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Drought Emergency Extended

Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne Board of Supervisors votes to extend one emergency declaration and table another.

The Board voted unanimously at today’s meeting to extend the local State of Emergency due to the drought and its perceived threat.

“We have no idea when we are going to be out of this,” said District 2 Supervisor Randy Hanvelt, “Another year of drought and we could be in real serious trouble. We don’t really have much choice, but to maintain vigilance and maintain our era of conservation being the way to go.”

The board decided to table, until its next meeting, a new State of Emergency declaration regarding the “actual and perceived threat of wildfires” in California. One concern of Supervisors was that passing this could affect the public’s ability to get fire insurance or cause premiums to go up. The board wanted staff to add some information to the declaration emphasizing the deteriorating conditions in the forest, including the extremely low fuel moisture. They also wanted to point out the success of defensible space, as witnessed in the Rim Fire, and call for more funding in that regard.

In addition, the Board approved staff to write and the Board Chairman to sign a letter to Governor Jerry Brown calling on him to veto the three groundwater bills that passed the Assembly on Friday. The bills would require some local governments to develop groundwater management plans and would allow the state to intervene if necessary. As reported earlier, two Mother Lode state representatives already signed a letter over the weekend calling for Brown to veto the bills and convene a special session on groundwater management.