Well, that's one way to prevent forest fires
Professor Toro
Article Last Updated: 11/03/2007 01:39:34 AM PDT


Local fire officials credit environmental activist David Dilworth with catching botched language in a rewrite of rural fire safety rules.

Dilworth, executive director of Helping Our Peninsula's Environment, spotted the blooper in a 24-page ordinance that went before directors of the Pebble Beach Community Services District last week to incorporate new state fire codes. As written, the new law would have required property owners to remove combustible vegetation within 100 feet of their homes or to their property lines — whichever is greater.

The way Dilworth saw it, that would lead to widespread denuding of the natural flora in the Del Monte Forest — Monterey pines, endangered flowers and the like — from property line to property line.

That "greater" should have been "lesser," fire officials acknowledged, in keeping with 2005 changes in the state fire code that call for five-savvy management of plants within 100 feet of structures.

"It wasn't a bad catch," said George Haines, state unit fire chief in Monterey and San Benito counties.

The language, being adopted by many local fire departments, is being changed to drop any mention of distances or property lines in favor of a simple reference to the state Public Resources Code, Haines said. Directors of the Pebble Beach district will take another look at the ordinance Dec. 8.

The wordsmithery lends another possible meaning to the environmental group's acronym, HOPE — Helping Our Peninsula's English.


Click here for the Pebble Beach Community Services District website

Pebble Beach Community Services District
Click here for the Pebble Beach Community Services District website

| (c) Helping Our Peninsula's Environment |
| Oct 26, 2007 |
| Box 1495, Carmel, Ca 93921; 831 624-6500 |
| www.1hope.org/pest Info7 at 1hope D0T org |

Media Release
Friday, October 26, 2007
More info : 831-624-6500

Huge Victory - Massive Pebble Beach Logging
Stopped. Tens of thousands of Trees Saved

Thousands of Trees Still Threatened
by David Dilworth, Exec. Dir. HOPE

(Oct 26) Today the agency overseeing fire and sewage
services for Del Monte Forest / Pebble Beach
(PBCSD.org) proposed a law requiring the logging of
all trees in Del Monte Forest. It would have imposed a
$500 fine if you did not comply.

Proposed Ordinance 25 says in part --

"M109.1 Standard defensible space requirements
(FIRE 019)

"Remove combustible vegetation from within a minimum
of 100 feet or to the property line, whichever is
greater, from structures."

Thankfully, the ordinance was continued to the
December meeting by the agency's lawyer. (You read
right - not by the Board, but by their lawyer.)

From comments made by Board members it appeared that
the intent was to increase "Defensible space" from
fires from 30 feet to 100 feet. It required all
vegetation, which includes trees, to be removed (cut
down). The way the ordinance was mis-written it would
have increased the distance from 30 feet to the
property line ˆ even it was a mile away.

While that is bad enough, it also required you to cut
down all trees within 100 feet of your home - even
if it meant cutting down vegetation on your neighbor's
property !

This would have resulted in the mandatory logging of
tens of thousands, probably maybe hundreds of thousands
and possibly millions of native Monterey pine trees.

Staff‚s presentation gave every indication they
intended for the Board to approve it today. Staff made
no mention of the severe legal and ecological problems
which HOPE presented after staff finished.


But Thousands of native Monterey pines are still
threatened by the ordinance they do intend.

It appears staff will re-write the ordinance for
December to "merely" increase "Defensible space" from
fires from 30 feet to 100 feet.

This alone, still has giant environmental impacts to
our native Monterey pine forest ecosystem and is
prohibited by our Coastal Act which solidly protects
Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area (ESHA).

It would result in the cutting of thousands of
healthy native Monterey pines.

* Monterey Pine is Endangered According to World‚s
Leading Experts

* There is International Concern about protecting the

* Native Monterey Pine Forest ecosystems (NMPFE) is
ESHA in at least 8 different ways, thus protected by
our Coastal act.

Monterey pine forest is ESHA because ---
1. ESA Listed Gowen Cypress is dependent on NMPFE
2. ESA Listed Yadon‚s Rein Orchid is dependent on NMPFE
3. ESA Listed red-legged Frog lives in NMPFE
4. Vernal Pool in NMPFE is ESHA by definition
5. Monterey Pine forest designation by CNPS
6. Monterey Pine forest designation by United Nations
FAO declaration
7. Monterey Pine forest is „Rare‰ according to
Jepson Manual
8. „Especially valuable‰ due to Del Monte Forest Land
Use Plan

For more info please see --