Cal Fire is Out of Control Part II

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.

Beautiful, old-growth chaparral providing both watershed protection and a rich habitat for the region’s remarkable biodiversity.

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.

The Cal Fire “treatment” map of the beautiful habitat pictured in the prior photo. The direction of the black arrow shows the direction of the photo. Olive-colored areas are targeted for “treatment” for fire clearance purposes. Light-red areas are targeted for “ecological restoration” because Cal Fire has somehow deemed them to be unnatural an in need of mitigation.

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.

4 Comments on “Cal Fire is Out of Control Part II

  1. Shocking and Heartbreaking yet again. Who is taking them to court?
    ‘Treatment’ of over 20 million out of 30 million acres? ‘Treatment’ in this context is like shooting your bunk mate and calling it ‘friendly fire’. ‘Treatment’ ‘includes prescribed burning, mechanical treatment, manual treatment, prescribed herbivory, and the use of herbicides.’ So much for ground nesting birds, insects, reptiles, mammals and animals large and small. They really hate nature.

  2. Yes, far better to just watch it all burn so nothing at all remains. Apparently the author is under the impression that fire can’t travel two miles…

    • Howie, one of the reasons we left Facebook was because of the growing habit of so many to respond in cynical, derogatory ways. If you would like to contribute, please do so without snark. Provide some insight, ask questions. Life is much more rewarding and inspiring when you do.

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