Research and Monitoring Program (FRAP)

Department: CAL FIRE

Program Description: CAL FIRE (FRAP) implements a Research and Monitoring program that supports:

  • Forest Inventory & Analysis (FIA) Program Intensification – re-measurement of California forests in half the normal time (i.e. moving from a 10yr to a 5yr re-measurement cycle)
  • Increased prescribed fire monitoring to better understand effectiveness of expanded use of prescribed fire
  • Collaborative research in wildfire and forest health issues
  • Forest Health Research grants

Program Impact: A network of thousands of forest measurement plots throughout California represent California’s portion of the national Forest Inventory & Analysis program. These plots are typically re-measured every decade for specific ecological indicators, creating a measured dataset that informs the State’s understanding of biodiversity, forest growth rates, carbon storage, and climate risks. Given the speed of climate change and stressors, this funding is enabling CAL FIRE to measure these plots every five years, rather than ten, to ensure decisions are being made on the most current ecological realities. Funding established two FIA Coordinator positions that will expand CAL FIRE’s capacity to implement FIA Intensification and to report on forest health trends.

  • FIA data is a primary dataset informing annual reports to the Board of Forestry, and portions of the California Forest and Rangeland Assessment published every 5-years
  • FIA data is a primary dataset informing the Pacific Coast Region Temperate Forest Carbon Stocks and Flux: 2001-2019, a regional forest carbon assessment of British Columbia, California, Oregon, and Washington (currently in draft)
FIA plot sampling measuring diameter at breast height of a redwood in Del Norte County
Prescribed fire monitoring Big Trees State Park

Funding for prescribed fire monitoring supports multiple and complementary university contracts (UC Davis, Chico State, San Jose State). This allows for increased capacity to conduct monitoring across a variety of vegetation types and provides an opportunity to support a broader diversity of students.

Wildfire resilience investments allowed the Forest Health Research Program to fund roughly a third of the competitive grant proposals submitted. The program received research proposals totaling $22 million in the last grant solicitation, including $1.5 million for three new projects on CAL FIRE Demonstration State Forests.

Resilience in Action: Examples of funded and ongoing monitoring and research studies include: