Andrea Eggleton: Support our economy and forest health simultaneously |

Andrea Eggleton: Support our economy and forest health simultaneously

COVID-19 has battered California’s economy, which will take years to recover. Additionally, experts are predicting another severe wildfire season, which could devastate communities with limited resources to prepare.

Folks in Nevada County know that the local economy and the health of our forests and natural areas are intrinsically linked.

California legislators are meeting right now to finalize investments for these critical issues. As our state enters fire season, they should embrace opportunities where we can both support our citizens economically, and help our forests be more resilient and sustainable in the face of impending catastrophic wildfire.

One quarter of California’s forests are privately owned, a majority of which are located in key watersheds that protect water quality and in wildland-urban interfaces close to historic communities like Grass Valley and Nevada City. For these forests, cost is the largest barrier to implementing wildfire resilience practices that can protect the community.

As a local forester and resident of Nevada County, I urge the governor and state legislature to support funding for wildfire mitigation on family-owned forestlands through programs like the California Forest Improvement Program, which puts locals to work every day caring for our forests.

Andrea Eggleton

Grass Valley

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