Our natural resources are valuable assets and they must be used wisely. As a fourth generation farmer, I recognize the value of good stewardship of our resources and the bountiful harvest that nature provides again and again. From my position as Vice Chairman of the Committee on Natural Resources and the Committee on Agriculture, I fought to protect the vital uses of our natural resources from those who would deny human beings the benefit of this blessed land in which we live.
Increasing California's Water Supply = Preparing for Our Future - California's future prosperity is clearly linked to a safe and abundant supply of water to meet the demands of agriculture, industry, environmental, health and safety and residential concerns. Throughout our history, California has struggled to achieve a balance among the competing interests staking their claims on a static water supply. Protecting our water rights and increasing California's water storage are essential to our future.
We must strongly oppose environmental extremism that thwarts the development of water storage projects to meet our growing human needs. We must also proactively support those alternatives that would allow California's coastal communities to utilize new technologies to develop their own water supply from the ocean.
Fire Protection through Healthy Forest Management -- In 2004, I authored the Forest Fire Protection Act, AB 2420 to make it easier and less costly for owners of forest land to thin trees without filing a burdensome Timber Harvest Plan (THP). The recent, devastating forest fires in each of our northern counties were a grim reminder of the catastrophe that awaits if we don't begin a serious effort to thin trees and remove fuels from our forest lands. The benefits of adopting this economically balanced approach are many. Promoting policies that will make our rural communities safer, preserve our wilderness areas, save wildlife habitat and create jobs will continue to be a priority for me as your representative.
Promoting Agriculture and Our Farm Economy - Agriculture is the backbone of our northern California economy and I will continue to provide a strong voice for our vital farming industries. We must work tirelessly to protect our rural way of life, so that future generations of Californians can benefit from the security of a dependable, sustainable and safe food supply. California helps to feed the world, and we must continue the fight for fair trade throughout the world so that our products - the best quality in the world - will be available to every person who wants them.