission will hear from Jennifer Kent, director of the California Department of Health Care Services, who will provide an implementation update on the recommendations from the Commission’s April 2016 report, Fixing Denti-Cal.  The Commission will learn about the department’s progress in achieving a 60 percent utilization goal for children and efforts to streamline and automate enrollment for dentists.

    Following this discussion, the Commission will meet in closed session to discuss personnel matters consistent with Government Code section 11126, subdivision (a)(1).  The Commission will then reconvene in open session and publically announce any actions taken in closed session consistent with Government Code section 11126.3, subdivision(f).

    The Commission will then discuss the potential recommendations for its forest management study.  The Commission will also receive status updates on two ongoing studies on voter participation and artificial intelligence.

    Following these updates, the Commission will conduct other business as detailed on the agenda.  

    If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact Commission Deputy Executive Director Terri Hardy at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Thursday, October 19, 2017.

    Video

  • August 24
    2017
    Forest Management
    9:30 a.m., State Capitol, Room 437, Sacramento, CA
    Public Hearing
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Public Hearing on Forest Management
    Thursday, August 24, 2017, at 9:30 a.m.
    State Capitol, Room 437
    Sacramento, CA 


    A Model of Collaborative Planning

    1. Barnie Gyant, Deputy Regional Forester, Pacific Southwest Region (Region 5), United States Forest Service (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Susan Britting, Executive Director, Sierra Forest Legacy (Written Testimony)
       

    CAL FIRE’s Role in Collaborative Planning, Reforestation and Climate Change Adaptation

    1. Matthew Reischman, Assistant Deputy Director, Resource Protection and Improvement, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Written Testimony)
       

    Protecting Forested Headwaters

    1. Van Butsic, Assistant Specialist and Adjunct Professor, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley (Written Testimony)
       

    When Forest Management Strategies Intersect with Air Quality

    1. Edie Chang, Deputy Executive Officer, California Air Resources Board (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Alan Abbs, Executive Director, California Air Pollution Control Officers Association (Written Testimony)


    Developing Markets for California Wood Products

    1. Evan Johnson, Science and Policy Advisor, Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery and Co-leader, Utilization – Market Development Group, Tree Mortality Task Force (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Claire Jahns, Assistant Secretary, Natural Resources and Climate Issues, California Natural Resources Agency (Written Testimony)


    Comments Submitted by Members of the Public

    • Randy Hanvelt, District 2 Supervisor, County of Tuolumne (Written Comments)
       
    • The John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute and Sierra Club California (Written Comments
    Public Notice

    PUBLIC NOTICE

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    August 10, 2017

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Carole D’Elia, Executive Director
    (916) 445-2125

    Notice of Meeting

    On Thursday, August 24, 2017, the Little Hoover Commission will conduct a public hearing on forest management and examine strategies for long-term forest resilience. The hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Room 437 of the State Capitol in Sacramento.

    At the hearing, the Commission will first hear from a panel consisting of members of the Dinkey Landscape Restoration Project. This panel will feature a representative from the U.S. Forest Service as well as a representative from Sierra Forest Legacy, who will discuss the Dinkey project as a potential model for collaboration in forest management. Next, the Commission will hear from a representative from CAL FIRE who will address the department’s participation in landscape-level collaborations, reforestation efforts and climate change adaptation. Also present at the hearing will be a researcher from the Water Policy Center at the Public Policy Institute of California who will discuss forested upper headwaters protection. The hearing also will include representatives from the California Air Resources Board and the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association who will address the impact of prescribed fire on air quality. Finally, the Commission will hear from a panel focusing on market development for California wood products. This panel will consist of a representative from the Tree Mortality Task Force’s Marketization Working Group and a representative from the California Natural Resources Agency. They will discuss the importance of market development in utilizing the 102 million dead trees and for long-term forest management.

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the hearing. Public comments will be limited to three minutes per person. The Commission also encourages written comments. 

    The Commission will convene a business meeting in room 175 of 925 L Street in Sacramento at approximately 12:30 p.m. An additional teleconference location accessible to the public during the biomass meeting will be: 15 Henry Street, Southampton, NY 11968.

    If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact Commission Executive Director Carole D’Elia at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Thursday, August 17, 2017.

  • August 23
    2017
    Forest Bioenergy
    1:00 p.m.
    Advisory Committee Meeting
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Advisory Committee Meeting on Forest Bioenergy
    Wednesday, August 23, 2017, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
    BMG Conference Room, Lower Level
    925 L Street, Sacramento, CA


    Meeting Background: The Little Hoover Commission currently is conducting a study on forest management in response to the tree mortality crisis in the Sierra Nevada. Its first two hearings focused on the response to the crisis by state and local government and the private sector. The Commission has scheduled an August 24, 2017, hearing on strategies for long-term forest resilience. Commissioners indicated they wanted to learn about forest bioenergy, but decided that the topic was too expansive to cover in a public hearing.  Consequently, Commissioners scheduled an advisory committee meeting to allow stakeholders to present their views on the role of forest bioenergy in California’s forest management.


    Meeting Goals: For stakeholders to share viewpoints with the Commission’s Forest Management subcommittee on the viability of forest bioenergy as a forest management tool. The intent is to inform Commission recommendations.


    1:00 – 1:10 p.m.              

    Welcome and Introductions
    Pedro Nava, Chair, Little Hoover Commission
    Janna Sidley, Chair, Forest Management Subcommittee

    Commission Study Process and Advisory Committee Role
    Carole D’Elia, Executive Director, Little Hoover Commission


    1:10 – 2:50 p.m.              

    Discussion: The Commission is interested in lessons learned from using forest bioenergy in response to the tree mortality crisis, and in the potential role of forest bioenergy in long-term forest management.

    • In response to the tree mortality crisis: Are the directives in the Governor’s 2015 Proclamation of a State of Emergency and subsequent implementing legislation and California Public Utilities Commission Resolutions effective in removing and processing the hazard trees?  How is progress toward meeting the Proclamation directives being measured? What adjustments could be made for forest bioenergy to be a more effective tool in responding to the tree mortality crisis? 
       
    • Forest bioenergy as a long-term forest management tool: What role can and should forest bioenergy play in long-term forest management? Bioenergy costs more than other types of renewable energy, and some of the benefits of forest bioenergy as a forest management tool, such as utilization of small diameter trees or jobs creation, are not typically factors that would justify higher electricity costs. If forest biomass does become a forest management tool, how could the higher cost of bioenergy be fairly distributed?


    2:50 – 3:00 p.m.              

    Final Comments

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the discussion. Please notify Commission staff if you would like to make a comment.

    Public Notice

    PUBLIC NOTICE

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    August 10, 2017

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Carole D’Elia, Executive Director
    (916) 445-2125

    Notice of Meeting

    On Wednesday, August 23, 2017, the Forest Management Subcommittee of the Little Hoover Commission will hold an advisory committee meeting to hear from key stakeholders to consider the viability of forest bioenergy as a forest management tool. The intent of the meeting is to inform Commission recommendations. The meeting will begin at 1:00 p.m. in the BMG Conference Room located on the lower level of 925 L Street in Sacramento, California.

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the meeting. The Commission also encourages written comments.

    If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact Commission Executive Director Carole D’Elia at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Wednesday, August 16, 2017.

  • April 27
    2017
    Forest Management
    State Capitol, Room 437, Sacramento, CA
    Public Hearing
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Public Hearing on Forest Management
    Thursday, April 27, 2017, at 9:30 a.m.
    State Capitol, Room 437
    Sacramento, CA 


    Opening Remarks

    The Cost of Forest Neglect: The Counties’ Perspective

    1. Mike Albrecht, RPF, Project Coordinator, Tuolumne County Tree Mortality Task Force; President & Co-owner, Sierra Resource Management, Inc. (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Brittany Dyer, District Chief of Staff, Supervisor Tom Wheeler, District 5, County of Madera (Written Testimony)
       
    3. Eric Coyne, Deputy County Administrative Officer, Economic Development, Film & Tourism, County of Tulare (Written Testimony)
       

    The Impact of Unhealthy Forests on Water Supply and Quality

    1. David Eggerton, General Manager, Calaveras County Water District (Written Testimony)
       

    Insurance Availability and Affordability  

    1. Joel Laucher, Chief Deputy Commissioner, California Department of Insurance (Written Testimony)
       

    BUSINESS MEETING & LUNCH – ROOM 125


    On the Front Lines: Utilities

    1. Jadwindar Singh, Director, Electric Compliance, Quality, and Vegetation Management, Pacific Gas & Electric Company (Written Testimony)
       

    A View from the State’s Largest Private Forest Owner

    1. Cedric Twight, Manager, California Regulatory Affairs, Sierra Pacific Industries (Written Testimony)


    Restoring the Ecosystem

    1. Susan Britting, Executive Director, Sierra Forest Legacy  (Written Testimony)
       
    2. David Edelson, Sierra Nevada Project Director, The Nature Conservancy (Written Testimony)


    Comments Submitted by Members of the Public

    Public Notice

    PUBLIC NOTICE

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    April 13, 2017

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Carole D’Elia, Executive Director
    (916) 445-2125

    Notice of Meeting

    On Thursday, April 27, 2017, the Little Hoover Commission will conduct a public hearing on forest management in response to the tree mortality crisis that has killed 102 million trees in California. Thehearingwillbeginat9:30a.m.inRoom437oftheStateCapitolinSacramento.

    At the hearing, the Commission will first hear from county representatives who will discuss the challenges they face both in meeting the county’s forest management obligations and in assisting residents, some of whom cannot afford to treat the trees on their property. Next, the Commission will hear from a water district general manager who will discuss the impact of the dead trees on water quality and quantity, as well as regional partnerships in which the district participates that could perhaps be a model for others dealing with tree mortality. Also present at the hearing will be a representative from the Department of Insurance who will address insurance concerns raised by county representatives. The hearing also will include representatives from Pacific Gas & Electric and Sierra Pacific Industries, who will discuss the challenges they face in responding to tree mortality on their land and the roles they can play in sustainable forest management. Finally, the Commission will hear from representatives from Sierra Forest Legacy and The Nature Conservancy about potential solutions and a discussion on who benefits from healthy forests, and how that should influence policymaking.

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the hearing. Public comments will be limited to three minutes per person. The Commission also encourages written comments.

    The Commission will convene a business meeting in room 125 of the State Capitol at approximately 11:30 a.m. The public hearing will reconvene at approximately 12:45 p.m.

    All public notices for meetings are on the Commission’s website, www.lhc.ca.gov. If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact Commission Executive Director Carole D’Elia at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Thursday, April 20, 2017. 

    Video
  • January 26
    2017
    Forest Management
    State Capitol, Room 437, Sacramento, CA
    Public Hearing
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Public Hearing on Forest Management
    Thursday, January 26, 2017, at 9:30 a.m.
    State Capitol, Room 437
    Sacramento, CA 


    Opening Remarks

    Introduction to Tree Mortality in the Sierra Nevada and California Forest Management

    1. Scott Stephens, Professor, Fire Science and Chair, Division of Ecosystem Science, University of California, Berkeley (Written Testimony)
       

    The State of California’s Response to the Tree Mortality Crisis and Role in Forest Management

    1. Chief Ken Pimlott, Director, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Mark Ghilarducci, Director, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Written Testimony)
       
    3. Ashley Conrad-Saydah, Deputy Secretary for Climate Policy, California Environmental Protection Agency (Written Testimony)
       
    4. Malcolm Dougherty, Director, California Department of Transportation (Written Testimony)
       
    5. Jim Branham, Executive Officer, Sierra Nevada Conservancy (Written Testimony)
       

    Transitioning to the Local Perspective: What Are the Resource Conservation Districts’ Concerns?  

    1. Karen Buhr, Executive Director, California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (Written Testimony)
       

    Comments Submitted by Members of the Public

    Public Notice

    PUBLIC NOTICE

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    January 12, 2017

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Carole D’Elia, Executive Director
    (916) 445-2125

    Notice of Meeting

    On Thursday, January 26, 2017, the Little Hoover Commission will conduct a public hearing on forest management in response to the tree mortality crisis that has killed 102 million trees in California. The hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Room 437 of the State Capitol in Sacramento.

    At the hearing, the Commission will first hear from a fire ecologist at the University of California, Berkeley. He will provide an overview of the tree die-offs and their impact, an assessment of California’s forest management policies and an analysis of best practices in forest policy that California could potentially implement. Next, the Commission will hear from a panel of state representatives that includes the director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), the director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), deputy secretary for climate policy for the California Environmental Protection Agency, the director of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and the executive officer for the Sierra Nevada Conservancy. They will discuss the role of their organization in responding to the tree mortality crisis, including coordinating with a diverse array of stakeholders, prioritizing threats to public safety and identifying funding opportunities. They also will discuss their work to create healthy and resilient forests and ecosystems that can survive future disease, insects and other threats. Finally the executive director for the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts will discuss the impacts of the tree mortality crisis and larger climate change issues on the districts and what her members hope to see from the state, both in the short-term response to the tree die-offs and in longer-term forest management.

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the hearing. Public comments will be limited to three minutes per person. The Commission also encourages written comments.

    Immediately following the hearing, the Commission will hold a business meeting in conference room 175 on the first floor of 925 L Street in Sacramento, California.

    All public notices for meetings are on the Commission’s website, www.lhc.ca.gov. If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact Commission Executive Director Carole D’Elia at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Thursday, January 19, 2017. 

    Video