April 4, 2024

A full-capacity audience of over 300 people came together at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido (with over 200 joining online) for the Governor’s Wildfire & Forest Resilience Task Force’s Southern California regional meeting. Hosted by the Resource Conservation District of Greater San Diego County and the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, the agenda and activities focused on landscapes and land management issues unique to Southern California, including cultural burning, utilities & infrastructure, and regional planning and implementation.

If you couldn’t make it in person, or missed the real-time webinar, video recordings are available below.


  • Director’s Report: Director Wright provided an update on recent accomplishments and investments in Southern California, progress being made on Task Force key actions and products as well as an overview of the process to update the Task Force Action Plan.
  • Southern California’s Unique Landscapes & Challenges: University researchers discussed threats to the incredibly biodiverse region and management techniques needed to build ecological resilience in the densely populated, shrubland dominated region. Additionally, an update on Regional Resource Kits and how they can be utilized in the region was provided.
  • Regional Leadership Panel: Regional leaders shared local project highlights and showcased their efforts to develop landscape-scale projects and align federal, state, and regional plans, priorities, and investments.
  • Cultural Fire & Indigenous Stewardship: A panel of cultural practitioners and resource managers discussed obstacles and barriers facing cultural burners, including difficulties in obtaining burn permits, threats to tribal sovereignty, and the continued struggles of California tribes to overcome structural racism in order to maintain traditions and steward ancestral lands.
  • The Role of Utilities & Infrastructure in Wildfire Resilience: A panel of energy, water, and transportation agency representatives discussed new and emerging strategies to address wildfire impacts to infrastructure as well as the role utilities play in reducing ignitions.
View Full AgendaCAL-SPAN VIDEO

Welcome & Opening Remarks

• Lisa Peterson, San Diego Zoo Safari Park

• Stephen W. Cope, San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians

• Jennifer Eberlien, USDA Forest Service

• Task Force Executive Committee

• Joel Anderson, San Diego County Supervisor

Director's Report

• Patrick Wright, Task Force

Southern CA's Unique Landscapes & Challenges

• Megan Jennings, San Diego State University

• John Battles, University of California, Berkeley

Regional Leadership Panel

• Moderator: Kathy Peterson

• Susie Kirschner, Inland Empire Resource Conservation District

• Scott Tangenberg, Cleveland National Forest

• Heather Marlow, Greater SD County Resource Conservation District

• Sal Reyes, San Bernardino National Forest

• Eric Just, CAL FIRE

Trailer Screening: MAATHAAW: The Fire Within Us

•Learn more and donate at:

Cultural Fire & Indigenous Stewardship

• Moderator: Will Madrigal Jr., Climate Science Alliance

• Wesley Ruise Jr., La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians

• Marlene’ Dusek, Climate Science Alliance

• Kevin Soland, KRS Environmental Consulting

• Emily Burgueno, Kumeyaay Diegueno Land Conservency

• Travis Armstrong, CAL FIRE

• Joel Arellano, Climate Science Alliance

The Role of Utilities & Infrastructure in Wildfire Resilience

• Moderator: Phil Saksa, Blue Forest

• Caroline Thomas Jacobs, Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety

• Thom Porter, San Diego Gas and Electric

• David Guzman, Southern California Edison

• Greg Woodside, San Bernardino Municipal Water District

• Lisa Worthington, Caltrans

Closing Remarks

• Task Force Co-Chairs