As the North State Burns, Wildfire Mitigation Funding gets Slashed

SACRAMENTO – Today Assemblywoman Megan Dahle (R-Bieber) made the following statement in response to the Governor’s recent visit to the First Assembly District, while the Lava Fire, Tennant Fire, and the Salt Fire rage in Shasta and Siskiyou County:

“Once again, the North State is on fire.  Thousands of acres have burned and residents are being evacuated from their homes.  Major highways are closed. And while the Governor has come to these communities to share his efforts to combat wildfire, in the same week, the State budget slashed wildfire mitigation funding from the promised $1 billion, to a measly $458 million. The Department of Finance cited the inability to expend funds fast enough as the reason for the cuts, but this is untrue.

“In my district alone, we have several Fire Safe Councils with many chainsaw-ready, forestry management projects waiting for funding. It is perplexing that the timber industry isn’t being mobilized and empowered to fire-safe our communities and wildland-urban interface areas. Public-private partnerships with Fire Safe Councils are imperative in getting boots-on-the-ground and bringing our forests back to a safe state. Professional foresters and licensed timber operators are the skilled and trained workforce that has been marginalized since the spotted owl. This field can provide great paying jobs across the state, lifting up families at a time needed now more than ever. We just need to put the money in the right hands.”

For reference: https://www.capradio.org/articles/2021/06/29/gov-gavin-newsom-retreats-on-1-billion-wildfire-prevention-plan-ahead-of-meeting-with-president-biden/