Governor Declares a State of Emergency

Great News! On October 30th, the Governor declared a State of Emergency relative to Tree Mortality in the Sierra and asked Secretary Vilsack for federal funds to help with mitigation and recovery efforts. When we met with the state agencies in the Governor’s office on Monday, the Governor’s Special Advisor, Wade Crowfoot, said we would have executive action with days, and obviously he and the various department heads made it happen!

The Governor has also issued a proclamation that orders state agencies to help in a wide variety of ways. Given the points contained in the proclamation, there is little doubt that biomass facilities will play an important role going forward. The Governor has also ordered the formation of a task force headed by the Directors of CalFIRE and the Office of Emergency Services to guide how the proclamation is implemented.

The Mariposa County Tree Mortality Disaster Mitigation Committee (MCTMDC), pictured above, looks forward to working with the task force (picture courtesy of co-chair Don Florence). Public safety is certainly everyone’s priority.

I personally want to thank my MCTMDC co-chair Don Florence and all the very knowledgeable people who have attended the Committee meetings. Thanks also to Supervisor Carrier for not only getting the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) on board, but for also attending our MCTMDC meetings, serving as a sounding board for possible solutions and offering other ideas. I also want to thank Supervisor Cann for his help in getting Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) to make this effort a high priority for their organization. Supervisor Cann also attended the meeting in the Governor’s office on Monday.

Everyone seems to understand that this is a serious problem, but finding practical, financially viable solutions is the catch. Working together locally and with the State task force, once formed, we can make a difference. As Supervisor Carrier noted at the last Board of Supervisors’ meeting, this is how government is supposed to work. Mariposa County collaborated with other counties, elected officials and organizations such as CSAC and RCRC. Now, it’s obvious that the State listened!

For some background on the tree mortality issue click here.