The Sustainable Forest Action Coalition (SFAC) was organized on February 19, 2010. Our members are supporters from California, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, Arkansas and Wyoming. This support includes Commissioners, Supervisors, Chambers of Commerce, Fire Safe Councils, Farm Bureaus, Agricultural Commissions, Forest Products Industry, Bio-energy Industry, Education, individual businesses with a mix of public and private agencies and associations. SFAC’s goal is to form a coalition that will cover a geographic area where our rural counties are dominated by public lands and influenced by current legislation that is restricting proper restoration of the watershed and forest health within these counties. SFAC covers a geographic area of rural county’s where healthy watersheds and forests are vital to the State, rural counties and to our total ecosystem.
The main objective of this larger coalition is to work at the State and Federal level to bring regulatory reform to restore our watersheds through healthy forests while maintaining and expanding the existing forest products and bioenergy infrastructure. By meeting this objective, the coalition also recognizes the additional benefit that proper management provides to our watersheds and furthering the efforts in protecting our natural resources from catastrophic wildfire.
SFAC realizes that by meeting these objectives, we will assist in revitalizing the social and economic wellbeing of our small rural counties through the creation of jobs.
Scheduled meetings of SFAC for 2015 have not been set yet. We just held our first Social and Economic Workshop, at CSU Chico. We will set dates for our first annual meetings with the Forest Service Region 5 staff, hopefully sometime in May. We will also work with our Congressional Representatives to determine a date for our first meeting. Our bi-annual SFAC, FS and Congressional meetings are normally April and August in Sacramento and Redding with the Redding meeting being attended by both Region 5 and 6 of the Forest Service. The meetings scheduled with our local political representatives are to discuss rural county issues and possible actions to improve current or pending legislation. Our general SFAC meeting is normally scheduled for November and we meet in Willows at the Mendocino NF Supervisors Office at 825 North Humboldt Avenue.
- Work separately from the Board of Supervisors and Commissioners, but in a parallel fashion to try and add additional input and support to natural resource issues that impact their counties’ economic and social well-being.
- Build valuable relationships with government officials, educators, and community organizations to promote watershed and forest health through active management and sustainable jobs. We are an organization that uses education, advocacy and balanced forest management science to protect our forest while promoting a robust forest products and bio-energy industry, including restoring the three recently closed mills to full operation.
- Establish a larger representation to cover the entire geographic area described.
- Work with our local Representatives at the County, State and Federal level to build trust and a collaborative relationship.
- Work through and with the County Boards and Commissions and Political representation to promote healthy communities and sustainable jobs.
- Work with our State Legislature and State Board of Forestry, Commission and Executive Agencies to provide a streamlined Timber Harvest Plan process to provide a more practical, economical, and predictable process for forest land owners.
- Work with our Federal Representatives to assure consistent annual budget and outputs to assure needed work is done on National Forest land to restore our watersheds, forests, wildlife and recreation to a healthy fire resilient condition.
- Hold quarterly meetings to maintain a healthy working relationship and open communications.
- Support bio-power and bio-fuels from wood, which provide reliable clean energy from a renewable resource, which reduces dependency on fossil fuels, while providing rural employment and economic development. Promoting highest value and 100% utilization of vegetation removal to pay for the costs of vegetation management.
- Work to gain recognition of the value and benefit of maintaining and restoring our watersheds that are the primary source of the State’s water quality and quantity.
- Work at the State and Federal level to gain awareness that forest have the potential to be the most valuable tool available in the effort to reduce global warming emissions and address climate change through carbon sequestration and related co-benefits.
- Communicate and coordinate with the Forest Service and political representatives to address the impact of the current Stewardship legislation on future 25% funds to counties.
- Work with local, state and federal agencies and representatives to reduce the catastrophic fire problem that is threatening our communities, wildlife and watersheds. To meet this action item, assure that state and federal legislation continues to recognize and provide financial support to our Fire Safe Councils.
Work with the Forest Service to develop a Social and Economic Purpose and Need for project NEPA documents. This is critical to provide NEPA documents that will analyze the Human Element with the environmental element. This is not occurring in current documents. With this S/E Purpose and Need and analysis, our Counties will be able to better participate and coordinate projects with the FS as well as intervene in individual project decisions.
Participate and coordinate with the FS on local plans.
Coordinate and participate in bi-annual meetings with our Legislative Representatives and the Regional Forester and staff.
Address Air Board regulations. Current impacts and issues are banning local and residential burning.