Our RCD is proud to have helped the City of Chico develop its first-ever citywide Vegetative Fuels Management Plan. The Plan includes several priority projects to reverse the negative ecological effects of long-term fire suppression, restore natural and cultural fire to our parklands, raise sightlines and increase user safety, and reduce ladder fuels that could threaten parkside homes. It also sets standards for what Chico's parklands should look like long into the future.
The next step was to analyze the likely effects of actually implementing that plan, which we did by preparing a programmatic EIR (PEIR) that was released in mid-December 2020. The PEIR defines how the City will approach vegetation management in its parklands for the next decade or more.
Now, the formal 45-day comment period for the PEIR is underway. The comment deadline is Feb 1, 2021 at 5:00 pm.
Tips for providing useful comments: Please be as detailed as you can. You can certainly tell us "The PEIR should make sure birds are protected," or "The PEIR should make the City work more with local Tribes," but these comments might not have much impact because we already think we did those things. To have more impact, tell us specifically how the PEIR we wrote could be better. What does it actually look like to protect birds better or work with Tribes more? Did we miss a bird species we should have talked about? Is there a certain model for City-Tribal collaboration you would like to see replicated here in Chico? (These are just examples- your comment could be about anything!) A good rule of thumb for commenting on EIRs is Be more specific than you think you need to be. Thank you for commenting!
Public meeting on the PEIR will be held Jan. 20, 2021 (online). To participate, visit the city website at https://chico.ca.us/post/2020-agendas and click on the 1/20/21 Bidwell Park & Playground Commission Natural Resource Committee Meeting agenda for login information.
The rest of the VFMP/PEIR team includes Deer Creek GIS, Dempsey Vegetation Management, CSU-Chico Reserves land stewards and forester, and many knowledgeable community experts who are helping to shape the projects. This work is funded by a CAL FIRE Community Wildfire Protection grant.
Timeline of the VFMP process: