Your View: We need action on wildfires, not a study
In the MT editorial March 24, the headline read, “Marsh’s fire plan is the right approach.” Marsh, from Ashland, is one of 19 members on Gov. Kate Brown’s newly appointed Wildfire Council. Marsh has worked diligently on creating a $6 million funding request that she is pushing in the 2019 Legislature. I commend her. Now let’s look closer at Governor Brown’s Wildfire Council.
In an Oregon Public Broadcasting article March 18, Cassandra Profita states, “Oregon Gov. Kate Brown says the state needs to do more to reduce the threat of wildfire. She spoke Monday at the first meeting of a new council she created to improve the state’s wildfire response capabilities. The 19-member council is made up of representatives from the timber industry, a variety of businesses, environmental groups, local governments, firefighting and public health agencies. The group will meet regularly before making recommendations to the governor this fall on how the state can improve its approach to wildfire.” So, there you have it, a study requested by our governor, on her desk “this fall.”
While our governor does a study, California’s governor is taking immediate action to protect his citizens. According to a March 3 article in the MT. Gov. Gavin Newsom “pledged $50 million for fire preparedness in low-income communities and asked the private sector to bring forward innovative proposals.” Newsom also said,”moving through the normal process would drastically slow down the state’s ability to act.” It appears he didn’t need a study, he just looked at the facts. Governor Newsom also stepped on sacred toes as he bypassed environmental regulations to prepare for the wildfire season, which sparked backlash from several environmental groups.
As a Medford resident and editor of the blog Scorched, Wildfires ...The New Normal ... Hell No, the thought of another summer of smoke-filled skies is disheartening. I have been asked to be a guest speaker by the American Forest Resources Council that will be meeting at the end of April. My topic is why I am orchestrating a clean air rally in Medford on June 1, the unofficial first day of fire season. I will be sharing with those at the conference why a rally and how I am educating citizens about the voting record of our state officials on smoke and forest management issues. By bringing facts forward, citizens can make an informed decision when it comes to their vote in the next election cycle.
In closing, my message to Marsh: Keep on moving forward. My message to Governor Brown: look south and see what real action looks like. We don’t need another study, we need boots on the ground so we don’t need to wear masks in the summer.
Millie Carlton of Medford is editor of the blog Scorched, Wildfires ... The New Normal ... Hell No (scorchedhellno.com).