3540 Department of Forestry & Fire Protection
Program Descriptions


California's state and private forest, range, watershed lands and urban forests provide multiple human, climate and environmental benefits. The objective of this program is to maintain and enhance those benefits and to minimize damage to these resources from natural catastrophes and human development. Objectives are met by regulation of timber harvesting, coordination of climate related activities for the forest sector, technical assistance to non-industrial landowners, operation of state demonstration forests, operation of forest nurseries, vegetation management projects and administration of federal forestry assistance programs.

12.10 - Resources Protection and Improvement:
The objective of this program is to improve forest lands and urban forests. Activities include the detection, evaluation and control of forest pests; growing and selling tree seedlings for reforestation, carbon sequestration, and soil erosion control; maintenance of a native conifer seed bank; advice and assistance to non-industrial forest landowners on management of forests and improved harvesting and conservation practices; research on and demonstration of sustainable forestry in state forests; implementation of the California Forest Improvement Act of 1978; technical assistance and grants to foster the environmental, social, and economic benefits of urban forests consistent with the California Urban Forestry Act of 1978; and purchase and monitoring of working forest conservation easements per the California Forest Legacy Act of 2008. In the area of vegetation management, assistance is provided to public and private landowners to achieve land use objectives by reducing damage from wildland fires, increase wildlife habitat, increase productivity of forest and rangelands, improve water yields and air quality, reduce carbon emissions from wildland fires, increase firefighter safety, and maintain desirable ecosystems. CAL FIRE cooperates with federal, state and local agencies, local organizations, and private property owners to develop and achieve land use objectives. Activities include removal, rearrangement, conversion, or improvement of vegetation using various treatment measures such as prescribed fire and mechanical, manual, and biological methods.

12.30 - Forest Practice Regulations:
The objective of this program is to maximize sustained production of high-quality timber products while protecting soil, water, wildlife, recreation and other values associated with forest land. Forest Practice activities include the review and permitting of commercial timber harvesting operations on nonfederal timberlands, enforcing state forest practice laws and regulations, and monitoring compliance and the effects of timber operations on forest productivity, water quality, watersheds, soils, botanical resources, wildlife, fisheries, greenhouse gases and other environmentally sensitive resources. The Program is also responsible for issuing licenses to timber operators (LTOs), providing LTO training and education, and assisting the Board of Equalization-Timber Tax Division in their administration of taxes on timber and timberland. Forest Practice Program staff also assist the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection, and facilitate and participate in monitoring the effectiveness of the Board's forest practice regulations.

12.40 - Forest Resource Inventory and Assessment:
The objective of this program is to perform a periodic assessment of California's forest and rangeland resources. Activities include maintaining and distributing mission-critical datasets for fire planning, emergency incident support and meeting certain regulatory requirements. In addition, the program provides extensive technical and public information for statewide fire threat, fire hazard, watersheds, socio-economic conditions, environmental indicators and urban forestry.

12.50 - Professional Foresters Registration Program:
The Office of Professional Foresters Registration is a statutorily authorized program within the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection. The program is responsible for the licensing and regulation of all persons who practice forestry or rangeland management on non-federal, state and private lands in California pursuant to the Professional Foresters Law of 1972.