A beautiful native landscape above Santa Barbara targeted for clearance by Cal Fire.
This remarkable, old-growth ceanothus and manzanita chaparral stand decorates the mountain slopes above Santa Barbara, California. Such chaparral communities support the state’s rich biodiversity, biodiversity that Governor Newsom has claimed he treasures.
However, in action, the governor and Cal Cal Fire have decided it’s not so remarkable.
Cal Fire has targeted this area for “treatment,” an Orwellian term that ignores the ecological damage their actions will cause. Some areas are being disturbed under the pretext that they pose a fire hazard (identified in olive in the Cal Fire habitat target map below). The nearest community is more than two miles away – the most effective fire risk reduction is directly within and around communities. In addition, Cal Fire has also deemed some of this area as needing “ecological restoration” (identified in light-red). Using fire, huge grinding machines, and/or herbicides to eliminate the old-growth stands of chaparral is not restoration, it’s destruction of native habitat.
The notion that a state agency considers increasingly rare, biodiverse old-growth chaparral as somehow needing “restoration” clearly demonstrates the state’s failure to not only understand the basics of ecology, but the deep disregard the Newsom administration has for Nature.
To discover how Cal Fire intends to treat your favorite wild, open space, visit their habitat target map here.
Please support our lawsuit. Our best hope to stop Cal Fire from locking out the public and preventing objective oversight is our ongoing lawsuit. Please make a donation to help with our legal costs. We will take this to the State Supreme Court if necessary, so the costs will be significant.