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Increased Logging Oversight Under Proposed Budget

California Governor Jerry Brown's proposed budget would add new jobs to help protect the environment and oversee logging in the state.

Aired 1/15/13 on KPBS News.

California Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed budget would add new jobs to help protect the environment and oversee logging in the state.

The budget would add forty-nine positions to the California Natural Resources Agency - the majority of which would be filled by wildlife biologists and other field workers that monitor logging and timber harvest plans in the state.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife had experienced most of the staffing reductions over the last few years. Justin Augustine with the Center for Biological Diversity said for the most part the lack of staff meant little oversight of private lands.

"The only way the public and people like myself who follow this stuff can get any meaningful information is when the state's biologists are out there examining what's going on," said Augustine.

The new jobs are funded by a one-percent tax on lumber and other building wood products sold in California. The budget also includes new positions at CalFire and the State Water Resources Control Board.

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