Existing law establishes the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection within the Natural Resources Agency. Existing law vests the department with specified responsibilities, including providing fire protection, fire prevention, pest control, and forest and range protection and enhancement implements and apparatus as necessary. Existing law, the California Urban Forestry Act of 1978, has as a stated purpose the promotion of the use of urban forest resources for purposes of increasing integrated projects with multiple benefits in urban communities.
This bill would establish the California Pocket Forest Initiative in the department and would authorize the department to coordinate implementation of the initiative in conjunction with the act. The bill would authorize the department to provide grants to cities, counties, districts, nonprofit organizations, and public schools to establish pocket forests on public lands, as provided. The bill would require the department to prioritize disadvantaged communities and communities that lack publicly accessible green space for these grants. The bill would require the department to partner with one or more academic institutions to test, and submit a report on or before January 1, 2030, to the Legislature that evaluates, the applicability and effectiveness of the Miyawaki method, as defined, to restore degraded lands and reforest urban areas in multiple regions throughout California. The bill would repeal these provisions on January 1, 2031.