Death, Taxes and Sonoma County Fires

Written By: President Jeff Carlton
Published: October 1, 2020

Well, it is fire season again in Sonoma County and I guess we are going for some kind of record here with four years in a row of dealing with fire or smoke. Maybe now the State will take forest management more seriously. When the entire state is ablaze, someone in Sacramento should take notice. For far too long logging and land management have taken a back seat here. Stifled and restricted by legislators and environmental groups, our forests are overgrown, and rangeland is left to grow wild, and when a fire starts, it burns and burns and burns. Mother Nature has a way of dealing with overgrowth and this time it came in the form of lightning. I’m sure you’ve probably seen the meme by now of a burnt and decimated forest with the caption, “You win Sierra Club, you win.”

I hope that any of you that were affected by the wildfires this year made it through safe. Once again, we have started our wildfire fund for all the fire victims.  Thank you to all have generously donated thus far.  I must give a huge thank you to Tawny Tesconi and our staff for their hard work in helping our members navigate everything through these difficult times, which includes keeping farmers and ranchers up to date on the fires, weather, and smoke conditions. It has been mentioned by some that as farmers we aren’t doing enough to take care of our employees and I can certainly tell you that this is false.  Our employees are like members of our own family and we take care of them because they take care of us.

Speaking of difficult times, we were unable to host our Love of the Land event and fundraiser this year or golf tournament as I am sure you are aware. We’ve also had to go virtual for our annual meeting this year. These really are unprecedented times and I can’t believe we are all living through these things in one year! However, thank you to our amazing staff (another shout out!), they have put together some fantastic drive-thru BBQ dinners this year. They have been nothing short of awesome and delicious!  Thank you to our community for your support. Thank you to all of the volunteers that help put these together and last but not least, thank you to Doug Beretta, John Bidia, Pat Burns, and the rest of the amazing BBQ crew!  As I mentioned, these are unprecedented times and it was said to me yesterday, “We are resilient and no matter how tough these times are, we are going to get through this, because this too, shall pass.”

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