On Wednesday, RCRC, along with the California State Association of Counties (CSAC), and the Urban Counties of California (UCC), submitted formal comments to the Board of Forestry (BOF) on the latest revisions of the Proposed Fire Safe Regulations. In a letter that accompanied the comments, the organizations strongly urged the Board to reconsider its approach to the regulations. The BOF has been in the process of making significant changes to the existing Fire Safe Regulations since early 2020, however, the Board has been unable to find consensus on those rules, receiving significant opposition from environmental groups, local governments and developers on the detrimental effects of the proposed changes.
While the latest revisions included several features responsive to prior comments, RCRC and its local government partners advised the BOF that the revised regulations are “fatally unclear” in some respects and introduce a host of new concerns. The overarching concerns in these latest revisions include road standards; unclear and unaccountable administrative provisions; the “agriculture” definition; the definition of “substantial compliance”; as well as numerous concerns express in prior comments. Citing the Board’s continued failure to meaningfully engage with local governments who will be responsible for implementing the regulations, RCRC, CSAC, and UCC again urged the Board members and staff to undertake a constructive, open, real-time dialog with a working group comprised of all relevant local disciplines.