Lawsuit to prevent Mill Valley’s vegetation management wildfire plan is murky

Opinion by Dick Spotswood : marinij – excerpt

On its face, a recent lawsuit against the city of Mill Valley seems preposterous. “Mill Valley Residents for the Protection of Wildlife” filed an action in Marin County Superior Court to enjoin the city from enforcing its newly enacted vegetation management ordinance. The suit’s basis is the city’s failure to perform a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) analysis.

The city contends its action is exempt from CEQA.

Given that the greatest threat to Marin life and property comes from wildland fire, the suit’s implications, if successful and upheld on appeal, are dire. No public entity could take rational steps to protect its citizens unless the time-consuming CEQA process is pursued. Even controlled burns — a key weapon in reducing runaway wildfires — will be stymied if the full CEQA drill needs be pursued.

Given the plaintiff’s name, there’s an impression the suit was filed by an established nonprofit.

Mill Valley Residents for the Protection of Wildlife is an unincorporated association…

If SB 632 doesn’t do the trick, the state needs to categorically exempt all vegetation management efforts from CEQA. Simultaneously the Legislature should modify CEQA to require showing environmental impacts if proposed actions are not taken.… (more)

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