Wildfire Resilience Program
Catastrophic wildfires are a growing threat to California’s coastal forests. The state of California is developing new programs to prevent out of control wildfires and to increase the capacity of local communities to anticipate, prepare for, and respond to wildfires.
The Coastal Conservancy’s Wildfire Resilience Program supports local partners to develop and implement projects that improve forest health and reduce the risk of catastrophic fire in areas where people are living near wildlands. To date, the Conservancy has provided over $17 million to support forest management and project that reduce fire risk in the areas where the impacts of wildfire pose the highest risks to people.
An over-arching goal of the Wildfire Resilience Program is to build organizational capacity at the local and regional level to implement forest health and fire risk reduction projects. Healthy forests are less likely to burn and projects that increase fire breaks and clear ladder fuels help prevent isolated fires from becoming catastrophic wildfires.
Projects that are eligible for Wildfire Resilience Program funding include:
1) Preparation of Regional Priority Plans that identify and prioritize for forestry, fire protection, and forested watershed improvements projects needed to achieve regional and statewide public safety, climate resiliency, and ecosystem goals.
2) Development of projects and permit applications.
3) Implementation of forest management projects to reduce wildlife impacts.
4) Outreach, education, and training.
The Coastal Conservancy has received funding for its Wildfire Resilience Program from a block grant from the Department of Conservation’s Regional Fire and Forest Health Capacity program, the California Climate Initiative Program (also known as Cap and Trade), Proposition 68, and Proposition 84.
Grant pre-applications are being accepted on a rolling basis. The grant application materials can be found here. A webinar on the grant program was held in December 2021 – a recording can be found here.
To be notified about Wildfire Resilience Program grants, sign up for our mailing list here.
Past and ongoing projects funded by the Wildfire Resilience Program include the suite of projects awarded funding in June 2021, and:
- Martin Griffin Preserve Native Coastal Prairie Restoration Project in Marin county restored and conducted fire reduction actions on 50 acres of the site to restore open, grassland stand structure characteristics of native coastal prairie systems. Vegetation management included removing coyote brush and Douglas fir via targeted slash and burn methods to reduce fuel loads along the ridgetops. This was one of the first projects in the state to proceed under the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection’s new California Vegetation Treatment Program Programmatic EIR.
- Tamalpais Lands Collaborative (“One Tam”) in Marin County will improve vegetation mapping, develop forest management plans and projects, conduct community education and outreach, and implement demonstration projects.
- The Amah Mutsun Land Trust implementing a prescribed burn program on public and private lands in San Mateo, Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties.
- Santa Cruz County Resource Conservation District (through its’ partner RCDs) is working on improved vegetation mapping using GIS, establishing a forest management permit coordination program, as well as forest management plans and projects, demonstration projects and outreach in San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Luis Obispo Counties.
- East Bay Regional Park District and Diablo Fire Safe Council is implementing vegetation management projects in the Eastbay Hills (Alameda and Contra Costa Counties). and will conduct stakeholder coordination, education and outreach,
- Cachuma Resource Conservation District is working in conjunction with the Montecito Fire District and Community Environmental Council to develop fire risk models and conduct community stakeholder engagement, education and outreach in Santa Barbara County.
- Save the Redwoods League’s Redwoods Rising campaign is restoring damaged forests and reducing sedimentation throughout the Greater Mill Creek watershed located in Del Norte Coast. Through tree thinning and road rehabilitation, the proposed project will accelerate the development of old-growth forest conditions and associated biodiversity, reduce catastrophic fire risk, and improve the biological health of one of the most productive coho salmon fisheries in the Pacific Northwest.
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