Staff
Helen Kerstein
(916) 319-8364
Forestry, Parks, and High Speed Rail
Sonja Petek
(916) 319-8340
Water, Coastal Development, and Fish and Wildlife
Frank Jimenez
(916) 319-8324
Highways and Roads, Recycling, Agriculture, and Toxics
Luke Koushmaro
(916) 319-8355
Mass Transportation, Traffic Enforcement, Statewide Planning and Infrastructure
Rachel Ehlers
(916) 319-8330
Deputy Legislative Analyst: Environment and Transportation


Publications

Environment and Natural Resources

To browse all LAO publications, visit our Publications page.



Handout

Department of Water Resources—LAO Issues for Legislative Oversight

March 28, 2007 - Presented to Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Resources


Report

Baldwin Hills Conservancy: Meeting Objectives; More Work to Be Done

March 27, 2007 - To promote conservation of its natural resources, the state has created a number of conservancies to acquire and protect undeveloped land within specific geographic regions. In 2000, the Legislature created one such conservancy for the Baldwin Hills area of the Los Angeles Basin, which is scheduled to sunset on January 1, 2008. As statute requires, this report reviews the conservancy’s progress and considers the merits of extending the conservancy’s sunset date. We find that, generally, the conservancy has operated in a manner consistent with its statutory role, and while the conservancy has made progress, more remains to be done to meet statutory objectives. We recommend extending the conservancy’s sunset date by five years, preceded by a sunset review of its performance and its relevance at this later time to the state’s overall conservation goals.


Handout

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection: State’s Wildland Firefighting Costs Continue to Escalate

March 26, 2007 - Presented to Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Resources, Environmental Protection and Energy


Handout

Governor’s Budget Proposal to Implement The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (“AB 32”)

March 26, 2007 - Presented to Assembly Natural Resources Committee and Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Resources


Other

Governor’s Budget Proposal to Implement The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (“AB 32”)

March 15, 2007 - Presented to The Environmental Justice Advisory Committee on Implementation of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006


Handout

Bond Funding for Flood Protection and Delta-Related Issues

March 13, 2007 - Presented to Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife


Handout

Propositions 1C and 84 Bond Implementation: Issues for Legislation

March 13, 2007 - Presented to Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water


Handout

2007-08 Budget Overview: Resources Agency Departments (Including an Overview of the CALFED Bay-Delta Program)

March 7, 2007 - Presented to Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Resources


Handout

Proposition 84 Bond Implementation:Water, Parks and Wildlife Policy/Budget Issues

March 6, 2007 - Presented to Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife


Handout

2007-08 Budget Overview: Resources and Environmental Protection (Including an Overview of the CALFED Bay-Delta Program)

March 5, 2007 - Presented to Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 2


Handout

Propositions 1E and 84: Flood Management Provisions

February 27, 2007 - Presented to Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water


Report

Information Technology at the Water Boards

February 21, 2007 - On numerous occasions, the Legislature has stressed the fundamental role that management of data—including permitting, enforcement, and water quality—plays in assisting the State Water Resources Control Board carry out its mission. Legislative oversight of the board’s information technology (IT) projects is critical, as we find that the board has been developing information technology systems outside of the budget process and that the board lacks an up-to-date strategic plan to guide its IT activity. We make a number of recommendations to provide the necessary oversight.


Report

CALFED Bay-Delta Program

February 21, 2007 - The budget proposes $473.6 million across eight state agencies for the CALFED Bay-Delta Program in 2007-08. We recommend tying the use of performance measures (currently under development) to the budget process, and raise concerns about a number of CALFED’s budget proposals. Specifically, we find that the funding proposal for the South Delta Improvements program is premature, matching funds are lacking to allow the surface storage feasibility study work to practically proceed, and that the budget inappropriately proposes bond funds to replace water user funding contributions that have run out to support a conservation planning effort that benefits the water users.


Report

Funding for State Parks Maintenance

February 21, 2007 - Despite a growing backlog in deferred maintenance at state parks (currently over $900 million) the budget provides no funding to address the problem. There is also a significant funding shortfall related to ongoing maintenance at state parks. To address these problems, we recommend using $160 million of Proposition 84 bond funds allocated to state park restoration and rehabilitation for deferred maintenance, and augmenting the department’s ongoing maintenance budget by $15 million, funded from fees.


Report

Wildland Fire Protection Expenditures

February 21, 2007 - The fire protection budget of the state’s forestry department (mostly funded from the state General Fund) continues to rise significantly. This reflects changing forest conditions fueling fire risk, increasing housing development at the wildland-urban boundary, and increasing labor costs. We make a number of recommendations to control the rising costs, including clarifying state and local roles for providing emergency services, modifying the criteria by which land is designated a state responsibility for fire protection, and enacting a fee on private landowners to partially cover the state‘s costs in providing fire protection services that benefit them.