California has numerous formal acts in statute. Public Resources Code Division 4, Part 2, Chapter 10, Article 9 provides the Sudden Oak Death Management Act of 2002, which is contained in Section 4750 to 4750.7. Article 9 was added in 2002 by Chapter 854. Section 4750 names the act.
Section 4750.1 contains eight legislative findings and declarations, including the cause of sudden oak death, a fungus known as Phytophthora ramorum, has only recently been discovered. There is currently no known cure for trees and other plant species infected with this fungus, leaving removal as the only current option. Although costly, infected trees and other plant species can be removed.
In addition, it is the intent of the Legislature to provide continuing funding to the Resources Agency for its program to combat sudden oak death. Funding is necessary to address this situation quickly and adequately, and to ensure that necessary actions are taken to protect the public safety and the environment.
Section 4750.2 defines the term “task force.” Section 4750.3 declares that it is the policy of the state, to the extent feasible, to stop the spread of sudden oak death and conserve oak trees and other plant species affected by the disease. The purpose of this article is to (a) Prevent the introduction and spread within this state of sudden oak death caused by Phytophthora ramorum; (b) Reduce or eliminate the loss of oak trees and other plant species infected with Phytophthora ramorum; and, (c) Encourage the coordination of efforts between federal, state, and local agencies and organizations to effectively allocate resources to manage Phytophthora ramorum.
Section 4750.4 requires the department to implement a program to detect, remove, and treat, if possible, trees infected with Phytophthora ramorum. This program must encourage tree management and replanting in urban and other infected areas and assist counties in seeking innovative solutions to problems caused by Phytophthora ramorum.
Section 4750.5 requires the department to provide information and technical assistance to cities, counties, districts, regional entities, homeowner neighborhood groups, and nonprofit organizations on Phytophthora ramorum.
Section 4750.6 authorizes the director, with advice from the task force, to enter into contracts to provide assistance for project costs associated with the implementation of this article. Eligible projects include (a) Infected tree detection, including coordination of local agency efforts and citizen involvement; (b) Funding for seedlings, tree stock, and replanting; and, (c) Other categories of projects recommended by the task force and approved by the director.
Section 4750.7 requires the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection shall expend funds, subject to appropriation in the Budget Act, on sudden oak death management activities pursuant to this section. The department shall take into account the recommendations of the task force for the expenditure of the funds.
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