Posted on Categories Climate Change & Energy, ForestsTags , ,

Permit Sonoma releases updated draft of county Community Wildfire Protection Plan

Katherine Minkiewicz-Martine, SOCONEWS

This week Permit Sonoma, in collaboration with local fire agencies, community members and organizations, released the updated draft of the Sonoma County Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) for public review.

A CWPP is a detailed document that measures wildfire risks specific to an area and identifies ways to mitigate risks in a comprehensive plan. The plan also provides a prioritized list of projects that if implemented, can help reduce wildfire hazards.

Before the plans are submitted to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors for approval, Permit Sonoma will host a draft review meeting in each county district in order for the public to learn about the plan and provide input.

The virtual meeting dates for each district are as follows:

District 1 – Jan. 20, 6 – 7:30 p.m.

District 2 – Jan. 13, 6 – 7:30 p.m.

District 3 – Jan. 19, 6 – 7:30 p.m.

District 4 – Jan. 26, 6 – 7:30 p.m.

District 5 – Jan. 27, 6 – 7:30 p.m.

The public comment period for the draft CWPP is open until Feb. 28. Comments may be submitted to the Community Wildfire Protection Plan project page or via email at PermitSonoma-WildfirePlan@sonoma-county.org.

Read more at https://soconews.org/scn_county/permit-sonoma-releases-updated-draft-of-county-community-wildfire-protection-plan/article_e12e6f6e-749b-11ec-8a2a-17fd9e118f52.html?

Posted on Categories Climate Change & Energy, ForestsTags , ,

Sonoma County needs public input on wildfire plan

Colin Atagi, PRESS DEMOCRAT

Beginning Thursday, the public may weigh in on a long-term Sonoma County plan to enhance wildfire protections and minimize damage.

A draft of a Community Wildfire Protection Plan will be presented during a 6 p.m. Zoom meeting for Sonoma County’s second district, which includes Petaluma.

The plan and other upcoming meetings are listed on the county’s official website for the plan.

“There’s gonna be lot of information presented at these meetings to give people context to what we are doing,” said Bradley Dunn, policy manager with Sonoma County’s Permit & Resource Management Department.

The 400-page plan identifies high-risk areas and prioritizes projects designed to minimize the threat and damage of wildfires.

Projects include developing an evacuation plan for Bohemian Highway communities in the western county, a prescribed burn in the Sugarhood Complex area east of Santa Rosa and improving emergency response and preparedness in the Camp Meeker area.

The plan is expected to go before the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors for approval later this year.

Read more at https://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/news/sonoma-county-needs-public-input-on-wildfire-plan/?trk_msg=6G93I0RD1S7KB2PG8LVEJLAG4C&trk_contact=8LCG0IN7LNSGSSH59B7T0MAVBK&trk_module=new&trk_sid=GLMDB2ARUSFL0V8QG5IINGJ3O8&trk_link=3C7TQP2C1GAKFEPS5H0HI25GBS&utm_email=157294458471E43CD45CF5795F&utm_source=listrak&utm_medium=email&utm_term=https%3a%2f%2fwww.pressdemocrat.com%2farticle%2fnews%2fsonoma-county-needs-public-input-on-wildfire-plan%2f&utm_campaign=pd_daily

Posted on Categories Forests, Land UseTags , , ,

Citing inadequate wildfire plans, Lake County judge deals setback to Guenoc Valley resort development

Mary Callahan, PRESS DEMOCRAT

A judge has issued a blow to the developers of a proposed sprawling luxury resort and housing project in southeastern Lake County, ruling that the environmental impact report for the 25-square-mile development inadequately addresses wildfire impacts and evacuation safety.

The Jan. 4 ruling by Superior Court Judge J. David Markham is also a setback for elected officials who hoped the Guenoc Valley project would be an economic development boon for the struggling county, one of California’s poorest.

“If the ultimate result of this decision is the project not moving forward, that will be a tremendous loss,” south Lake County Supervisor Moke Simon said Thursday.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta is counting the decision as a win for the public.

The lawsuit was a result in part of a strategy unveiled by his predecessor to ensure greater scrutiny of development proposals in fire-prone areas through more aggressive intervention by the Department of Justice in environmental lawsuits.

The ruling “affirms a basic fact: Local governments and developers have a responsibility to take a hard look at projects that exacerbate wildfire risk and endanger our communities,” Bonta said in statement Thursday. “We can’t keep making shortsighted land use decisions that will have impacts decades down the line. We must build responsibly.”

Read more at https://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/news/lake-county-judge-rules-against-environmental-review-for-16000-acre-guenoc/

Posted on Categories Forests, Land Use, TransportationTags , , ,

Board of Forestry set to weaken Wildfire Safety Regulations

Daniel Barad, Sierra Club California CAPITOL VOICE

Sierra Club California’s fight for common-sense wildfire safety continues. Later this month, the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection will consider revised regulations that would drastically weaken road safety standards that have been in place for 30 years.

If adopted, these regulations would make it more difficult for communities to evacuate during wildfires and more dangerous for firefighters to access existing, substandard roads.

Sierra Club California has been a steadfast advocate for fire-safe communities at the Capitol and in state agencies. We have called for more funding for defensible space and home hardening. We have supported legislation that would require wildfire safety planning to be incorporated into cities’ general plans.

So naturally, we’ll be urging board members not to adopt these harmful regulations.

In addition to making it more dangerous to evacuate during emergencies, these harmful regulations could also make it easier to build new homes and buildings in fire-prone wildland areas — putting more families in harm’s way and increasing economic risk from future fire. To make matters worse, the board is unlikely to examine the major environmental impacts that these regulations could have under the Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Without a CEQA analysis, it is much more difficult for the state of California to plan for and avoid these environmental consequences.

California wildfires have destroyed countless homes and taken far too many lives, and the climate crisis will only make wildfires more severe in coming years. The state must take steps that make wildfire-prone communities safer. The proposed regulations would do the opposite.

Join us to fight against these dangerous regulations. Send a message to the Board of Forestry at PublicComments@BOF.ca.gov and tell members to reject the proposed road safety regulations and to complete a CEQA analysis. Click here for a sample email.

Thank you for taking action!