Isn't fire prevention more critical?
Last updated 5/22/2008 at Noon
Congressman Issa announced [Village News, 4/24/08] that FPUD would receive $1 million for final design of the Santa Margarita Conjunctive Use Project.
The federal government, via Congressman Issa, also provided $670,000 to the Federal Bureau of Reclamation to prepare feasibility studies, analyze potential environmental impacts and hold public meetings for this same project [Riverside Press Enterprise, 1/8/05].
Are these cash cow payments of taxpayers’ money for a project that will only provide small, limited supplies of water immensely affected by drought? The Santa Margarita River, in times of drought, is approximately three to five feet wide in my area; I live approximately one-third mile from this river.
Permits for the development of two dams on the Santa Margarita River were assigned to the federal bureau of reclamation in 1974. Neither dam was built (due to state opposition). This Santa Margarita Project must be approved by the State of California before any construction, which approval will probably never occur.
The Gavilan Fire approached within two-fifths of a mile from my property. FPUD owns the majority of the property along Sandia Creek and Rock Mountain roads bordering this river, which provided fuel for this fire. FPUD has never trimmed or eliminated brush and trees along Sandia Creek and Rock Mountain even after burnt trees and brush were visible and which have now regrown, waiting for another fire.
Congressman Issa! It is more critical to human life and private property to fund FPUD for fire prevention to eliminate this vegetation fuel from probable future fires.