Forest Project Baseline Determination

Interpretation of California Forest Practice Rules in the Context of the Climate Action Reserve’s Preliminary Guidance on Forest Project Protocol Version 3.1, Section 6.2.1.1

Discussions between California landowners, environmental groups, the Climate Action Reserve, and government agencies have focused on the nature of legal requirements under California’s Forest Practice Rules and how they should be interpreted for the purposes of determining a baseline for forest projects under the Climate Action Reserve’s Forest Project Protocol (FPP). Specifically, the question is whether the California Forest Practice Rules’ requirements related to Maximum Sustained Production of High Quality Wood Products (14 CCR 913.11 (933.11, 953.11)) should be considered a “legal constraint” on the baseline for improved forest management projects, as specified in Section 6.2.1.1 of the FPP Version 3.1.

Final Proposed Revisions

Reserve staff proposed clarifications and amendments to Section 6.2.1 and 6.2.1.1 of the Forest Project Protocol Version 3.1, taking into consideration the public comments received on the Reserve draft guidance and alternative proposal (see below).

Proposed Amendments Relative to Baseline Determination, FPP Version 3.1 (June 24, 2010)

Rationale for Proposed Amendments Relative to Baseline Determination, FPP Version 3.1 (June 24, 2010)

Staff Response to Comments on Final Proposed Revisions

Reserve staff responded to public comments received on the proposed amendments to the baseline determination guidance (released June 24, 2010). The summary document is available below.

Staff Response to Public Comments on Revised Baseline Guidance (August 20, 2010)

Public Comments on the Reserve Final Proposed Revisions

California Forestry Association Sierra Pacific Industries
Center for Biological Diversity Sierra Pacific Industries Example 1
Equator, LLC Sierra Pacific Industries Example 2
Finite Carbon Corporation The Nature Conservancy
North Coast Resource Management
Pacific Forest Trust, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Wilderness Society, Forests Forever, Ebbett’s Pass Forest Watch, Center for Biological Diversity

Preliminary Guidance

The Climate Action Reserve staff drafted preliminary guidance that would require treating Maximum Sustained Production (MSP) plans filed with the California Department of Forestry and Fire (CalFIRE) as a “legal constraint.” Under this guidance, project proponents would have to model a baseline growth and harvest regime that reflects the same mix of silviculture and management intensity used in the MSP document.

DRAFT Preliminary Guidance on California MSP Requirements (February 24, 2010)

Alternative Proposal

The Reserve received one alternative proposal for the interpretation and application of legal requirements under California’s Forest Practice Rules. This proposal was presented and discussed at the March 18, 2010 workshop.

Pacific Forest Trust Alternative Proposal

Staff Response to Comments on Draft Guidance and Alternative Proposal

Reserve staff responded to public comments received on the Reserve draft guidance and the alternative proposal. The summary document is available below.

Staff Response to Public Comments on Forest Project Baseline Guidance (June 24, 2010)

Public Comments on the Reserve Draft Guidance and Alternative Proposal

Augustus Kent Kelly Conner
Center for Biological Diversity Nicholas Kent
Center for Biological Diversity – Supplemental Paul Harper
C. F. Landenberger Roseburg Resources Co.
Dennis Possehn Stan and Roxanna Leach
Forester’s Co-Op The Green Firm

Previously Received Public Comments on the Interpretation of California’s Forest Practice Rules

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) Equator LLC
California Forestry Association Forest Protocol Workgroup
California Farm Bureau Federation Kent & Associates
Forest Landowners of California North Coast Resource Management

Public Workshop

The Reserve heard from a number of stakeholders regarding the interpretation of California’s Forest Practice Rules and held a public workshop to bring stakeholders, the public, and the Reserve together to fully examine and understand this issue. The workshop took place on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at the California EPA Building in Sacramento. Workshop materials can be found below.

Workshop Agenda

Decision Making Timeline

Webinar Participation Guidance

Slide Deck: Forest Project Protocol v3.1 Overview

Slide Deck: Guidance on Interpreting Requirements Under Section 6.2.1.1

Please contact Policy Team with questions or comments.