In 2006, the California State Legislature passed Assembly Bill 32, the “California Global Warming Solutions Act”. Governor Schwarzenegger signed the bill into law, requiring California to reduce greenhouse gas emission to 1990 levels by 2020. It has long been recognized that California forests will play a very important role in achieving AB 32 goals. Under the direction and leadership of Governor Jerry Brown, the Forest Climate Action Team (FCAT) was assembled in August of 2014 with the primary purpose of developing a Forest Carbon Plan by the end of 2016. FCAT is comprised of Executive level members from many of the State's natural resources agencies, state and federal forest land managers, and other key partners directly or indirectly involved in California forestry. FCAT is under the leadership of CAL FIRE, Cal-EPA, and The Natural Resources Agency.
The State of California's Forest Climate Action Team (FCAT) will hold a series of public meetings in late February and early March to provide the public with information on the Team's proposed work, and to invite public comment. Established last year following recommendations made in the 2014 update to the Assembly Bill (AB) 32 Climate Change Scoping Plan, the FCAT is composed of a broad range of state and federal agencies with responsibilities for forests and related natural resources. Local governments also are represented on the FCAT. The Forest Climate Action Team is led by Ken Pimlott, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), with support from the California Natural Resources Agency and the California Environmental Protection Agency. FCAT's primary role is to develop a “forest carbon plan,” as called for in the Scoping Plan update. The forest carbon plan will provide strategies and targets to ensure that California forests will be managed to maintain healthy forest conditions, and continue to grow and store carbon in the form of wood to offset the negative effects of climate change for future generations. The forest carbon plan will summarize and address historical challenges associated with forest resource management, including jurisdictional boundaries, carbon baseline establishment and monitoring, costs and benefits, and financing, among other issues. Development of the plan will give careful consideration to the entire range of environmental, economic, and social benefits provided by forests in the state. Through the development and adoption of the plan, the aim of the FCAT is to engage resource managers, experts from multiple jurisdictions, and the public to collaborate on collective goals and reach carbon sequestration targets. The Forest Climate Action Team looks forward to the opportunity to introduce its work to the public and to take comments and answer questions. The schedule for the public meetings is as follows:
- February 20, 1-3 PM, Auditorium, State of CA Resources Building, 1416 Ninth Street.
- March 2, 1-3 PM, Gaia Hotel, 4125 Riverside Place.
- March 11, 1-3 PM, Training Center, Angeles National Forest Headquarters, 701 N. Santa Anita Avenue.
The February 20 meeting also will be Webcast live, and satellite locations where the public may gather to view the Webcast and ask questions or make comments have been set for:
- US Forest Service/Bureau of Land Management Offices, 351 Pacu Lane.
- UC Cooperative Extension, Humboldt County Office, 5630 South Broadway.
- CAL FIRE Office, 1234 East Shaw Avenue.
- UC Berkeley Richmond Field Station, Building 445 (map)
- Tuolumne County Emergency Services Center, 18440 Striker Court. More details on the meetings, including agenda, draft documents, locations, and how to access the Webcast may be found on the FCAT Website: http://www.fire.ca.gov/fcat/