Wildfire, conservation and transportation concerns
AUBURN, Calif. – Representatives from Placer County recently concluded their annual advocacy trip to Washington D.C.
Each year, a county delegation visits the nation’s capital to talk with federal officials about the county’s legislative and regulatory priorities. The annual trips are a significant opportunity for the county to advocate for federal funding for important local projects year after year.
This year’s trip took place May 2-8 and included meetings with congressional officials and federal agencies on a wide array of topics including wildfire prevention, land conservation, transportation improvements, affordable housing and workforce development.
This year’s delegation included District 4 Supervisor Chair Kirk Uhler, District 1 Supervisor Vice Chair Bonnie Gore and District 2 Supervisor Robert Weygandt. Attending board members were accompanied by the county’s top two administrators: County Executive Officer Todd Leopold and Chief Assistant Jane Christenson, as well as key county personnel.
Continuing their commitment to reducing wildfire risks and impacts in the county, representatives met with the U.S. Forest Service to discuss collaborative efforts to clean up our national forest to reduce biofuel loads.
“Cleaning up and removing biofuel from our forests is a critical element to reduce wildfires,” said Supervisor Bonnie Gore. “Developing relationships with federal, state and local partners is an important step to meeting our wildfire prevention goals.”
The Placer delegation also met with Department of Transportation representatives to advocate for grant programs and other funding opportunities for the Placer Parkway and Interstate-80, State Route 65 improvement projects.
The Placer Parkway would connect State Route 65 in western Placer County to State Route 99 in south Sutter County.
“Securing federal funds for transportation improvements and solutions for south Placer is a top priority,” said Supervisor Uhler. “Our conversations with the Department of Transportation will help the county and our partners bring great relief to Highway 65.”
Members of the delegation also met with Department of Interior representatives to advocate for the finalization of the proposed Placer County Conservation Program.
The PCCP is a progressive and proactive strategy for identifying where development should occur in western Placer County while preserving important natural and agricultural resources. If approved, it would streamline federal, state and local permitting at the local level, while ensuring that land conservation required as mitigation under those permits would be effective and located in Placer County.
“I am highly encouraged by the progress made during our trip to further the PCCP,” said Supervisor Weygandt. “Preserving our natural and agricultural heritage is tremendously important for balancing the growth in Placer County still to come.”