Forestry & Agriculture
Our experts have previously testified on behalf of forestry and agricultural interests before the U.S. Senate and House and CA State Senate and Assembly Committees on Natural Resources, State and Regional Water Boards, California’s Board of Forestry, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Marine Fisheries Service on sustainable resource utilization, environmental protection and enhancement, and community safety issues.
With a history rooted in forestry and agriculture (founder Mark Rentz is a professional forester and attorney), INRM offers unique expertise with on-the-ground management and policy advocacy that can efficiently move projects forward where less coordinated efforts are likely to fail. We bring a perspective honed by having helped craft many of the policies that have shaped the current regulatory landscape.
Nurturing Successful Forestry and Agricultural Efforts
We have walked countless acres of farm and forest lands, helping landowners develop and implement best management practices and observing first-hand the challenges raised by complex, seemingly contradictory regulations. Our staff also has logged hundreds of hours helping landowners prevail in litigation designed to use the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act and other environmental laws to block land management efforts.
INRM expertise spans virtually every agricultural sector. Our leadership has helped expand vineyards, farming and ranching operations, and developed forest management plans from both the public agency and private landowner side of the table.
Our broad experience has helped us build strong coalitions while addressing multiple agricultural issues. INRM staff has participated on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California State Water Board’s Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Advisory Committees, actively developing policies that launched national and statewide TMDL programs. Our experts have represented California forestland owners before the state Board of Forestry, State and Regional Water Boards, California Air Resources Board, California Coastal Commission, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other regulatory entities.
In fact, INRM staff has worked on forestry issues across the West and nation.
Building Partnerships, Producing Results
With experience representing agencies, Ag coalitions and forestland owners, INRM experts have:
- Negotiated the first MOU between the California Water Resources Control Board, Dept. of Pesticide Regulation, and county agriculture commissioners to grant commissioners authority to assist in implementation of waste discharge permits for
water under the State and federal Clean Water Acts.
- Managed the program representing California forestland owners on litigation involving federal and state agencies, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and other environmental laws
- Helped develop multi-state, regional ecosystem management strategies and multispecies habitat conservation plans to overcome obstacles created by species-specific State and federal Endangered Species Acts listings to provide systematic solutions that improve habitat and provide regulatory certainty for landowners and project managers
- Engaged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service during the northern spotted owl crisis and helped develop strategies that avoided the California spotted owl from federal listing as an endangered species
- Addressed efforts to list the Pacific fisher, red-legged frog and other species under state and federal Endangered Species Acts
- Helped craft the California Forest Fire Protection Act of 20004, the first legislation co-sponsored by the California Forestry Association and Sierra Club, to provide forestland owners with a streamlined approval process for removing excess forest vegetation to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires and provide biomass for renewable, green energy.
- Developed timber harvest, recreational enhancement, wildlife and fisheries habitat improvement and post-fire restoration plans for the U.S. Forest Service
- Coordinated Federal Timber Sales Program activities involving 38 state forestry associations
- Helped develop the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), the first national program to establish sustainability principles for forest management on private lands, which has subsequently become a model for industries’ efforts to develop sustainability principles.
- Engaged senior Forest Service managers in collaborative efforts to improve the health of national forestlands
- Participated on the Sierra Nevada Conservancy’s Advisory Committee to improve forest health, water quality and supply, and economic stability in the Sierra Nevada
The common theme in advancing projects with potential environmental impacts is leveraging experience in legislative and policy circles, building coalitions focused on positive outcomes, and saving clients money. It is our unique combination of in-depth expertise and broad-based experience that enables INRM to develop integrated solutions that conserve resources, provide economic advantages and pave the way for long-term success.