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Cattlemen laud Newsom for funding fuel-load reduction

JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images lake-oroville-CA-sept-2020-bear-fire-GettyImages-1228423382.jpg
The Bear Fire burns near Lake Oroville in September 2020.
The need for increasing prevention and response tactics to wildfires in California is only becoming more crucial, the group says.

The California Cattlemen's Association is praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for moving forward on items in the Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan the governor unveiled in January, including fuel load management.

The plan seeks to increase the pace and scale of forest and wildland management to meet the state’s target of completing projects on 500,000 acres annually by 2025 and expanding the use of prescribed fire, particularly on state-owned lands, according to a news release.

Actions outlined in the plan align with $1 billion in spending included in Newsom’s proposed 2021-2022 budget. This proposed funding would advance key priorities, including $323 million in early actions to protect communities, reduce risk of large, catastrophic wildfires and jumpstart economic recovery in rural communities, state officials say.

“Catastrophic wildfires represent a severe and worsening threat that requires bold action,” California Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot said in January. “To meet this multigenerational challenge, we need to shift our paradigm and invest in a scaled-up, cohesive strategy built on science to restore landscapes and protect communities.”

The CCA says the need for the $80.74 million of emergency funding set for increasing prevention and response tactics to wildfires in California is only becoming more crucial with drought conditions in the state persisting.

CCA members say they're willing to work with the administration on goals outlined in the proposal, while continuing to advocate for the increased use of the research-supported method of using livestock grazing to remove fuel loads.

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