WHEREAS, there is currently a high level of interest in “vegetation management” that covers many activities including fuel reduction, hazard reduction, thinning, forest treatments, and other programs meant to address the impacts of fire on our community; and
WHEREAS, such activities are well intended and millions of dollars of state and federal are becoming available for contracts to cut trees, and there are not adequate protections for viable trees that are growing far away from structures, and mature trees have been identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as critical to moderating and neutralizing CO2 emissions on the scale necessary to positively impact climate efforts in the near-term even while counties work to achieve substantial emissions reductions (Moomaw, Ph. D. et al. Intact Forests in the United States: Proforestation Mitigates Climate Change and Serves Greatest Good); and
WHEREAS, it is important to distinguish between incentives for fire readiness activities described above, and opening the forests and woodlands to the large-scale, forest biomass industry that has been shown to cause significant air pollution (Shaye Wolfe, Ph. D. Center for
Biological Diversity); now
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Sonoma County Democratic Party urges the Board of Supervisors and our local agencies, including Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, to identify and refrain from supporting non-specific proposals that allow the cut of viable trees located further than 100 feet away from homes and structures, and to evaluate and to distinguish between true fire resilient efforts from inadvertent fueling of energy production by incentivizing the cutting of viable mature trees in our woodlands and forests.
Resolution adopted by the Sonoma County Democratic Party on May 11, 2021