As wildfire burned into the redwood range in recent days – destroying nearly all the historic buildings and infrastructure at the iconic Big Basin Redwoods State Park – it was a reminder of how much California needs to do to restore the natural fire resilience of the redwood forest. Now, in the final days of the legislative session, Assemblymember Richard Bloom has introduced an emergency bill that will not only respond to the immediate danger, but also avert future catastrophes.
Please send a note to your state representatives encouraging a YES vote on this important legislation.
Assembly Bill 1659 will address both immediate and long-term wildfire response priorities. It will immediately fund $500 million for the hiring and training of field personnel and ramping up emergency response. It will then allocate $2 billion for fire mitigation, forest restoration, and climate resilience programs to ensure that our forests are healthier and less vulnerable to severe fires, and that our communities are hardened against fire.
California’s redwood forests are treasured assets, places that build our spirit, restore our health, clean our air and water, and help us fight climate change. But the redwood’s natural fire resilience has been undermined by climate change, fire suppression, exclusion of indigenous practices, generations of clearcutting, and other poor forest management choices. AB 1659 will support the restoration of redwood forests at scale to restore their natural fire resilience to help slow and reduce the intensity of wildfires.
Your voice can make a huge difference right now. Again, please ask your State Senate and Assembly representatives to vote YES when AB 1659 reaches them for a vote this week.