[env-trinity] The Mercury News: The reason that California wildfires are worse than ever

Hughes, Gary GHughes at foe.org
Mon Aug 6 10:52:56 PDT 2018

This is a great discussion. I also want to offer my respects and condolences to all of those who have experienced loss as well appreciation to those who have responding to the needs of their communities.

Note that the SRA fee that Bill mentions was actually waived as part of the passage of the cap-and-trade deal last summer. It was a big political football and the waiving of the fee was part of the horse trading that got AB 398 passed. There are participants in this list that supported the passage of AB 398.


The fossil fuel industry passes the expense of cap-and-trade on to consumers at the pump. Thus any funds generated by the sale of allowances to sectors like the petroleum refiners in the state that then goes to the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and then is allocated to forest related matters is being paid for by the consumer. Which is hardly the deterrent to inappropriate rural development that might be needed to change behaviors by land owners.

How our continued burning of fossil fuels impacts our forest ecosystems is a question that the state and many conservation advocates have been reluctant to address, especially as funding for forest management etc gets tied to the continued and perpetual burning of fossil fuels through anticipated future reliance on funding from the cap-and-trade program or the selling of scientifically dubious and socially unjust forest offset carbon credits.

The fires do again expose in the crudest of terms how flawed the concept is of using the land sector to “offset” or “neutralize” the emissions from burning fossil fuels. Yet that remains a pillar of the market-based mechanism that California singularly relies on to manage the carbon emissions from the biggest polluters in the state.

Correcting course in this state on questions of forest and climate will require examining many erroneous assumptions, including coming to grips with the role of fossil fuel energy systems in causing climate change.

Gary Graham Hughes, M.Sc.
Senior California Advocacy Campaigner
Friends of the Earth - US
Email: ghughes at foe.org
Phone: +1-510-900-8807

From: env-trinity <env-trinity-bounces at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us> On Behalf Of Peggy Berry
Sent: Monday, August 06, 2018 8:30 AM
To: Kier Associates <kierassociates at att.net>
Cc: env-trinity at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us
Subject: Re: [env-trinity] The Mercury News: The reason that California wildfires are worse than ever

Thank you Bill Kier and Denise Boggs for shining the spotlight on the truth:  Humans who demand to build their homes wherever they want  — inaccessible forest lands, ocean cliffs, etc. because they think they are entitled to THEIR OWN wishes.

I mourn the firefighters who are then expected to save them and their homes - and sometimes unselfishly give their lives - so others are able to get what they want  based on selfish desires and demands.

Something besides money and profit need to redefine “entitlements!”

Peggy Berry
On Aug 5, 2018, at 8:25 PM, Kier Associates <kierassociates at att.net<mailto:kierassociates at att.net>> wrote:

Trinity environmental list-ers

For what it’s worth State gov’t leadership has been trying to discourage this building in the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) for well more than 50 years.

We had some very dry winters in the early ‘60s and some terrible wildfires immediately thereafter. When I joined what is now the CA Natural Resources Agency in early 1964 we were going around to various local gov’ts, groups, etc., with a film that showed, for example, homes built at the top of canyons in the Santa Monica Mtns, with huge jutting redwood decks from which to view to the ocean, catching the 1,000 degree F.-plus canyon updraft and literally exploding.

There’s been a too-subdued policy discussion for decades about the ‘State Responsibility Lands’, those not served directly by a local fire agency or federal land mgt agency.

As the cost for serving these lands with State fire protection grew over time the State finally instituted a modest annual fee (like $150) on property-owners to help support fire prevention/ suppression on these so-called ‘State Responsibility Lands’

This fee has become, not surprisingly, a whipping-boy for CA’s mostly-rural conservative politicians – it’s playing heavily into the current legislative discussions about the 2017 wildfires and into the 2018 election cycle

For those of us living in urban areas who are paying what we hope is our fair share for fire prevention and suppression services, we – I, anyway – find ourselves 1- aghast at and saddened by the enormity of the Carr Fire; and 2- wondering when the cost of unbridled residential incursion into the WUI is going to become a sufficient issue in California that the rest of us may see some relief from subsidizing it.


Bill Kier
Kier Associates, Fisheries and Watershed Professionals
15 Junipero Serra Avenue
San Rafael, CA 94901
Office:  415.721.7548
Mobile: 415.306.6123
kierassociates at att.net<mailto:kierassociates at att.net>
GSA Contractor GS10F0124U

From: env-trinity [mailto:env-trinity-bounces at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us] On Behalf Of Denise Boggs
Sent: Sunday, August 05, 2018 6:26 PM
To: env-trinity at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us<mailto:env-trinity at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us>
Subject: [env-trinity] The Mercury News: The reason that California wildfires are worse than ever

The National Forests aren’t the problem. It’s people living in areas they shouldn’t be. Interesting stats on CA and the wildfires throughout the state over time. Some of these areas have burned multiple times and people keep rebuilding in the same place. The state’s landscape is prone to fires and they are going burn regardless. Climate change only makes it worse.

“The Carr Fire burning in Shasta County was started by a single spark from a towed trailer on a road in Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. It then quickly raced into high-end new residential subdivisions such as Lake Redding Estates, where it destroyed 65 upscale homes.”
The reason that California wildfires are worse than ever
The Mercury News
As California grows, people are moving into the rural edges of cities where we weren't before -- creating an "expanding bull’s eye’ effect" of higher wildfire risk, according to a new study by geographer Stephen M. Strader of Villanova University. Read the full story<https://apple.news/AO3JyVOhZQvS4W7C_ou3raQ>
Denise Boggs

"Some of them were angry at the way the Earth was abused; By the men who learned how to forge her beauty into power; And they struggled to protect her from them, only to be confused; By the magnitude of the fury in the final hour."
'Before the Deluge' Jackson Browne
env-trinity mailing list
env-trinity at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us<mailto:env-trinity at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us>

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