The following is a letter to the editor submitted by Mendocino County District 3 Supervisor John Haschak, published here as a column, in which he updates his constituents. We encourage the other supervisors to submit letters — we will happily publish them. You can see Haschak’s previous letters to his constituents here. The opinions expressed in this letter are the author’s, not those of The Mendocino Voice.
Storm damage has been intense throughout our region. The first responders acted quickly and tirelessly to rescue people, people in stuck cars, dangerous situations, and other life and death situations. Thank you to the fire departments, police and Sheriff’s departments, and public works people who slogged through the dangerous conditions to ensure our safety. I am working with the our State legislators, County, PG&E, and local firewise councils to determine how best to deal with the downed trees and branches. All of this fuel will need to be removed or chipped before fire season. There is a lot to do.
Vaccinations are finally here which has been a blessing. Many have received the vaccine but there is also frustration with the scheduling of appointments, communication, and who is getting the vaccines along with not getting enough vaccines from state and federal governments. The Governor changed from the tiering system to a more age based system. You can sign up for a vaccine notification at vaccinatemendo.com.
Sherwood Firewise has been working tirelessly on creating a community safer from fires. The Sherwood Road area is a Pilot Program for the creation of a Zone of Benefit. Many people contributed to getting vegetation management done on the Firco and Schow Roads. This was of critical importance as CalFire was able to use the roads for access during the Oak Fire. The goal of this Zone of Benefit process is to maintain the Willits Creek Trail and Firco roads and manage vegetation so that these roads are available in emergencies. A minor assessment of developed parcels will be voted on by the landowners of this area. Sherwood Firewise is having a zoom meeting Feb. 11. See their website for more info.
You might notice the warning sign on Hwy 101 south of the Ridgewood Summit before the S curves. I appreciate the work of Chief Wilkes of Little Lake Fire Department and CalTrans to get the warning sign. When there is bad weather or a traffic accident in the area, it will be activated. Chief Wilkes says, “We are extremely happy with the first responder opeated warning sign on the ridge. We used the sign three times the first weekend it was available. We are happy with multiple aspects of this project. First being the preempted warning to drivers in poor driving conditions such as rain and fog. Second being the quick response and action from CalTrans when the project was proposed to them. CalTrans quickly understood the need to protect first responders and unknowing drivers going through this area.” Please heed the warnings as our first responders might be out there dealing with emergencies. Much appreciation to Chief Wilkes and CalTrans for being proactive, responsive and looking out for our safety.
Supervisors approved a land use policy for Phase 3 which is open to non-legacy cannabis growers. I voted no because it included the expansion of up to 10% of land in rangeland, upland residential, and agricultural zones. This could cause a dramatic change to these lands and our communities. The steps required to get a state permit so far have been very uneven at the county and state levels and to add this dramatic expansion doesn’t seem like sound policy at this point.
Wishing you all the best and feel free to contact me at [email protected] or 707-972-4214.