wildfires

More Conservation Things to Do

By Frank Landis, Chair Conservation Committee

I have a list of items that will be occupying my time this spring, and here I will simply go through them in order.

Fire Recovery and Preparedness Guide

There have been three updates. One is that, as the state office is writing a statewide manual separate from my effort, it seems that some of our thoughts about how to update the original manual are converging, and this is probably a good thing. I’ll be happy if they solve some of the issues I’ve encountered so that I can copy more than I create.

The second issue is that FEMA recently published an interesting report about all the ways it has failed to create a civilian culture of emergency preparedness in the U.S. (reported in: http://www.govtech.com/em/preparedness/Report-Weve-Failed-Miserably-at-Preparedness.html).  This is the same issue I commented on last month with my critique of the Ready Set Go booklet that San Diego County uses.  Some of FEMA’s recommendations are to realize that there’s a lot of diversity in people’s circumstances, that many of them actually already know something about preparing for emergencies, and that there’s a need to listen to these people, rather than imposing a one-size-fits-all program from the top down. That’s one reason I’m still working on a local fire recovery book, even if there’s a statewide version. We need things that fit us. Feel free to pitch in if you’ve got some good homebrewed strategies for fire recovery or evacuation.

Standard Story #1

By Frank Landis, Conservation Chair

The Cal Fire Vegetation Treatment Program PEIR (version 4) is out. Comments are due in January, and you are more than welcome to help. I'll be aggregating the comments for our chapter, so if you have any, send them to conservation@cnpssd.org. Since we have had issues with this, I should note that I follow CNPS state policies when I represent CNPSSD, so if you want to publish a comment that contradicts these policies, I'm not going to include it. You can submit such comments under your own name.

Here though, I'm going to talk about the aftermath of the Wine County fires, and the stories blaming chaparral for the fire's impacts. The prime example was High Country News publishing "Shrub-choked wildlands played a role in California fires" on October 24, 2017. This was particularly awkward, as there wasn't that much chaparral in the area of the Tubbs fire, and a variety of other vegetation burned too, especially close to homes.