Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation that will impact California’s timber industry.
AB 1492 will eliminate many regulatory fees, allow extra time to harvest timber, and prevent “excessive liability” for wildfires started by timber operations. The Governor’s Office says California harvesters pay multiple regulatory fees, which can give neighboring states a competitive advantage. As a result, 70 percent of the lumber used in the state is imported.
“California’s laws have saddled our timber industry with costly burdens while giving out of state competitors a free ride,” says Brown. “This legislation enacts serious bi-partisan reform to even the playing field to protect California’s timber industry jobs.”
Red Emmerson, President and Chairman Emeritus of Sierra Pacific Industries, has released a statement in support. “Governor Brown took action to reduce regulatory burdens and protect thousands of California timber industry jobs,” he says. “This bill makes our company more competitive with out-of-state businesses and strengthens our industry.”
Sierra Pacific Industries has mills in both Standard and Chinese Camp.
Timber companies will now have a cap on how much they are forced to pay if an operation inadvertently causes a large wildfire. To make up the costs, it imposes a one percent assessment on lumber sales in the state.
The Governor’s Office reports that every 10 percent increase in timber production in California produces 1,000 to 2,000 new jobs. California has 8.7 million acres of forestland.