Target: Governor Jerry Brown
Goal: Reduce wildfires by increasing the amount of water allocated to the environment.
In the past six years, California has lost 66 million trees to drought and other environmental factors. The loss of these trees is not only aesthetically detrimental, it is dangerous. These dead trees act as dry fuel for wildfires like the current 5,400 acre blaze in the Angeles National Forest. While some environmental factors causing the trees to die off are beyond our control, others have been caused by human activity and can be prevented by the same. California has been experiencing drought for the fifth year in a row and water there is a precious resource. Urge Governor Brown to allocate more water to the environment and prevent these hazardous wildfires.
The wildfires in the Angeles National Forest put lives and property at risk. The most recent fire has forced hundreds of people to evacuate, and the police needed to deploy to avert looting. This is to say nothing of the danger to the over 1,000 firefighters working to subdue the blaze. The fire in Angeles National Forest is hardly to the first to occur this year—33,000 California acres have already burned.
At present, the state designates 50 percent of its water to the environment, 40 percent to agriculture, and the remaining 10 percent to urban areas. It is important to balance the needs of the environment against the needs of the economy, while making sure that people and property are protected. One way to do this is to invest in irrigation systems that use less water. These systems include drip irrigation and irrigation scheduling. Both these techniques reduce evaporation during watering. While this investment may be expensive, so is the current situation. California has budgeted $11 million to remove trees and prevent fires, in addition to the $32 million given by the Forest Service. As the earth warms and drought continues, these expenses will only grow.
California needs to apportion water in a way that protects forests and prevents these dangerous fires. Tell Governor Brown to direct more water toward the environment and promote efficient irrigation methods.
Dear Governor Brown,
California’s forests are in crisis, with 66 million trees dying off since 2010. This puts California at increased risk for wildfires, like the 5,400 acre blaze in the Angeles National Forest. Water is a precious resource in California, but so are the trees. I call on you to allocate more water for the environment and avert these hazardous fires.
The fires in Angeles National Forest have posed a serious threat to people and property. Hundreds had to evacuate and the police were forced to deploy to deter looting. While the majority of those evacuated have returned home, the fire still isn’t entirely contained at the time of this petition.
It is a challenge to find a balance between California’s environmental and economic needs. To that end, I recommend investing in sustainable agricultural practices such as drip irrigation and irrigation scheduling. While this may be expensive, allowing the current situation to continue could be even more so in the long run. California has spent $11 million on tree removal and fire prevention. With increasing temperatures, which lead to increased drought, this amount will only get larger. The number of dead trees from Kern to Tuolumne County has increased by 65 percent since last October alone.
In allocating water, it is important to make sure that the environment receives enough to avert wildfires and the destruction they cause. Give the forests the water they need and invest in efficient irrigation methods.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Mel B.