The following State of California draft plans are currently available for public comment. Each of these plans provides an opportunity to encourage an increase in the pace and sale of restoration in the Sierra, and to highlight the alignment of the Sierra Nevada Watershed Improvement Program goals with the state’s long-term goals.
Greenhouse Gas Quantification Methodology/CA Fire Occurrence Probability Data – CAL FIRE
- Overview: The California Air Resources Board (ARB), in consultation with CAL FIRE, has developed a greenhouse gas (GHG) quantification methodology for evaluation of proposed Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) grant projects. ARB is currently accepting public comment on the Draft Greenhouse Gas Quantification Methodology and GHG Calculator Tool for the 2016-17 Forest Health Grant Program. In addition, CAL FIRE has developed a map of expected probability of fire occurrence for California, based upon work done at the University of California, for use in quantifying the GHG benefits of fuels reduction activities funded by GGRF. CAL FIRE is currently accepting comments on the Draft Fire Occurrence Probability Map and Dataset.
- Comments Deadline: The public comment period for these documents will be open through March 13, 2017. More information can be found here: http://www.fire.ca.gov/resource_mgt/resource_mgt_foresthealth_grants. Please note, the public comment is only for the draft quantification methodology. The Forest Health Guidelines are in the process of being finalized.
AB 32 Climate Scoping Plan III – California Air Resources Board
- Overview: The Scoping Plan is an implementation plan for AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act, and the complementary legislation that has passed since then. It guides state actions surrounding emissions management, investment of greenhouse gas reduction fund (GGRF) resources, and guides policy addressing emissions sources. The CA Air Resources Board (ARB) is working through many of the sector-specific elements of the Scoping Plan update, including the “Working Lands” section, which is most applicable to the Sierra and rural California. More information is available here: http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/scopingplan/scopingplan.htm.
- Opportunities and Links: This effort has the potential to elevate the importance of Sierra landscapes, highlighting them as an important element in California’s climate change solution. For example, identifying biomass as part of a renewable energy solution (under the “innovate” strategy) could lead to important investments in biomass energy development. Increased emphasis on co-benefits – part of the “align” vision – could be an integral part of the 1:1 argument for forest management projects, strengthening the case for GGRF investment.
- Comments Deadline: Upcoming public workshops and draft documents will be posted on ARB’s Natural and Working Lands Sector Web Site.
Forest Carbon Plan – California Natural Resources Agency
- Overview: The Forest Carbon Plan (FCP) is being compiled by the Forest Climate Action Team (FCAT), with leadership from the California Natural Resources Agency and CAL FIRE. It will feed data, information, and priorities related to the management of California’s urban and wildland forests into the AB 32 Scoping Plan. Some information related to the FCP is available on the FCAT website: http://www.fire.ca.gov/fcat/.
- Opportunities and Links: Getting the FCP “right” could lead to greater investment of greenhouse gas reduction fund resources into California’s forests. Even without that greater investment, however, accumulating much of the science on forest management, climate change, and carbon sequestration is an important task to move the conversation forward.
- Comments Deadline: Comments for the public draft of the FCP were due by March 17. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and visit the SNC FCP page for more information. It is important for Sierra interests to engage. The SNC will ensure that information is available through our web site, e-mail list-serve, and social media outlets.
Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative (RETI) 2.0 – California Energy Commission
- Overview: To facilitate electric transmission coordination and planning, the California Energy Commission, California Public Utilities Commission, and the California Independent System Operator have initiated the Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative 2.0, also known as RETI 2.0. RETI 2.0 is an open, transparent, and science-based process that will explore the abundant renewable generation resources in California and throughout the West, consider critical land use and environmental constraints, and identify potential transmission opportunities that could access and integrate renewable energy with the most environmental, economic, and community benefits. More information is available here: http://www.energy.ca.gov/reti/.
- Opportunities and Links: Ensuring that the Sierra is included in energy transmission planning and investment strategies is paramount to maintaining the use of biomass in energy production as a viable alternative for products resulting from forest management. This is also a viable co-benefit of forest management. More information on bioenergy is available here: http://www.sierranevada.ca.gov/our-region/bioenergy.
- Comments Deadline: RETI 2.0 is currently in progress, and a significant number of public involvement meetings are planned. The main webpage (http://www.energy.ca.gov/reti/) supplies an opportunity to be added to the project list-serve.