For Immediate Release, December 18, 2008


Chris Kassar, Center for Biological Diversity, (520) 609-7685
Justin Augustine, Center for Biological Diversity, (415) 436-9682 x 302

Conservation Group Calls for California To Reduce Greenhouse Gas
Emissions From Logging and Clearcutting
Logging Plans Must Analyze and Reduce Climate Impacts

SACRAMENTO, Calif.- The Center for Biological Diversity submitted comments
today on a timber-harvest plan up for state approval, highlighting the
failure of the plan to address and analyze the contribution that proposed
logging projects will have on carbon emissions and associated global
warming. Today's comments are the latest in a series of efforts by the
Center to ensure that logging companies and the California Department of
Forestry no longer ignore the enormous increase in global warming emissions
caused by clear-cut logging practice.

The California Department of Forestry is responsible for approving all
timber-harvesting plans on private land in California and must ensure that
each proposed harvest complies with the California Environmental Quality
Act, or CEQA. Under CEQA, state agencies and local governments approving
projects must analyze the projects' effect on greenhouse gas emissions.
Recent CEQA guidance from the Governor's Office of Planning and Research
explicitly directs state agencies to quantify greenhouse gas emissions
resulting from a project, determine the significance of the emissions, and
identify ways to avoid or mitigate the emissions.

"In spite of California's mandate to aggressively reduce greenhouse gases,
logging companies have largely ignored or distorted the impacts of logging
on climate change," said Justin Augustine, a staff attorney for the Center.
"We need the Department of Forestry to implement the law and ensure that
carbon emissions from clear-cutting are avoided and mitigated."

Requests to clear-cut thousands of acres of California's forests are
currently before the state Department of Forestry . For example, the Swamped
Timber Harvest Plan would alone clear-cut 424 acres. None of the requests
address carbon emissions, however, as required by CEQA. This is an
especially serious problem given that the published science shows that
clear-cutting can remove more carbon from the forest than any other
disturbance, including fire.

"Business as usual is no longer an option," said Chris Kassar, public lands
associate director with the Center for Biological Diversity. "Global warming
is already harming California species like the pika and is projected to
dramatically reduce the state's snowpack and water supplies in the near
future. California is a national leader on this issue, requiring state
agencies to implement global warming solutions. We will hold the Department
of Forestry accountable for doing so."

Read the comments submitted today here: