California Native Plant Society

Forestry Program

Weburg v. Board of Forestry

Botanical protections on private timberlands continue to be upheld, thanks to the vigilance of Forestry Program volunteers and botanists at the Department of Fish and Game (DFG). In a case monitored by the Forestry Program since 2001, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) recently rejected a Timber Harvesting Plan (THP) that did not adequately address botanical issues.

When the original plan was denied, the landowner sued the Board of Forestry (Weburg v. Board of Forestry), and CNPS filed an "amicus brief" to legally support the agency's position that CNPS List 1 and 2 species are protected by state law. The Superior Court of Sacramento decided the case in favor of the Board of Forestry, upholding denial of the THP and supporting scoping and survey requirements for non-listed plants.

In May 2004, the landowner resubmitted the THP essentially unchanged. CDF's refusal to accept the inadequate plan may end the concerted effort by licensed foresters and timberland owners to challenge botanical survey requirements. Without pressure from CNPS, and the crucial role of DFG review, state law protecting sensitive species might have been circumvented.

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