Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor - August 3 edition

Dangerous situation

Wilkinson and Drozen (commentaries in July 27 edition of the Star) have realistic understandings of the dangers of uncleared property in the mountains. Why is the Madera County Board of Supervisors not as concerned about the safety of their constituents?

The Madera County Wildfire Protection Plan (PRC 4291) is the code that causes property owners to be responsible for clearing 100 feet around their homes for “defensible space.” It also states that “clearance beyond the property line may only be required if the state law, local ordinance ... includes findings that the clearing is necessary to significantly reduce the risk of transmission of flame or heat sufficient to ignite the structure, and there is no other feasible mitigation measure possible to reduce the risk of ignition or spread of wildfire to the structure.”

It does state that “clearance on adjacent property shall only be conducted following written consent by the adjacent landowner.” Is this the stickler that causes the board to not respond to requests for help?

I have written the board about this issue, but have never received a response and nothing has been done.

Property rights have historically been overturned for the good of the community. After the Junction Fire, I returned home to a property filled with fire engines and fire personnel.

Personally, I was grateful but if I were not, I didn’t have a choice. My property rights were put aside for the good of the community. Since our present board shows no interest in protecting our homes from neighbors who do not provide defensible space, any person who plans to run for supervisor might look at this code for a way to keep our mountain properties safe.

If we can’t get anyone on the board to have concern for this dilemma, we, who reside next to unmaintained property, including small lots as in Bass Lake, are alone in our fight to protect our homes. I and other taxpayers will continue to pay supervisor’s salaries, which is fine as long as long as we receive some help from them on this issue.

Mary Herrmann, Oakhurst

SPCA in dire need of volunteers

The EMCSPCA has established a trap/neuter/return program at The Pines Resort in Bass Lake. There are currently just two volunteers helping with this program, and it would be great to find a few people who live near The Pines to help as relief or on a regular basis.

We also need volunteers to help with cats in problem areas. We occasionally get calls asking for help with feral cats, or tame cats that are not spayed. A particular in stance is in the Ahwahnee area where there are three breeding cats with litters. The property owner is disabled. He wants to keep the mother cats, but we need someone to help by taking them to vet appointments for spay surgery and return them to the property.

We also need to round up the kittens, which may involve some trapping, and get them to the vet in preparation for adoption locally or transfer to the Bay Area where they would be put up for adoption. We have circumstances similar to this in different areas on a fairly regular basis.

Then there are four rescued kittens, whose mother died, requiring bottle feeding. They are three weeks old and will need feeding for another three weeks or so until they can begin to eat solid food. As soon as they are old enough they can be placed in permanent homes.

On a separate note, we will be holding meetings over the next couple of months to provide information on fostering dogs and cats. Learn about providing them with a safe place as they await adoption, and preparing them for their forever home. Watch for information in your email, on Facebook and in the Sierra Star for information.

To help with the feral cats, call Karen Bauer at (310) 466-0897. To help bottle feed the kittens and provide a home for about six weeks, call me at (559) 642-6611.

Sharon Fitzgerald, EMCSPCA president

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