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Saturday, Sep 30, 2023


No Superscoopers Valley Industry and Commerce Association President Bonny Herman’s letter advocating that the state of California purchase numerous CL-415 Superscoopers (March 8) is well intended, but does not address the facts. The California Department of Forestry and the U.S. Forest Service have conducted extensive studies on effectiveness and efficiency of both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters for fighting fires. Both agencies have reached the same conclusion: the Superscooper is not an appropriate aircraft for their needs and both agencies have repeatedly declined to purchase them. With a price tag of approximately $22 million each, Ms. Herman’s suggestion that taxpayers spend $220 million for aircraft that don’t meet the needs of our fire-fighting agencies lacks fiscal rationality. Ms. Herman further ignores the impact of purchasing these aircraft on the state budget and its ramifications on business owners and taxpayers. No fire-fighting agency in the United States, other than the County of Los Angeles Fire Department, uses the CL-415, and the county only uses them because an intensive lobbying effort saddled the department with a five-year contract. If federal and state fire-fighting experts don’t want the Superscooper, I think that should tell you something. JERRY DANIEL Board Member, Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy

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