STOP destruction of 500,000 acres of habitat per year & protect our communities from fire

STOP destruction of 500,000 acres of habitat per year & protect our communities from fire

December 3, 2019
Signatures: 7,992Next Goal: 10,000
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Why this petition matters

The California Legislature has allocated more than $1 billion to fund Cal Fire to log, clear, herbicide, or burn 500,000 acres per year of priceless native habitat throughout the state.

Under the approved Vegetation Treatment Program, the public will not be able to comment or object to any habitat clearance projects Cal Fire decides to implement. Cal Fire will have free rein to target every forest and native shrubland in the state.
There are three things you can do to help bring Cal Fire back under control.
1. Become informed. Please visit our website to explore the issue and the recommendations we have made to develop a rational fire risk reduction policy without destroying the natural environment.

2. Support our lawsuit. Our best hope to stop Cal Fire from locking out the public and preventing objective oversight is our ongoing lawsuit. Please make a donation to help us with legal costs. We will take this to the State Supreme Court if necessary, so the costs will be significant.

3. Sign this petition.

4. Contact your state representatives (instructions below).

How and What to Write to Your State Representatives

Governor Newsom and the legislature are determined to clear as much habitat as possible with the false premise that such action will prevent wildfires. The science doesn’t support this approach, but facts cannot effectively counter massive lobbying by timber and clearance corporations and the Cal Fire bureaucracy, arguably the most powerful government entity in the state.

At this point, we doubt we can stop the money flow, but we might be able to put some restrictions on what they do with it. In particular, we can try to stop them from causing further damage to or eliminating native chaparral.

Here’s how to find your state senator and assembly member and send an email:

Find your state representative here.

Suggested email language:

Dear ____________,
I value California’s most characteristic habitat, the chaparral. These native shrublands support much of California’s priceless biodiversity, sequester massive amounts of carbon, and provide irreplaceable recreation and health benefits to our communities. I also value effective efforts to help reduce fire risk to our homes and families by using science-based strategies that focus directly in and around communities to make them fire resilient. Clearing vast areas of native shrublands through burning, clearing, and herbicide use is not the answer and will only make matters worse by spreading flammable weeds and taking funds away from community-focused fire safe programs.
Therefore, I urge you to support including the following language in any bill that addresses wildfire or habitat preservation:
“Consistent with California’s Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan’s differentiation of chaparral and shrublands from conifer forests in terms of appropriate management approaches and risk of type conversion, treatments in chaparral and shrublands shall consist solely of removal of flammable non-native, invasive species and restoration of native species in damaged or type-converted vegetation, properly thinned defensible space of 100-ft around threatened structures and/or communities, strategic fuel breaks within 1,000 feet of communities at risk, ignition control along roadways, and maintenance of fire roads that provide firefighting access to communities. To protect biodiversity, intact, old-growth chaparral (older than 60-years-old) shall be avoided to the greatest extent possible.”

Give them 5 days. If you don't hear back from them, send your message again and ask that they respond to your concerns.

Thank you for your help!



Why prescribed burns are a disaster for chaparral.

Why large "fuel" treatments usually fail, can increase fire risk, and destroy habitat unnecessarily.

The California state government has refused to do what is necessary to protect us from the wind-driven wildfires that kill the most people and destroy the most homes.

Their solution? To double down on what they've always done - clear 500,000 acres of native habitat per year (20 million acres total targeted) through grinding, burning, and herbicides as described in Cal Fire's Vegetation Treatment Program (VTP). Even though the state admits that this approach will fail to protect lives and property during the most devastating wildfires, it nonetheless remains California's priority solution to the wildfire problem.

The Los Angeles Times wrote an excellent editorial pointing out the problems with Cal Fire's approach: Cal Fire's Flawed Fire Plan


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Signatures: 7,992Next Goal: 10,000
Support now