OAKLAND CITY COUNCIL PASSES RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE CITY OF OAKLAND TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DEVELOPMENT AND POSSIBLE FORMATION OF A REGIONAL VEGETATION MANAGEMENT JOINT POWERS AGENCY (EBVMJPA) TO ADDRESS FIRE SAFEfTY IN THE EAST BAY AREA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Tuesday October 5th 2021
Oakland, California - In response to the long term drought and growing risk of wildfires caused by climate change, the Oakland City Council passed a resolution authored by Councilmember Dan Kalb and Council President Pro Tempore Sheng Thao authorizing the City of Oakland to participate in the interagency discussions to explore creation of a Regional Vegetation Management Joint Powers Agency to better coordinate regional wildfire resilience and vegetation management.
Council President Pro Tempore Sheng Thao, who represents District 4 states:
“Wildfire prevention is a top priority for my office, and we know as climate change continues to cause extreme changes in our climate it is essential that we expand our ability to protect our communities. Wildfires don’t recognize artificial borders, and it is essential that we come together as a region to address our vegetation and build a strong, regional resilience plan. This regional JPA is essential to our success, and I am grateful for Councilmember Dan Kalb’s partnership on this issue and for the community leaders from the Oakland Firesafe Council for leading this issue.”
Councilmember Dan Kalb representing District 1 (North Oakland) highlighted the importance of ongoing wildfire prevention work.
"The City of Oakland is already engaging with determination to initiate interagency collaboration on wildfire prevention, and I am happy that the entire Council recognized the need and the importance of expanding this work. As I've been working for several years to partner with the community on making sure that wildfire prevention a city priority, we have made progress with our pending Vegetation Management Plan, our new Emergency Preparedness Plan, and our parking safely in the hills initiative, I am grateful to the community of leaders who are strategically thinking about deepening and expanding Oakland's role in this important work to protect Oakland and East Bay residents from the devastation we have witnessed in other California communities."
This resolution was introduced in partnership with the Oakland Firesafe Council, which has been a leader in pushing for stronger wildfire prevention policy, a comprehensive vegetation management plan, and preparing communities for a disaster response. The Firesafe Council, along with the Claremont Canyon Conservancy, North Hills Community Association and Make El Cerrito Firesafe, has been an early leader in the efforts for this regional JPA and brought the concept to elected officials across the East Bay.
Sue Piper, who serves as President of the Oakland Firesafe Council states: “The city of Oakland’s leadership have been a strong partner in wildfire prevention and have launched and led several interagency initiatives to address this serious priority. We appreciate the city council’s willingness to explore the possibility of creating a regional entity . With the passage of Oakland’s resolution, Oakland will be able to join the many other cities, the two counties and the non-municipal public agencies in Western Contra Costa County and Eastern Alameda County who all are responsible for wildfire prevention in the East Bay Hills wildland-urban interface. We look forward to kicking off our first discussions about the details of forming a JPA in the next few weeks.”
For further information about progress on the JPA, visit https://eastbaywildfirejpa.org