After registering opposition last week to Senate Bill 1348 – as proposed to be amended and authored by Senator Henry Stern (D-Calabasas), RCRC has changed to having “no position”. SB 1348, which relates to defensible space, vegetation management, and fire hazard severity zones, has been further amended to address RCRC’s primary concerns.
RCRC’s position on SB 1348 has evolved throughout its movement through the legislative process. Originally RCRC was in “support” of SB 1348 when first introduced, the legislation would provide a boost to community wildfire prevention efforts by allowing CAL FIRE grants to fund local vegetation management program and public outrace efforts on wildfire prevention measures. RCRC later withdrew its support for the bill when amendments made in May extended fire-safe construction requirements to local responsibility area (LRA) lands and established defensible space requirements for unimproved parcels, which could have had significant impacts on land use planning and development for which RCRC’s counties shoulder the responsibility.
This month, additional amendments were added to SB 1348 that would have jeopardized the California Vegetation Treatment Program, a program adopted by the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection last year after months of public input and stakeholder involvement to bolster the state’s wildfire prevention and vegetation management efforts. Those provisions, which resulted in RCRC opposing the legislation, were removed in amendments on July 29, along with the fire-safe construction requirements and some of the more problematic defensible space requirements for unimproved parcels, due to RCRC’s advocacy on the bill.
Read RCRC's latest letter here.