Supervisor candidate Bob Hertzberg opposes in a single day tenting in Malibu hills • The Malibu Occasions

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Bob Hertzberg, currently California State Senator (D-Van Nuys) and Senate Majority Leader Emeritus, is running for the LA County Board of Supervisors District 3 (which includes Malibu) in November’s election. He issued a statement to press and Malibu city officials Sunday saying he was opposed to staying in the hills above Malibu.

Malibu Mayor Paul Grisanti said in a phone interview that he couldn’t ask for a better testimony from a candidate for borough chief.

“It’s a rational response to reality,” Grisanti said.

In his statement, Hertzberg describes Malibu’s hills and beaches as “national treasures” that must be protected so that many can continue to enjoy them.

He points out that current conditions of extreme drought and higher temperatures, both caused by global warming, have resulted in dry fuel and a high risk of wildfires in forests and foothills in communities like with conditions only expected to get worse will.

“Under no circumstances can we risk another Woolsey Fire,” Hertzberg said in a statement. “With extreme fire weather conditions expected over the coming hot summer months, public safety in very high fire risk communities like Malibu and all impacted communities in the Santa Monica Mountains must be a top priority.”

He argues that preventing wildfires primarily protects not only billions of dollars in property, but also prevents environmental degradation, damage to wildlife, and the release of dangerous airborne toxins released by wildfires.

“I do not support any county or other government agency policy permitting overnight camping under these circumstances,” Hertzberg said. “Our friends and families who live in these regions live in fear of devastating wildfires every day, and it is up to us to implement policies that do not endanger them or the safety of the region.”

He is in favor of giving the public full access to public lands during the day; and believes that if the fire hazard ever changes, overnight camping could again be considered.

The topic of overnight camping in and around Malibu has been a real hot-button topic for the community in recent years. Even after the Woolsey fire, Joe Edmiston, director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority; County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and the California Coastal Commission all worked together to approve overnight camping in the hills above Malibu.

All of the Malibu residents’ many pleas for public comment at board meetings, as well as the City of Malibu’s opposition to overnight camping, have fallen on deaf ears.

Malibu voters in November will have a choice between two candidates for District 3 supervisor: Hertzberg or West Hollywood City Councilman Lindsey Horvath. Horvath did not comment on overnight camping.

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