At RCRC’s 2019 Annual Meeting in El Dorado County last week, Greg Norton, RCRC President and CEO, took the stage to share some exciting news for California’s rural communities.
Addressing a packed room, Mr. Norton unveiled Golden State Natural Resources (GSNR), a public benefit, non-profit corporation that will remove fire fuels from forest restoration activities in California’s forests, create a pelletized fuel product at revitalized processing facilities in select RCRC member counties, and export the pellets to Asian countries that are party to the Paris Agreement and Kyoto Accord.
“This effort will require a lot of work, and this is just the beginning,” said Norton. “But we feel it is an important project and role for RCRC to assume on behalf of our members, and we wanted to share it with you today.”
GSNR’s program of work will result in many benefits, including:
- Enhanced public safety by the reduction of fire risks;
- Improvement of air quality, the quality and quantity of water, and habitats through forest restoration;
- Enhanced carbon sequestration resulting from healthier forests and reduced fire risks; and,
- Rural community job creation by conducting the work in the forests and at processing facilities in rural California.
While the project has been years in the making, it is still somewhat in its infancy. One of the first big hurdles has been realized with the signing of one of the first in the nation, twenty-year Master Stewardship Agreement with the US Forest Service for the entirety of USFS Region 5 in California.