February 2, 2023

Nearly 350 people gathered at the King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas on February 2 for updates and in-depth panel discussions focused on the unique challenges in balancing the protection of the region’s forests and shrublands with community protection from the increased threat of wildfires. Sponsored and hosted by Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and Mountains and Recreation Conservation Authority, the meeting brought together a wide range of experts and Task Force agency partners.

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


  • Balancing Priorities in A Complex Landscape: A panel of experts discussed Southern California’s unique landscapes, ecosystems and fire dynamics. The Task Force Interagency Science Team then introduced the Southern California Regional Resource Kit to support efficient and effective planning and prioritization.
  • Key Issues & Priorities: A panel of regional leaders highlighted the prime issues they deal with in managing fire and landscape resilience in Southern California. Topics included minimizing ignition reduction, fuelbreaks and forest conservation, workforce development, and structure and infrastructure resilience.
  • Regional Investment Strategy & Next Steps: A highlight of the February 2 meeting was the announcement of a multi-agency, $70 million investment in Southern California to support regional landscape and community protection programs. Regional partners responded to this funding commitment with a pledge to formalize their strategic coordination with the outcome being a process to develop and implement a Southern California-wide pipeline of shovel ready projects.
View Full AgendaCAL-SPAN

Tribal Blessing & Opening Remarks

• Rudy Ortega, Santa Monica Mts. Conservancy

• Alan Salazar, Tribal Elder

Opening Remarks

• Wade Crowfoot, CNRA

• Jennifer Eberlien, USFS

• Task Force Executive Committee

Director’s Report

• Patrick Wright

Balancing Priorities In A Complex Landscape

• Moderator: Steven Ostoja, USDA California Climate Hub

• Nicole Molinari, USFS

• Daniel Berlant, CAL FIRE

• Jon Keeley, USGS

• John Battles, UC Berkeley

A panel of experts discussed Southern California’s unique landscapes, ecosystems and fire dynamics. The Task Force Interagency Science Team introduced new tools for practitioners.

Key Issues & Priorities

• Moderator: Michael O’Connell, Irvine Ranch Conservancy

• Scott Tangenberg, USFS

• Susie Kirschner, Inland Empire RCD

• Stan Hill, RCD of Greater San Diego

• Rorie Skei, Santa Monica Mts. Conservancy

  • Ignition Reduction
  • Structure and Infrastructure Resilience
  • Strategic Fuelbreaks and Forest Conservation
  • Workforce Development

A panel of Southern California regional leaders highlighted key issues and discussed how they are aligning priorities and meeting shared goals.

Regional Investment Strategy & Next Steps

• Moderator: Forest Schafer, Task Force

• Sherry Hazelhurst, USFS

• Matthew Reischman, CAL FIRE

• Keali’i Bright, Dept. of Conservation

• Ann Baldridge, RCD of Greater San Diego

Task Force partners will introduce the Regional Investment Strategy and provide funding updates.

Final Remarks

• Task Force Co-Chairs