Press Release: Coastal Conservancy Receives $4.25 Million for Central Coast Fire Resiliency Projects

Funding from the California Natural Resources Agency and Department of Conservation will improve forest health and increase fire resiliency

 Oakland – Today, the California State Coastal Conservancy has been awarded $4.25 million in a block grant from the California Natural Resources Agency and Department of Conservation for projects that strengthen fire resiliency and improve forest health in central California.  This grant is one of eight, totaling $20 million, awarded to agencies throughout the state to implement the Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Program.

“The Central Coast is home to some of the California’s most pristine coastal forests; it has also been the site of some of the state’s most devastating wildfires. A risk that persists today.” said Sam Schuchat, Executive Officer of the Coastal Conservancy, “It takes years for communities and ecosystems to recover from the damage caused by catastrophic fires. With this funding, we will support projects that increase the health of central California’s forests to make them more resistant to fire and better able to recover from fire’s impacts.”

Funded by Cap-and-Trade revenues through California Climate Investments, the Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Program aims to help communities prioritize, develop, and implement projects to strengthen fire resiliency, increase carbon sequestration, and facilitate greenhouse gas reductions.

The program is one element of the state’s efforts to improve forest health, protect communities from wildfire risk and implement the California Forest Carbon Plan and Executive Order B-52-18. Projects funded through the program will build on priority projects identified by the Forest Management Task Force and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection through Executive Order N-05-19.

“Getting this funding out the door will help local communities develop watershed-level projects that can make a big difference in forest health and fire resiliency,” California Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot said. “With California facing unprecedented wildfire risk, we need every tool available to put the state on a path toward long-term wildfire prevention and forest health.”

The Conservancy will oversee distribution of funding and collaborative planning with local entities including municipal and Tribal governments, nonprofits and community organizations, land trusts, Resource Conservation Districts, residents, private and public forest landowners and managers, businesses, and others to accomplish the program’s objectives in central California.

Block grant recipients were selected based on their history of implementing related projects, demonstrated capacity to work across regional partners, and ability to serve as fiscal administrators for the program.

The block grant recipients by region include:

North Coast:

  • The North Coast Resource Partnership, $4.25 million

Central California:

  • California State Coastal Conservancy, $4.25 million

Southern California:

  • Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, $1.5 million
  • Inland Empire Resource Conservation District, $1.5 million
  • Greater San Diego Resource Conservation District, $1.5 million

Sierra and Klamath-Cascade:

  • Sierra Nevada Conservancy, $2 million
  • Assembly Bill 2551 implementation (awardees to be determined), $2 million

Statewide:

  • Watershed Resource and Training Center in partnership with the California Fire Safe Council, $3 million

The program will be administered by the Department of Conservation on behalf of the California Natural Resources Agency.

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Notes to Editors:

The Coastal Conservancy is a state agency, established in 1976, to protect and improve natural lands and waterways, to help people get to and enjoy the outdoors, and to sustain local economies along California’s coast. The Conservancy is a non-regulatory agency that supports projects to protect coastal resources and increase opportunities for the public to enjoy the coast.

 

Since its founding, the Conservancy has:

  • Funded 2,400 projects along the California coastline and in the San Francisco Bay.
  • Protected 390,000 acres of coastal lands through acquisition of fee title and conservation easements.
  • Restored 33,000 acres of habitat.
  • Built 200 new coastal accessway and 210 miles of new trails.
  • Put $1.3 billion to work for conservation projects, and leveraged far more from federal, local government, and private sources.

 

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