CDFW Wildfire Resiliency Initiative

Department: Department of Fish and Wildlife

Program Description: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Wildfire Resiliency Initiative has increased the pace and scale of vegetation management and fire-adapted native plant restoration activities to promote resiliency on CDFW lands. Projects are aligned with the implementation framework known as Maintenance, Adaptive management, Restoration, Capacity or MARC. Actions include new and ongoing fuel reduction projects, native species revegetation, facility protection and preparedness, increased collaborations with Tribes and partners, and advancing workforce development. Monitoring efforts have begun to ensure best use practices are being applied within an adaptive management process.

Program Impact:

CDFW has initiated more than 70 fuel reduction and restoration projects on at-risk land across the state, many of which provide protection to Disadvantaged Communities. To date, fuel reduction has occurred on more than 84,000 acres, more than 32,000 yards of fencing has been installed to support future grazing, and 4,000 acres of previously burned habitat has been reseeded with native plant species.

Resilience in Action: Examples of the types of projects and activities CDFW is undertaking as part of the Wildfire Resiliency Initiative include:

  • Reducing the buildup of dry, flashy fuels through grazing. More than 26,000 combined acres have been actively grazed at the North Carrizo Ecological Reserve, Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area and Butte Valley Wildlife Area, Santa Rosa Plain Vernal Pool Ecological Reserve, Calhoun Cut Ecological Reserve, and Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve.
  • Removing excess vegetation around the perimeters of Pilgrim Creek Ecological Reserve’s 121-acres of riparian and coastal sage scrub. This protects the site and adjacent properties, including Camp Pendleton and residential developments.
  • At the Slinkard/Little Antelope Wildlife Area in Mono county, 3,572 previously burned acres have beenseeded with native bitterbrush, sagebrush, perennial grasses, and forbs (>12,000 lbs. of seed) in partnership with California Deer.
  • At Pine Hill Ecological Reserve, 7 acres of dense shrubs have been cleared along the property boundary, which borders a residential area (see video).
  • At Butte Creek House Ecological Reserve, previously burned by the Dixie Fire, CDFW was able to quickly construct beaver analog dams to slow the flow of water and perform contour falling to reduce erosion (see video).
  • At Daugherty Hill Wildlife Area, 165.5 acres of fuel breaks were cleared with another 273.8 acres planned for 2023.
  • At Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve, 1,780 acres of fuel breaks, invasive species removal and native species revegetation were completed at Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve.
  • Near the Darrah Springs, Crystal Lake and Mount Shasta Hatcheries, 20 acres of defensible space was created to provide protection from catastrophic wildfire.
  • At Cosumnes River Preserve (CRP) 450 acres of riparian forest has been thinned of decadent vegetation using hand crews, mechanical equipment, and where appropriate, prescribed herbivory, creating a more natural mosaic of vegetation, and reducing the risk of fire carrying through the riparian area. This project is being coordinated with other stakeholders in the CRP, increasing the impact of wildfire funds being spent.
  • At Elkhorn Slough Ecological Reserve approximately 16 acres of eucalyptus trees have been removed from high ignition risk areas, including along roadways and near structures.
  • At Mendota Wildlife Area 2,206 acres of fuel treatments were completed. Treatments included mowing access roads, creating, and maintaining fire breaks, and tree trimming.
  • At Los Banos and North Grasslands Wildlife Areas, 4,260 acres of fuel reduction activities has taken place. Treatment activities have included: mowing access roads, discing firebreaks, treating invasive species, and clearing vegetation around powerlines, and perimeter roads. In addition to fuel reduction work, 2 acres of pollinator friendly native species were established.
  • At the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, 150 tamarisk trees were removed .
  • At the Hallelujah Junction Wildfire Area, 3,000 acres burned by the North Fire in 2020 are being restored. 1,600 bitterbrush plants were installed in different treatments to evaluate the best method for reintroducing native plants to the burned area. Sagebrush seeding is taking place across the burned acreage as well. The reintroduction of native shrub species will help to slow the proliferation of invasive grass species and help promote a longer fire return interval on the landscape.
  • In addition to localized actions, CDFW has initiated several state-level contracts that support Regional projects including boundary surveys, CCC work crews, and cultural resources surveys.
Tractor Going over Green Grass
1: Fire Break along Roadway in CDFW Region 6


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