Hastings Business Law Journal


Anna Bernstein


In the wake of ever-increasing incidences of wildfires across California, cost-effective, practical, and functional forest management has become a priority in order to keep California’s land and residents safe. From 2018 to 2020, six out of ten of California’s worst fires, coined ”megafires” by the United States Forest Service, have rampaged through the state. These megafires often behave in unstoppable ways. Most recently, in 2018, they killed more than a hundred people and destroyed seventeen thousand homes, all while burning hundreds of thousands of acres across California. Although the end of the recent drought has brought some relief, record- breaking rains have created an expected, yet dangerous, growth of brush and grass that just adds fuel to the fire.

Many California counties would greatly benefit from the formation of a JPA that implements forest management and wildfire prevention. Specifically, counties with expansive forest and federal land would benefit greatly from JPA formation. Placer, Amador, Tuolumne, El Dorado, Yosemite, and Mono counties, located in the Lower Sierra area of the United States, are potential contracting entities to the JPA given their location. Other counties that have already been directly affected by large fires, such as Yolo, Yuba, Lake, Napa, and Mendocino counties would also likely benefit from an improvement in forest and land management. Together, these counties and other relevant environmental agencies binding together through a JPA would create a useful entity that aims to make land safer in the event of future wildfires.