All phases of forestland management are provided by ERS. We understand the complexities of coordinating land use projects, often located in remote locations, and we know how to maintain work quality throughout projects of long duration. Client satisfaction begins at the project design stage to assure that the desired outcome is achieved. Three components of our successful management program include: procedures, inspection, and communication. These components have served Environmental Resource Solutions well and have proven effective on all management contracts. Key personnel assigned to the project will communicate as often as necessary with the landowner to ensure timely implementation of their land use plan. Costs are controlled by carefully evaluating the project conditions to prevent delays.
Timber Harvesting Plans
ERS has successfully prepared and managed hundreds of Timber Harvesting Plans (THPs). The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) enforces the laws that regulate logging on privately-owned lands in California. These laws are found in the Forest Practices Act, which was enacted in 1973 to ensure that logging is done in a manner that will preserve and protect our fish, wildlife, forests and streams. The Act is implemented through rules promulgated by the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection.
CDF ensures that private landowners abide by these laws when harvesting trees. Although there are specific exemptions in some cases, compliance with the Forest Practice Act and Board rules apply to all commercial harvesting operations for landowners of small parcels, to ranchers owning hundreds of acres, and large timber companies with hundreds of thousands of acres.
The Timber Harvesting Plan is the environmental review document submitted by landowners to CDF outlining what timber he or she wants to harvest, how it will be harvested, and the steps that will be taken to prevent damage to the environment. ERS prepares THPs using Registered Professional Foresters (RPFs) who are licensed by the State of California to prepare these comprehensive, detailed plans. THPs can range from about 100 pages to more than 500 pages.
CDF does not have the authority to deny a THP that is in compliance with state and federal rules and laws simply because the logging plan is unpopular with the public. A THP that does not comply with all forestry and environmental regulations is returned to the person submitting it. It is only approved after the RPF and landowner agree to make the changes necessary to ensure compliance with all laws. CDF follows up on approved THPs with site inspections and can shutdown operations, cite or fine Registered Professional Foresters, Licensed Timber Operators and landowners if illegal operations are found.
Management plans are generally long-term guidance documents prepared to document baseline conditions, and set forth goals and objectives for a desired target condition.
ERS can prepare a Non-Industrial Timber Management Plan, Conservation Easement, CFIP Management Plan, Sustained Yield Plan, Habitat Conservation Plan, or a custom Land Management Plan to suit your unique goals and objectives for your property.
Management plans typically address all resource subjects contained within a property and provide management and operational guidelines as well and identifying appropriate protections for wildlife, fisheries, and other natural resources.
While ERS provides service to land owners throughout the western United States we are particularly well qualified to manage lands within the State of California. Our staff includes several California Registered Professional Foresters (RPFs). We understand the complex regulations governing the use of forestland in the State of California, and this makes us exceptionally qualified and ensures landowners of receiving professional forest management services. Habitat protection is a major component of timberland management in California and our relationship with California Division of Forestry (CDF), California Department of Fish & Game (DFG), Regional Water Quality Control Boards, and other State and Federal agencies is critical to our success in managing a client¡¯s property. While we ensure proper protection of wildlife, fisheries, cultural and other natural resources, we do not forget the land owners¡¯ right to mange their lands to meet personal and financial expectations.
ERS has classified over one million acres of vegetation throughout the western United States and can provide vegetation classification schemes for your property to help guide all aspects of land management. Vegetation classification is typically done to more accurately reflect the current condition and changes in vegetation across the landscape to improve property management. Classification schemes are often done prior to conducting a timber inventory to improve statistical confidence of the sample.
ERS conducts property-specific timber inventories and analysis to meet forest management and appraisal needs. Our experienced staff will design and process inventory data or collect property information using a clients system and design. We can incorporate inventory data and vegetation classification into databases and digital maps creating the complete forest management tool for today's forest landowners. Our inventory data collection procedures and processing programs are designed to produce data in a format directly compatible with most growth and yield simulators, and reporting flexibility to display specific inventory information to meet the needs of our clients.
CDF Exemption Permits
The Forest Practice Act allows for exemptions to the Forest Practice Rules for certain types of projects. These projects include: 1) Utility Right-of-Ways; 2) Christmas Tree and other minor forest product operations; 3) Removal of Dead, Dying, or Diseased trees; and 4) Less than 3-acre Conversion Exemptions.
ERS has extensive experience preparing these types of exemptions. For Less than 3-acre Conversion Exemption Permits being prepared in Sonoma County, prior to permit submission to CDF, the Sonoma County Permit and Resource Management Department must review and sign the permit.
The California Forest Improvement Program (CFIP) is a forestry incentive program that provides funding to forest landowners for management plans, RPF fees, site preparation, tree planting, thinning, pruning, herbicide applications, land conservation, and improvement of fish and wildlife habitat. CFIP¡¯s purpose is to encourage private and public investments in forestlands and resources within the state to ensure adequate future high quality timber supplies, related employment and other economic benefits, and to protect, maintain, and enhance the forest resources for the benefit of present and future generations.
ERS has experience preparing CFIP plans for small (20 acre minimum) to large (500 acre maximum) sized landowners.