4598. The Legislature finds and declares all of the following: (a) In order to meet the goals of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Division (commencing with Section 38500) of the Health and Safety Code), it is necessary to increase the carbon sequestration potential of California’s timberlands and to decrease carbon emissions from wildland fires. (b) Over one-half of the privately owned, commercial timberland in the state is owned by nonindustrial landowners. These lands will be increasingly important in the state’s efforts to meet the goals of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. The owners of these lands often lack the forestry expertise, economic incentive, or capital needed to make investments to decrease present and future greenhouse gas emissions from their lands and the potential for wildland fires that release greenhouse gases. (c) Long-term uneven-aged management of private timberlands within the state and the retention of large, old trees can increase the ability of timberlands to sequester carbon through increased growth and inventory and to convert carbon into oxygen through photosynthesis. (d) Prudent management of timberlands can decrease the potential for large wildland fires, that release greenhouse gases, by creating forests that are less susceptible to ignition and that reduce the intensity of wildland fires, thereby allowing for more successful fire suppression efforts. (e) Recent projects have demonstrated the benefits of pursuing program timberland environmental impact reports (PTEIRs), which provide better long-term management guidance for forests than single-project timber harvest plans. (f) The state has an interest in securing the carbon sequestration and fire protection benefits of prudent long-term management of timberlands owned by nonindustrial landowners.
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