Feather River College adopts climate change resolution

By Debra Moore

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The Feather River College Board of Trustees unanimously adopted a resolution this month recognizing the need to address climate change.

The resolution begins: “Whereas, the Feather River Community College District supports environmentally responsible academic and career training settings, believes that climate change is affecting our community, and affirms that the implementation of environmentally sustainable practices to address environmental challenges resulting from climate change; …”

The resolution goes on to outline the seven goals adopted by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors for the state’s community colleges — goals to be completed by 2025 and 2030 (see below); but other goals would be specific to Feather River College such as its work in protecting the campus from wildfire.

Darla DeRuiter, the college’s environmental studies professor, said that the core issue for Feather River College would be developing a forest and fire management plan. Part of the resolution reads: “Feather River College is a demonstrated leader through outstanding forest health practices on our 430-acre campus with goals to improve watershed health and avert potential emissions due to uncontrolled wildfire.”

Feather River College Trustee John Sheehan asked who would do the work and where the money would come from to meet FRC’s goals.

DeRuiter said the first issue is to set goals and then work toward them, “They have to be attainable and relevant.”  As for the money, she said, “All of these goals can save us money and keep us fiscally responsible.”

In addition to fire management, the college plans to work on reducing energy consumption and managing its lands to effectively sequester carbon. “These are goals that we take seriously,” said Derek Lerch, FRC’s dean of instruction.

Trustee Trent Saxton said he made a statement about sustainability about five months ago and that he was 100 percent in favor of working toward the goals. He joined his fellow board members in supporting the resolution.

Goals by 2025Goals by 2030
1.     Reduce greenhouse gas emission to 30 percent below 1990 levels.1)     Reduce greenhouse gas emission to 40 percent below 1990 levels.
2.     Increase renewable energy consumption to 25 percent.2)     Increase renewable energy consumption to 50 percent.
3.     25 percent of internal combustion engines are zero-emission.3)     50 percent of internal combustion engines are zero-emission.
4.     50 percent of all new buildings and major renovations will be constructed as Zero Net Energy.4)     100 percent of all new buildings and major renovations will be constructed as Zero Net Energy.
5.     50 percent of all new buildings and major renovations will achieve at least a LEED “Silver” or equivalent rating.5)     100 percent of all new buildings and major renovations will achieve at least a LEED “Silver” or equivalent rating.
6.     Increase procurement of sustainable products and services by 20 percent compared to current levels.6)     Increase procurement of sustainable products and services by 25 percent compared to 2020 levels.
7.     Reduce municipal solid waste by 25 percent compared to current levels7)     Reduce municipal solid waste by 50 percent compared to 2020 levels.
8.     Implement actions from 2014 Forest and Fire Management Plan to improve campus forest carbon sequestration8)     Develop new 10-year Forest and Fire Management Plan to improve campus forest carbon sequestration.

LEED = Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

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