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Homeowner Wildfire Protection Act Approved in Committee

Homeowner wildfire protection act
Homeowner wildfire protection act

AB 1867 allows homeowners to clear up to 300 feet without paying $45,000 for a timber harvest plan.

Sierra Sun Times – April 7, 2014

Assembly bill 1867, the Homeowner Wildfire Protection Act was approved in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee Monday.

Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) introduced AB 1867 to allow landowners clearing defensible space around their home, to sell the timber they cut down within 300 feet of a habitable structure without having to create and submit a timber harvesting plan to CalFIRE, which can cost up to $45,000.

Current law requires landowners in the State Responsibility Area to maintain 100 feet of defensible space around structures, but people wanting to clear more than 150 feet must submit a plan to harvest the timber.

Homeowner wildfire defensible space

Thinning trees and brush makes your home safer.

“Clearing the trees around your house can be a financial hardship and this bill will provide folks with a way to recoup some of the cost while creating additional fire protection for their homes,” Assemblyman Patterson said.

Environmental Groups Opposed

The Pacific Forest Trust opposed the bill claiming that the bill had the potential to have “massive negative impacts on our forests”. The Center for Biological Diversity also testified in opposition, stating that the current 150 foot exemption was very specifically chosen to limit impacts and that this bill was not in line with the original intent of the exemption.

Wildfire Protection Act Passes Committee

AB 1867 passed out of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee with bipartisan support. Ayes: 7; Noes: 1; Abstain: 1;

Assemblyman Patterson (R-Fresno) represents the 23rd Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes communities in Fresno and Tulare County.

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