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Jul 14, 2023

The Lake County Fire Protection District dispatched a crew to a fire in progress at 12:54 Tuesday morning according to Fire Chief Willie Sapeta.

Two structures were burning on Third Street near Clearlake Park he said. One was a double-wide motorhome, and a second building was a single-family home, wooden construction (stick built, onsite).

The fire involved about 75 percent of both buildings. Forward progress of the fire was “knocked down” within an hour and a half, added Sapeta.

The fire crew remained through early morning hours to complete mop-up. An investigation of the cause is currently being initiated. “There is nothing suspicious, but we continue an ongoing investigation,” said Sapeta.

—William Roller

Today, national nonprofits Wreaths Across America (WAA) and the American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) are proud to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two organizations. Together, they will build a stronger awareness of each group’s common missions while supporting fundraising efforts nationwide.

Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Columbia Falls, Maine, WAA is best known for its annual wreath-laying ceremonies each December. The organization’s yearlong mission is to Remember the fallen, Honor those who serve, and Teach the next generation the value of freedom. Now in nearly 4,000 communities nationwide, WAA volunteers are committed to sharing the mission through education and stories of service and success.

ALA is a community of volunteers serving veterans, military, and their families. Their members also support the mission of The American Legion to improve the quality of life for our nation’s veterans. Founded in 1919, the ALA is one of the oldest patriotic membership organizations in the United States. The ALA has been essential in increasing veterans’ welfare and rehabilitation nationwide, including participation in the annual National Wreaths Across America Day events.

The signed MOU between the two groups focuses on engagement with ALA members and WAA volunteers to create opportunities for joint community service activities that bring awareness to both groups’ missions. ALA will expand its participation in WAA’s Group Sponsorship Program – there are already more than 100 ALA groups participating nationwide – which raises awareness and sponsorships to place veterans’ wreaths and support programming while offering ALA an option for fundraising.

ALA will use its fundraising dollars earned through this program to support the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation, which positively impacts the lives of our veterans, military, and their families by funding American Legion Auxiliary programs today and for future generations. Founded in 2007, the purpose of the ALA Foundation is to assist in carrying out the educational, charitable, and other exempt purposes of the Auxiliary by raising funds for, assisting in the conduct of, and providing support to the Auxiliary programs.

Worcester and Koutz signed the MOU and jointly announced it to membership today as part of the American Legion Auxiliary’s 102nd National Convention held in Charlotte, N.C. To support the ALA’s efforts through the WAA program, you can make a $17 sponsorship at

Learn more here:


Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters) announced yesterday that her Assembly Bill 1159 passed the Assembly Floor with a 76-0 vote. AB 1159 is a clean-up measure that improves upon AB 1757 of 2022 and will clarify that projects receiving grant funding not intended for carbon sequestration can still sell carbon credits.

In 2006, the Legislature enacted AB 32 (Nunez-Pavley), the California Global Warming Solutions Act, which required the state to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and established the use of market-based compliance mechanisms to reduce emissions, including carbon sequestration credits. In 2016, SB 32 (Pavley) expanded upon AB 32 and required the California Air Resources Board to reduce GHG emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. SB 32 also declared the state’s policy is to achieve net zero GHG emissions as soon as possible but no later than 2045.

Last year, the Legislature passed AB 1757 (C. Garcia and R. Rivas), chapter 341, which amended the Act to require the Natural Resources Agency to determine a range of targets for natural carbon sequestration and nature-based carbon solutions for GHG reductions. The Agency is tasked with establishing targets for 2030, 2038, and 2045. AB 1757 also includes provisions to ensure any emission reduction work to achieve targets is not double-counted and that projects or actions that receive state funding are not eligible to generate credits under any market-based mechanisms.

The goal of this provision was to prevent a landowner from receiving a carbon sequestration state grant and also creating and selling carbon offset credits from the funded activities. However, this broad provision has led to confusion and uncertainty regarding its interpretation.

“The Hoopa Valley Tribe is on the cusp of regaining more than 10,000 acres of our ancestral land, and we thank Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry for her role in making this acquisition possible,” said Joe Davis, Chairman of the Hoopa Valley Tribe. “We appreciate any measures taken that can help Tribes re-acquire and manage their land and thus provide for better health outcomes for their people. In our case, we would appreciate having the option of generating carbon offset revenue from the pre-existing carbon project on the property to help cover land management costs and provide services that improve the health and wellbeing of Tribal members.”

Similarly, The Conservation Fund, a national nonprofit organization that manages more than 73,000 acres of working forestland in Sonoma and Mendocino County, relies on state grants to fund habitat restoration for endangered salmon and steelhead. Revenue from carbon offset credits helps fund the management of these large properties. As a result of AB 1757, The Conservation Fund declined more than $850,000 in state grants in 2022, severely affecting habitat restoration efforts.

“The Conservation Fund is eager to resume our restoration projects in our North Coast forests with the support of our California public agency partners,” said Ben Fryer, Northern California Project Manager for The Conservation Fund. “We deeply appreciate Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry’s leadership on AB 1159. This legislation allows The Conservation Fund and our many partners to continue our critical salmon habitat recovery efforts while ensuring that our redwood forests provide a home for wildlife and jobs for Californians.”

Returning ancestral land to tribes, improving fish and wildlife habitat, and reducing hazardous fuels are important public policy objectives. AB 1159 will provide the legal certainty necessary for landowners to accept state grants that advance these objectives without jeopardizing their ability to generate carbon offset credits, an important tool in California’s ambitious emission reductions strategy and providing resources to fund land management. At the same time, AB 1159 reinforces the requirement under California law that emission reductions from a given project are only counted once and that offset credits generated must be additional to what would otherwise occur.

AB 1159 now heads to the Governor’s desk.


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