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Land Donation to Double UC Research Forestlands
The University of California stands to receive 4,584 acres of Northern California mixed-conifer forest, doubling the size of its research forests, as a result of a land donation approved November 16, 2011. The transfer would be the largest single acquisition of forestland in the University’s history — part of a Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) bankruptcy settlement to ensure that over 140,000 acres of California’s pristine watershed lands are conserved for the public good. “This four-and-half-thousand acres is a tiny portion of the total PG&E lands, but it will be an enormous boon to UC’s research and outreach capabilities,” said Dean J. Keith Gilless, a professor of forest economics. Gilless said the new lands will enable researchers to study how forest ecosystems will respond to climate change, test a range of forest-management approaches, and broaden outreach to schools and the public.