FOREST MANAGEMENT AND FIRE PROTECTION
Wildfires have devastated Northern California and it is a direct result of a massive failure of both Federal and State governments. Our forests are overgrown, barely managed, and full of dead and dying trees. Policies that have prevented forestry management resulted in jobs leaving our forested communities and those who remain are in danger of repeated forest fires. I will support increasing timber management, biomass power, and changing Forest Service policy to favor aggressive attack on the initial start of fires. The federal government can no longer monitor fires and hope nature puts them out, the risk to our people and the environment is too great.
We must have a larger buffer around towns and major infrastructure, such as power lines, to contain fires and protect homes. Federal law must change to prevent lawsuits from limiting our ability to do post fire salvage, restore forests, and do proactive forestry to prevent major fires. We must continue and enhance cooperative leases of federal lands with ranchers and farmers that beneficially manage these federal lands.
My passion for forest management and fire protection isn’t just a political talking point; it’s personal. As Sheriff of Sacramento County, I serve as the Mutual Aid Coordinator for 11 counties, helping deploy regional law enforcement to assist in - among other things - evacuations and community patrols. As a personal evacuee of the 2021 River Fire in Placer and Nevada Counties whereby my next door neighbors’ homes burned to the ground, working collaboratively to address forest management and fire preparedness is something I care deeply about. In Congress, I intend to work diligently to ensure that responsible management and cooperation finally occur.