On October 20th, U.S. Representative Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) introduced the Fire Safe Electrical Corridors Act of 2023 (H.R. 6012) along with Representatives Jim Costa (D-Fresno), David Valadao (R-Hanford), and Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-Oregon). The measure seeks to reduce utility-related wildfire risk by breaking down barriers to the removal of dead, dying, hazardous, and fallen trees along utility corridors on Forest Service Lands. Specifically, H.R. 6012 allows the Secretary of Agriculture to provide permission to cut and remove trees and other vegetation near power lines without requiring a separate timber sale.
RCRC is pleased to support this measure as a way to reduce federal obstacles for utilities to remove fuel loads from utility corridors after the clearances are created without the Forest Service having to conduct a timber sale. This will help mitigate the risk and intensity of future fires by ensuring those materials are not simply left on the forest floor to fuel future fires. RCRC’s letter of support can be found here.
For more information, please contact John Kennedy, RCRC Senior Policy Advocate.