SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) – Rushing to dampen what’s likely to be another long and daunting wildfire season, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an emergency order Friday that suspends certain environmental reviews and speeds up tree removal near the state’s most fire-prone communities.
Newsom said his latest executive action is needed to greenlight forest-thinning efforts that are routinely delayed by regulatory red tape.
“The increasing wildfire risks we face as a state mean we simply can’t wait until a fire starts in order to start deploying emergency resources,” Newsom said in a statement. “California needs sustained focus and immediate action in order to better protect our communities.”
The move not only lessens environmental review, but state bidding requirements as well: Newsom says the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection needs to be freed from the paperwork process and begin clearing portions of California’s forests that have been ravaged by drought and disease. [Read more…]