2018 Ferguson Fire in Mariposa County. Fire activity in division aplha/echo taken by Arrowhead IHC behind Cedar Lodge on July 17, 2018
August 8, 2018 - SACRAMENTO, CA. – In a four-page letter issued this week, the Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) implored the California Legislature and its Wildfire Preparedness & Response Legislative Conference Committee (Committee) to take much needed action in order to prevent and minimize future catastrophic wildfires. While the appropriate urgency has yet to be given to increasing the pace and scale of managing and restoring both state and federal forest lands within California’s borders, the Legislature now has a unique opportunity to impact future wildfires by implementing real solutions that will help prevent loss of lives, destruction of property, and profound emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants.
Formed by Governor Jerry Brown and Legislative Leaders earlier this summer, the Committee was initially established to address wildfire preparedness and response. In recent weeks, however, the Committee has focused its efforts on utility issues, circumventing the real root cause of the wildfire problems continually plaguing the state – inadequate forest management practices.
“Wildfire risk is no longer just a concern in remote, rural areas, but is becoming a wider public safety concern as the wildland urban interface spreads over larger areas of the state due to climate change and the lingering impacts of the recent five-year drought,” said Rex Bohn, RCRC Chair and Humboldt County Supervisor. “RCRC has long advocated for an advancement in California’s forest management practices as the true solution to California’s wildland fire problem.”
In the letter, RCRC offers three recommendations as a starting point for the Committee’s consideration: (1) Expanding partnerships with federal land managers, (2) Streamlining permitting and regulatory processes, and (3) Promoting wood products utilization. The letter can be accessed here.
ABOUT RURAL COUNTY REPRESENTATIVES OF CALIFORNIA (RCRC)
The Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) is a thirty-five member county strong service organization that champions policies on behalf of California’s rural counties. RCRC is dedicated to representing the collective unique interests of its membership, providing legislative and regulatory representation at the State and Federal levels, and providing responsible services for its members to enhance and protect the quality of life in rural California counties. To learn more about RCRC, visit rcrcnet.org and follow @RuralCounties on Twitter.