Hams in California are being urged not to write angry letters to state legislators or other officials in response to a viral internet post claiming that "California declares ham radio no longer a benefit." The post resulted from a letter sent by CalFire, the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, to the owner of a repeater located at one of its tower sites. The letter states that the repeater may no longer be housed there free of charge and, if it is to remain, will be subject to several thousand dollars in fees plus annual rent.
From what we have been able to learn as of press time,
this letter was sent to only one repeater owner whose equipment is located in a
CalFire facility. Authoritative sources in the California emergency
communications community say the letter does not represent a change in policy
or in the state emergency management agency's inclusion of amateur radio in its
communications plans. CQ will
continue to follow this story and bring you more details in upcoming issues.