Better Managing Forests for Climate Resilience
The Bay Area Council Water & Climate Resilience Committee met Thursday to discuss managing California’s forests and the Governor’s proposed Water Resilience Portfolio. The Water Resilience Portfolio, a result of an April executive order, directs a collection of state agencies to provide recommendations for restoring the health of California’s water systems. As part of this process, the Bay Area Council has convened experts and participated in stakeholder meetings to provide our own recommendations and input to the plan. The Committee expects to finalize its recommendations next month.
California Forestry Association CEO and former San Mateo County Assemblymember Rich Gordon was a featured speaker at the meeting. Gordon, an expert on forest management and the mass timber industry detailed ways for the Council to promote forest management best practices in California, which includes federal, state, and private participation in active forest management programs and selective forest thinning to reduce hazardous wildfire fuels.
Forest management is a critical tool for promoting watershed health and wildfire resiliency. Due to drought, extreme heat, and other climate change-related weather patterns, there are over 148 million dead trees in California and an overgrowth of vegetation. There are more trees than ever in California, which increases wildfire risk for hundreds of communities that rely on healthy forests to drive their economies. A significant portion of California’s drinking water also relies on water from forests. Strong forest management practices can help protect water supplies and quality, and increase the resilience of vulnerable communities near high fire risk areas. To learn more about the Water & Climate Resilience Committee, please contact Vice President Adrian Covert.