Reducing Fuel Load
Removing flammable understory and dead and dying trees makes our forests more resilient and catastrophic fires less likely. While the federal government does a great job preventing fire in National Parks, it has largely failed when it comes to Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land, National Forests, and wilderness areas. The Federal Government must do a better job of accelerating fuel reduction activities by incentivizing local solutions, streamlining environmental review, and facilitating inter-agency cooperation.
• Create a market incentive for local entrepreneurs by setting a price that the Federal Government will pay per acre of fuel reduction. The best solutions are local solutions and the Federal Government must promote our best ideas. In just Amador and Calaveras Counties, we can find excellent models to replicate such as the recent Mill Woods fuel-reduction project and biomass company C.H.I.P.S.
Incentivized projects will drive profit to local businesses, create local jobs, and preserve our environment—“triple bottom-line” solutions if you’re fancy. This price would increase for forest land located close to population centers, infrastructure, National Parks, and other priorities.
• Streamline environmental review processes for hazardous fuels reduction and removal or mulching of dead and dying trees on federal and private lands. Timber companies have a role to play in these efforts although, To be clear, “streamlining review” does not mean clear-cutting and other destructive logging.
• Selectively log to thin overgrown forests
• Provide funding for forest health projects like meadow restoration that will increase water retention and decrease forest ground surface temperatures
• Encourage cooperation between agencies at the federal, state, county, and municipal level. Fires do not respect our political boundaries so we must coordinate across them
I encourage CA-04 residents to send policy ideas/concerns/questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.