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California Proposition 138, Logging Rules and Forest Improvements Initiative (1990)

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California Proposition 138 was on the November 6, 1990 ballot in California as an initiated state statute, where it was defeated.

Proposition 138, if it had passed, would have set up new rules in the state about logging operations on nonfederal lands. It would also have authorized the sale of $300 million in general obligation bonds to pay for a forest-improvements grant program, required the government to conduct studies on greenhouses gases, established a new fee to pay for those studies, and placed new restrictions on state acquisitions of private land.

Election results

Proposition 138
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No5,201,89171.16%
Yes 2,108,389 28.84%

Ballot summary

The official ballot summary said:

  • Authorizes $300,000,000 general obligation bond issue to fund, subject to Legislature approval, program for loans, grants to public entities, others for forest and park restoration, urban forestry projects, reforestation of private timberlands under 5,000 acres.
  • Limits timber cutting practices, requires state-approved timber and wildlife management plans, on certain private timberlands exceeding 5,000 acres.
  • Mandates timberland, wildlife, global warming studies.
  • Authorizes state acquisition of designated timberlands, suspends state's eminent domain power for 10-year period over other timberlands.
  • Urges Congress ban foreign timber exports.
  • Provides between competing timber initiative(s) this measure overrides other(s).

Fiscal impact

The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:

  • If all authorized bonds are sold at 7.5 percent interest and paid over the typical 20-year period, state General Fund will incur about $535 million in costs to pay off bond principal ($300 million) and interest ($235 million).
  • Estimated average annual costs of bond principal and interest is $22 million.
  • Annual costs of approximately $3.2 million, funded through sales of state-owned timber, to administer grants program. Initial, increased annual state costs of over $1 million to review timber management plans, which could over time be more than offset by savings resulting from reduced periodic state regulatory reviews.
  • One-time state costs of about $1.1 million for climatological studies, fully offset by revenues from new regulatory fees. Unknown effect on revenues from other state taxes.

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