Project Implementation in High Risk Regions – Rivers and Mountains

Department: San Gabriel and Lower LA Rivers and Mountains Conservancy

Program Description: The Rivers and Mountains Conservancy’s (RMC) Wildfire Prevention Grant Program serves to increase wildfire resilience and prevention, improve forest health, restore burned areas, and stimulate workforce development within its 1,600 square mile territory. It offers funding to eligible partners through three main categories associated with different geographic, ecological, and community needs:

1) San Gabriel Mountains and Foothills Fire Prevention Planning and Management.

2) Urban Wildlands and Hills Fire Prevention Planning and Management.

3) Forest Health: Fire Recovery, Response, Restoration, Education and Stewardship.

Priority areas under the program include invasive species management and native habitat revegetation, fuel load maintenance, fire prevention planning, defensible space improvement, and public stewardship building aimed at creating educated and fire-resilient communities.

Program Impact: In its first year and a half of operation, the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy’s Wildfire Prevention Grant Program has awarded more than $12 million in grants to partner agencies conducting wildfire resilience activities in the Los Angeles region—encumbering the entirety of RMC’s Early Action Budget funds. In summer 2022, the RMC entered into a $2.6 million Collection Agreement with the USDA Forest Service to fund the implementation of more than 1,400 acres of hazardous fuels reduction and invasive weed removal in the Angeles National Forest.

Resilience in Action: The RMC’s funding partnership with the National Forest Foundation (NFF) and the Angeles National Forest (ANF) was highlighted as a field tour at the February 2023 Southern California Regional Meeting of the California Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force. RMC’s combined investment with both the NFF and ANF, exceeding $6 million, will treat nearly 2,500 acres of hazardous fuels across the San Gabriel Mountains over the next two years with work starting in late winter 2023.

This trilateral partnership is already serving as a model for future state-federal-private cooperative efforts to tackle wildfire resilience challenges in California, and RMC will continue to lead regional collaboration through its participation as a new grantee of the DOC’s Regional Forest and Fire Capacity (RFFC) Program as of January 30, 2023. In complement to legislative funding, the RFFC Program will allow RMC to develop an equity-centered, spatially-explicit portfolio of implementation-ready wildfire resilience projects across its territory and is already working with partners do identify high-priority targets to elevate for pilot funding. This plan will then be used to channel future state funding to the areas with the greatest need.

Three People Showing Map Above Forest
Figure 34. USDA Forest Service personnel describing progress on fuels treatment areas in the Angeles National Forest outside of Wrightwood, CA on Big Pines Highway under the RMC-NFF “San Gabriel Mountains Landscape Scale Wildfire Resilience Project”.


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