Hughes, Paul

Paul Hughes is the Executive Director of Forests Forever, a non-profit advocacy organization that fights to protect and enhance the forests and wildlife habitat of California through educational, legislative and electoral activities. Forests Forever has played a key role in most of California’s controversial forest campaigns since its founding in 1989.

'Regulatory Streamlining' Bill (SB 455) Would Lead to More Clearcutting of California Forests

By Paul Hughes
Forests Forever

“Tries to do too much!”

Anyone who voted in California in 1990 might remember that cynical tag line, which its industry opponents hung on Prop. 128. The ballot measure, a.k.a. Big Green, a.k.a. The Environmental Super-initiative would have restricted harmful pesticides in food, curbed air pollution emissions, safeguarded coastal and marine resources, saved ancient redwoods, and more.

Sadly, the slogan worked well enough to help bring down a well-drafted and initially popular initiative by confusing voters into thinking that cleaning up an array of urgent environmental problems in one stroke was somehow a bad thing.

Fast forward 22 years and we find a current-day measure that truly fits the “Tries to do too much!” tag line. But unlike Big Green, Senate Bill (SB) 455 purports to take us in an assortment of environmentally worthy directions at once with regard to forest policy, while providing little to no real clarity, guidance or funding to get us there.