Bill Text: CA SB1414 | 2017-2018 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Timber harvesting plans: San Jose Water Company.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-05-23 - Set for hearing May 25. [SB1414 Detail]

Download: California-2017-SB1414-Amended.html

Amended  IN  Senate  May 01, 2018
Amended  IN  Senate  March 22, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 1414


Introduced by Senator Beall

February 16, 2018


An act to add and repeal Section 4584.8 of to the Public Resources Code, relating to forestry.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 1414, as amended, Beall. Timber harvesting plans: San Jose Water Company.
The Z’berg-Nejedly Forest Practices Practice Act of 1973 prohibits a person from conducting timber operations, as defined, unless a timber harvesting plan prepared by a registered professional forester for those operations has been submitted to the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Existing law requires the department to review, approve, require the modification of, or disapprove timber harvesting plans in accordance with prescribed procedures.
This bill would require the department to ensure that, before the approval of a timber harvesting plan or an associated permit on lands owned by the San Jose Water Company, the San Jose Water Company conducts 3 2 public hearings on the timber harvesting plan or associated permit, the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District publicly reviews the timber harvesting plan or associated permit and adopts a resolution that timber harvesting would result in no significant impacts to public lands, is a member of the interagency review team for any timber harvesting document proposed by the San Jose Water Company, and the County of Santa Clara, the County of Santa Cruz, Clara and the appropriate regional water quality control boards each conducts conduct a public hearing on the timber harvesting plan or associated permit. The bill would repeal these provisions on January 1, 2038.
This bill would make legislative findings and declarations as to the necessity of a special statute for the Counties of Santa Clara and Santa Cruz.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The Upper Guadalupe, Los Gatos Creek, and Saratoga Creek watersheds are located in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
(b) Together, these watersheds provide water to one of the most populous areas in California. Their importance led the Association of Bay Area Governments to designate portions of the watersheds a “Priority Conservation Area” in recognition of their ecological value.
(c) The habitat located in the watersheds includes several listed species under Article 1 (commencing with Section 2050) of Chapter 1.5 of Division 3 of the Fish and Game Code and the federal Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. Sec. 1531 et seq.), including the Bay Checkerspot Butterfly and the California Red-legged Frog.
(d) The watersheds serve as a natural corridor for many species, including mountain lions, that roam beyond the San Francisco Peninsula.
(e) The watersheds contain large amounts of serpentine soils that support a high diversity of native plants, including a unique chaparral ecosystem that supports rare and endangered plant species.
(f) The watersheds are also located in the Southern Subdistrict of the Coast Forest District, which has been identified as extremely fire-prone.
(g) Provided the increasing impact of extreme weather and drought, the area is and will continue to be extremely fire-prone.
(h) The private watershed lands owned by the San Jose Water Company are located in these important watersheds and provide critical habitat and water quality benefits, as well as significant potential fire risk if not managed appropriately by a public agency.
(i) The San Jose Water Company’s holdings replenish Lake Elsman, a 6,200-acre-foot reservoir that is also fed by Los Gatos Creek and impacts the nearby public lands.
(j) The San Jose Water Company’s holdings include 96 parcels, equaling approximately 6,300 acres, and is surrounded by over 20,0000 20,000 acres managed by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, over 52,000 acres managed by the Santa Clara County parks system, 10 reservoirs managed by the Santa Clara Valley Water District, and thousands of acres of state park properties.
(k) The potential for commercial timber harvests in this area greatly impacts water quality and supply, fire management, critical species, and California’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating pristine redwood trees.
(l) The potential for commercial timber harvests would also significantly impact publicly protected lands that surround the San Jose Water Company’s holdings, impacting millions of nearby Californians.
(m) Past timber harvest applications on this property generated a great deal of public interest and concern regarding the public benefits associated with the property and how those public benefits might be negatively impacted.
(n) Given the potential for the significant damage to the publicly owned parcels, the negative impacts of commercial harvest in this area need to be carefully examined to ensure they do not damage water quality, erode fire suppression and prevention efforts, or frustrate conservation priorities, including preserving critical habitat for wildlife and fish populations. It is the intent of the Legislature to establish safeguards to ensure the public interest and mitigate harm before timber harvesting.
(o) The transfer of the San Jose Water Company’s properties to the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District pursuant to Section 5540.2 of the Public Resources Code provides the best opportunity to address the fire, water quality, and habitat values of the properties.

SEC. 2.

 Section 4584.8 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

4584.8.
 (a) (1) The department shall ensure that the approval of a timber harvesting plan and associated permits pursuant to this chapter article and Article 7.5 (commencing with Section 4593) on lands owned by the San Jose Water Company shall occur only after adequate public review, as described in this section.
(2) Any such timber harvesting plan or associated permit shall be based on thinning overly stocked areas to reduce wildfire risk or to enable larger and more fire-resistant trees to grow and sequester carbon. The San Jose Water Company shall manage its timberlands in an integrated manner so as to accomplish both of these goals.
(b) At a minimum, the department shall ensure that, before the approval of a timber harvesting plan or an associated permit on lands owned by the San Jose Water Company, all of the following occur:
(1) The San Jose Water Company conducts three two public hearings on the timber harvesting plan or associated permit.

(2)The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District publicly reviews the timber harvesting plan or associated permit and adopts a resolution that timber harvesting would result in no significant impacts to public lands.

(2) Notwithstanding any other law, the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District is a member of the interagency review team for any timber harvesting document proposed by the San Jose Water Company. The department shall resolve any concerns presented by the district and present the resolution of those concerns at a public meeting of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.
(3) Each of the following entities conducts a public hearing on the timber harvesting plan or associated permit:
(A) The County of Santa Clara.

(B)The County of Santa Cruz.

(C)

(B) The appropriate regional water quality control boards.
(c) This section shall not apply to any lands sold to the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District pursuant to Section 5540.2.

(d)Section 4601 shall not apply to this section.

(e)This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2038, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 3.

 The Legislature finds and declares that a special statute is necessary and that a general statute cannot be made applicable within the meaning of Section 16 of Article IV of the California Constitution because of the unique circumstances in the Counties of Santa Clara and Santa Cruz regarding the need to protect water quality, improve fire suppression and prevention efforts, and preserve critical habitat for wildlife and fish populations in the Upper Guadalupe, Los Gatos Creek, and Saratoga Creek watersheds.
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