SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California regulators have streamlined the state’s permit process to make it faster to approve tree-thinning projects intended to slow wildfires.
They approved a vegetation management program based on analyzing the potential environmental damage from removing different types of fuel. New projects can use the preapproved analysis rather than starting fresh each time to meet the state’s strict environmental requirements.
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday equated it to the emergency orders he issued nearly a year ago to speed up approval of projects intended to help protect more than vulnerable 200 communities.
Critics say thinning projects wouldn’t have stopped massive wildfires that devastated communities in recent years.