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Friday, August 26, 2005

Action alert: oppose Ron Nehring for CA Board of Forestry

[From Forests Forever]

Who is Ron Nehring, and why does the governor think he should sit on the state Board of Forestry?

A Republican political activist since college, Nehring is currently the vice-chairman of the California Republican Party. He is a senior consultant for Americans for Tax Reform, the far-right group founded by anti-tax activist Grover Norquist (see: http://www.atr.org/). He was also director of development and public affairs for the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org/), a conservative think tank that, among many other conservative causes, argues against taking action to stop global warming and against preserving roadless forests.

Appointed to the board on July 12 by Schwarzenegger, Nehring promises to bring a strong bias in favor of the timber industry. He also lacks any actual forestry experience. His primary qualification for the job seems to be that his house came close to urning down in a forest fire in 2003.

Nehring's appointment is now before the Senate Rules Committee for confirmation.

According to Section 731 of the Public Resources Code of California, a candidate for membership on the board should have "general knowledge of, interest in, and experience with, problems relating to watershed management (including hydrology and soil science), forest management practices, fish and wildlife, range management, forest economics, or land use planning."

Nehring has not claimed any of these qualifications.

The nine-member Board of Forestry is appointed by the governor and is supposed to represent a range of interests. Nehring's appointment would tip the balance of the board yet further in favor of industry and away from sound conservation practices and citizen participation.

"In addition to his lack of any relevant qualifications," said the Sierra Club's Paul Mason, "Ron Nehring's potential to do lasting damage merits a quick denial of his confirmation."

TAKE ACTION

Write a letter to Sen. Don Perata, the Senate Rules Committee chair, and urge him to hold a hearing on the Nehring nomination before the Senate adjourns on Sept. 9.

Tell Perata you oppose Nehring's nomination and ask the senator not to confirm Nehring's appointment to the California Board of Forestry.

Sen. Don Perata, Chair,
Senate Rules Committee
State Capitol, Room 205
Sacramento, CA 95814

POINTS to MAKE in YOUR LETTER to PERATA

~ Please hold a hearing on Nehring's nomination before Sept. 9.

~ Several important issues are coming up before the Board of Forestry, such as the revised Jackson State Forest management plan, and the proposed rule change that would weaken protections for endangered salmon. This is not the time to seat another potential timber industry advocate on the Board of Forestry.

~ According to Section 731 of the California Code, Nehring lacks the necessary experience to sit on the board.

~ Given his background, Nehring can be expected to tilt the Board of Forestry against environmental protection. He will not fairly represent the community, and should not hold a seat reserved for members of the general public.

~ Please reject the nomination of Ron Nehring to the Board of Forestry.

Other Rules Committee members are:

James Battin (Vice-Chair) (R-La Quinta)
State Capitol, Room 3067
Sacramento, CA 95814

Roy Ashburn, (R-Bakersfield)
State Capitol, Room 5094
Sacramento, CA 95814

Debra Bowen (D-Redondo Beach)
State Capitol, Room 4040
Sacramento, CA 95814

Gilbert Cedillo (D-Los Angeles)
State Capitol, Room 5100
Sacramento CA 95814

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