Kern County assemblyman promotes healthy forest, mitigating fires

Assemblyman Vince Fong promotes healthy forest legislation to help build wildfire resilience

SACRAMENTO – The majestic view of the Sierra Nevada Mountains could make someone almost forget that wildfires obscure the view for several months of the year, almost. Fortunately, the state legislature could take over some healthy forest legislation that could reduce wildfires.

Last week, Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Kern County) announced that the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources passed Assembly Bill 522 which could promote forest management and build wildfire resilience.

“Catastrophic wildfires have devastated homes and entire communities, and sadly, lives have been lost,” Fong said. “Properly managing forests by reducing fuels is a proven method of preventing wildfires. This measure allows private landowners to continue their efforts to reduce wildfire risk by removing dead and dying trees from their land.”

Vince Fong
R-Kern County

According to a press release from Fong’s office, this program allows private landowners to proceed with critical vegetation management on private land with a streamlined process. Specifically, AB 522 removes barriers for landowners to use the state’s Forest Fire Prevention Pilot Project Exemption and extend this successful program into 2026.

This measure, if passed and signed into law, will help the state achieve its goal to treat 500,000 acres per year by 2025. AB 522 is supported by the California Forestry Association, Association of California Water Agencies, California Association of Realtors, Forest Landowners of California and the Personal Insurance Federation of California.

AB 522 now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for its consideration.

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