|Mary Cummins, “grinding up living habitat along with small wildlife throughout California is not acceptable. There are more effective ways to protect people and property without destroying the ecosystem.”|
In a misguided attempt to reduce fire risk, the California Dept. of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) has issued a proposal called the “Vegetation Treatment Program” to “treat” millions of acres of native habitat. An open-ended amount of clearing, burning, herbicide application, and grazing would occur in our chaparral and sage scrub ecosystems, all absent a scenitific basis or meaningful oversight. As studies have shown, the resulting loss of wildlife habitat and conversion to weeds would not reduce the risk from large wind-driven fires. The plan is now out for environmental review. EHL is submitting detailed comments.
The Chaparral Institute has organized a petition to decision-makers. The petition points out the severe flaws in the proposal and outlines a better approach.
Instead of focusing exclusively on habitat clearance in the name of fire protection, we call on the Board of Forestry to work with other agencies to create a Comprehensive Fire Protection Program that:
- focuses on actual structures at risk rather than habitat clearance
- reflects regional differences in natural resources and the built environment
- puts fewer structures at risk through better land use planning
- incorporates the most current science
- invites participation by citizens and independent experts
- allows public oversight as the program is implemented
Please sign the online petition before the deadline of February 25, 2013. Here is the link:
If you wish to submit individual or group comments, you may paraphrase the petition and email to <VegetationTreatment@fire.ca.gov>.
Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game and the USDA. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.
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