Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Program
The State Coastal Conservancy’s Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Program (RFFC) is focused on awarding grants to build a pipeline of implementation-ready wildfire resilience projects from Marin to Ventura. Wildfire resilience projects supported in this program include a range of vegetation management strategies that reduce risk of wildfire while also improving ecosystem function, such as forest thinning, prescribed burning, prescribed grazing, re-establishment of native, and creation of shaded fuel breaks.
In September 2021 the Conservancy’s Board adopted new project selection criteria that helps the Conservancy implement Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Guidelines. The update also incorporated criteria related to working with California Native American tribes, meaningful engagement and broad community benefit. In addition to Conservancy’s selection criteria, the following criteria are used specifically for wildfire resilience projects:
- Addresses high wildfire risk area, such as those identified in the CalFire Fire Hazard Severity Zones or the FRAP Priority Landscape Maps
- Implements the California Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan and/or regional/local wildfire resilience planning effort such as a CWPP or RPP
- Addresses a need or regional problem
- Leverages resources through coordination across jurisdictions
Conservancy’s funded projects fall into one of four categories:
- County-level or bi-county Regional Prioritization Planning (RPP)
- Project development
- Capacity Investment
- Demonstration project
The RFFC Central Coast region is a very diverse and includes very different vegetation communities, from coast redwoods in the north to chapparal communities in the south. Undeveloped land in this region is owned and managed by many different entities: state, local and regional park and open space districts as well as large private landowners. The region encompasses different human communities, including the San Francisco Bay Area, the central coast and Santa Barbara and Ventura which are often considered part of southern California.
The Conservancy has strong partnerships with regional and county level stakeholders that know their communities best. The Conservancy’s RPP supports several subregional, landscape-scale prioritization plans, under a common framework. This approach allows the Conservancy to leverage existing collaborations, like the Santa Cruz Mountain Stewardship Network, the One Tam Partnership in our initial RFFC investments and also assist sub regions that are just embarking on their RPP work, such as San Benito, San Luis Obispo and Ventura Counties. The Central Coast RPP will have a place on the SCC website and serve as a hub where all the Central Coast RPPs will be linked and accessible to the public. The Central Coast RPP will point to these subregional plans.
Funding for the Conservancy’s Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Program is provided through a block grant from the Department of Conservation.
Applications for funding through the Coastal Conservancy’s Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Program are being accepted through the rolling pre-application process described here.
For wildfire resilience implementation projects, please visit the Coastal Conservancy’s Wildfire Resilience Program webpage.
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