Residents of the San Marcos Pass/Eastern Goleta Valley Mountainous Area have expressed an interest in developing a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). The concept of the CWPP arose under federal law with the Healthy Forests Restoration Act (HFRA) in 2003. In March of 2004, the National Association of State Foresters, Society of American Foresters, National Association of Counties, Communities’ Committee, and Western Governor’s Association published the guidance booklet “Preparing a Community Wildfire Protection Plan; A Handbook for Wildland-Urban Interface Communities”.
On August 8, 2011, the County Board of Supervisors approved a CWPP Development Process. As set forth in the process document, the purpose of a CWPP is to identify and prioritize areas for hazardous fuel reduction treatments and recommend current best practices as to the types and methods of treatment on land that will protect one or more at-risk communities. Additionally, CWPPs recommend measures to reduce structural ignitability. They are collaborative agreements, developed by at-risk communities in consultation with various interested parties and agreed to by the appropriate local government, fire department and the State Forester. Two CWPPs have been developed in the County of Santa Barbara: (1) Mission Canyon Wildfire Protection Plan, and (2) Montecito Community Wildfire Protection Plan (draft).
Development of a CWPP for the San Marcos Pass/Eastern Goleta Valley Mountainous Area has not yet begun; however, preliminary discussions are underway. A County working group will consist of staff from County Fire, Planning and Development, the County Executive Office, and Supervisor Wolf’s Office. This group will give guidance to a Development Team consisting of community members and technical experts.
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To receive information about Goleta planning activities, email CWPP@countyofsb.org.