Newsom’s $1B wildfire plan favors Sierra Nevada logging over homeowners

Article by Joshua Emerson Smith | Reporter

Robert Garant proudly showed off a collection of chainsaws he’s used to maintain the nearly 2 acres he and his wife, Gladys, have lived on for 47 years in San Diego County’s bucolic mountain hamlet of Julian.

The retired school-bus driver said pruning the oak trees and dense shrubbery around their home isn’t just an aesthetic endeavor. Maintaining what’s commonly known in rural communities as “defensible space,” he explained, can be a matter of life and death.

“We actually saved our house by clearing that whole perimeter,” said Garant, recalling the ferocious Cedar fire in 2003 that burned down over 2,800 buildings but spared their home. “The only thing I lost was a hose.”

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