- Edith Hannigan, Board AnalystCalifornia Board of Forestry and Fire Protection
- Secretary John LairdCalifornia Natural Resources Agency
Stop Plan to Target 22 Million Acres of Habitat in California for clearance
Please join us in calling on the California Board of Forestry to revise its latest version of its proposed habitat clearance program that targets 1/4 of the state of California with herbicides, grinding machines, and unnatural fire.
We call on them instead to create a Comprehensive Fire Protection Program that:
- focuses on actual assets at risk rather than habitat clearance
- preserves the rights of citizens to object to destructive projects
- incorporates the most current science
- understands all native shrubland habitat, especially chaparral, is threatened by too much fire
Specific details about the Board's proposal
What: Latest Draft Programmatic EIR for the Vegetation Treatment Program
Deadline for comments: May 31, 2016
More info: http://www.californiachaparral.org/helpcalfireeir.html
Summary of what's wrong:
Extensive scientific research clearly indicates that the best way to protect lives, property, and the natural environment from wildfire is through a comprehensive approach that focuses on community and regional planning, reducing ignitability of structures, and modifying vegetation within and directly around communities at risk. By focusing exclusively on clearing habitat, the Board is NOT addressing the main causes for loss of life and property from wildland fire.
The Board's proposal will target about 22 million acres (1/3 of the entire state) for "masticating," spraying with herbicides, burning, or grazing. This would increase its existing habitat clearance program five times over current levels. If certified, the programmatic EIR will exempt individual habitat clearance projects from public oversight required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Everything from state parks to private lands could be stripped bare without local notice or a chance to appeal.
Every decade we increase funding for habitat clearance operations and fire suppression activities, followed by a decade of even worse fire impacts. The Board's proposal perpetuates and expands this same approach, one that has failed to reduce cumulative wildfire damage and firefighting expenditures over the past century. As a consequence, the proposal is a waste of tax payer money, will cause significant damage to the environment, and will fail to effectively protect Californians from wildland fire.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: Please go to our website to learn more about this destructive proposal, and write an informed email to the Board by 5:00 PM, May 31, 2016.
Who to send your email to:
Board of Forestry and Fire Protection
Attn: Edith Hannigan, Board Analyst
- California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection
Edith Hannigan, Board Analyst
- California Natural Resources Agency
Secretary John Laird
I request the California Board of Forestry to completely rewrite the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Vegetation Treatment Program so that it properly evaluates all environmental impacts that may be caused by the proposed clearance of more that 1/2 million acres of habitat per decade. I also urge the Board to work with independent scientists to create a program that will properly consider the entire fire environment, reflect regional differences, allow for independent oversight, and incorporate the most up to date science.
The Board's proposal focuses entirely on clearing vegetation, despite extensive scientific research that clearly indicates the best way to protect lives, property, and the natural environment from wildfire is by addressing the entire fire environment: ignitability of structures, community and regional planning, and science-based vegetation management within and directly around communities at risk. Leave the backcountry alone. Concentrate where the actual risks are: in and around communities.
I strongly object to the way this draft EIR proposes to take away my rights as a citizen to challenge individual clearance projects under the California Environmental Quality Act.
As a planning document, the draft EIR is completely inadequate. It fails to clearly explain its environmental impacts on wildlife, plant communities, water and air quality, visual and aesthetic resources, recreation, soils, and invasive weed spread. The maps provided do not provide the detail needed to allow a proper evaluation. The draft EIR also fails to properly evaluate the cumulative effects of the proposal.
Please revise the Vegetation Treatment Program Draft Programmatic EIR so it addresses and includes the suggestions offered by the California Chaparral Institute. Please embrace a collaborative approach with all stakeholders in order to develop a successful and sustainable wildland fire risk reduction program.
Thank you for taking my comments.
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