Calif. Gov. Signs Budget to Improve Fire, Flood Protection for State Parks and Open Spaces

July 13, 2005

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a budget that reportedly ensures protection against wildfires and floods and invests in the state’s parks and open spaces. The new spending plan includes $3.7 billion for departments, boards, commissions, and other entities within the Resources Agency.

“Governor Schwarzenegger understands that California’s lands, water, and plant and animal resources must be conserved to sustain economic growth and preserve our quality of life,” said Secretary for Resources Mike Chrisman. “Not only does this budget make a strong commitment to resource protection, it also ensures that Californians are protected against fires, floods, and other natural disasters.”

The FY 2005-06 budget provides additional funds to enhance fire safety and preparedness under the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, including $10.8 million for new and improved equipment, $9 million to retain full firefighter staffing throughout the year in dry Southern California counties, $2.9 million for conversion and replacement of radio equipment, and $7.7 million to continue fuel reduction programs in the Sierra Nevada.

The budget also provides $9.7 million in new funding for flood control, levee maintenance, and flood response activities administered by the Department of Water Resources.

Additionally, it allocates more than $100 million to fund conservation, conveyance, and water quality projects statewide, including $59.1 million to conserve 93,700 acre feet of water lost annually due to seepage in the Coachella and All-American canals in Southern California.

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