Forest Management

Study Schedule

Thursday, April 27, 2017
9:30 a.m., State Capitol,
Room 437
Public Hearing
Thursday, January 26, 2017
9:30 a.m., State Capitol,
Room 437
Public Hearing

Agendas are posted two weeks prior to their hearing date.

Description of Study

The Commission is reviewing the state’s forest management in response to the tree mortality crisis in the Sierra Nevada.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported in November 2016 that approximately 62 million trees have died statewide on federal, state and private lands this year, up 114 percent from the 29 million that died in 2015.  The tally brings to 102 million the number of trees that have died in California forests during years of drought and bark beetle infestations since 2010.  Most of the dead trees, the USDA stated, are in the southern and central Sierra region, though northern counties are showing increasing tree mortality.

In October 2015, Governor Brown declared a state of emergency and issued an executive order in response to the crisis.  A Tree Mortality Task Force was created to “coordinate emergency protective actions and monitor ongoing conditions to address the tree mortality resulting from four years of unprecedented drought and resulting bark beetle infestations across large regions of the state.”  As of May 2016, 10 counties and 28 state, eight federal, 10 utility and 23 nongovernmental entities had joined the task force to address the 19 directives in the executive order.  Working groups focus on forest health & resilience, mapping & monitoring, prescribed fire, public outreach, regulations, resource allocation, and utilization (bioenergy and market development). 

Through its public process, the Commission will study the state’s response to the crisis, including the tree die-off’s intersection with catastrophic wildfire, greenhouse gas emission and watershed health.  The Commission also intends to look beyond the crisis and examine the state’s plans for recovery and its strategy to position itself ahead of future crises.  The Commission will build on previous and ongoing work, including its 2014 climate change adaptation study and testimony from the Fire Districts Association of California and others in its study on special districts

If you would like more information regarding this study, please contact project manager Krystal Beckham at krystal.beckham[at] or at (916) 445-2125.  To be notified electronically of meetings, events, or when the review is complete, please send a request to

Previous Studies

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