SACRAMENTO, Calif – Today, president of the California Forestry Association David Bischel released a statement regarding Governor Jerry Brown’s emergency declaration on drought related tree mortality.
“I applaud the Governor’s swift action in developing a comprehensive plan that addresses the immediate issue of tree die-off in our forests,” said Bischel. “What we are seeing throughout California is unprecedented. But we are pleased that the Governor has taken bold action to address the severity of the problem. This action recognizes the threat that unhealthy forests have to our communities and to our environment, and provides solutions that benefit everyone.
“Our forests are at risk from drought, wildfire and disease, which puts the safety of our communities in jeopardy. By expediting the removal of dying trees, this order will help to enhance the resiliency of our forests by removing fuel, thereby reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfire,” said Bischel. “Furthermore, it will protect the quality and quantity of our water supply.
“Removing hazardous fuel from forests is the first step in addressing the problem of drought related mortality. The second key part is where to take those trees. And biomass is the answer. We are glad the Governor recognizes the critical role that biomass plays in reducing wildfire risk and improving forest health.
“Biomass facilities provide a tremendous opportunity for renewable energy that can power homes, provide jobs and reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emitted from either wildfire or open burning. We’re pleased to see it serve as a key solution as we continue to find ways to mitigate the impacts of drought.
“We look forward to being part of the solution and working with the Governor, and state and federal agencies to ensure that high priority projects are addressed in a timely manner. Our Association is committed to providing the facilities and resources needed as we begin to implement the strategies addressed in the Emergency Order.”