Southern California Regional Meeting

REGISTER early to reserve your seat at the next meeting of the California Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force, April 4 at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido, CA.

Hosted by the RCD of Greater San Diego County and the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, the agenda and activities on April 4 will focus on landscapes and land management issues unique to Southern California. Agenda topics will include cultural burning, utilities & infrastructure, and regional planning & optimization. 

On April 5, Task Force Partners will host a variety of field tours offering immersive opportunities to better understand the critical landscape health and wildfire resilience work being done in the Greater San Diego region. 

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. Last day to register is March 27.

April 4 & 5, 2024
San Diego Zoo
Safari Park
Escondido, CA



Resource Fair
8:30 – 10:00 a.m.

Morning Session
10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

12:45 – 2 p.m.

Afternoon Session
2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Free time to enjoy the Safari Park
4:30 p.m. –  7 p.m.

field tours


Saving San Diego’s Last Mixed Conifer Forest

Destination: Join the Palomar Collaborative, a group of five federal, state, tribal, and private property owners and managers to learn how the Collaborative is utilizing CAL FIRE Forest Health funds to save San Diego’s last mixed conifer forest through a combination of mechanical thinning, pile burning, and mastication.

Tour Host: RCD of Greater San Diego County

Location: Palomar Observatory

Start/End Time: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Accessibility: Some walking on dirt roads, uneven surfaces

Notes: Carpool encouraged, bring snacks/lunch, layered clothing 

Register Now

Applying Traditional Ecological Knowledge to Forest Health

Destination: This dyanamic tour will feature field presentations on site history, a cultural burn site and a Lumbercycle demonstration. There will also be a discussion on Traditional Ecological Knowledge, funding and collaboration, burning on trust land, and the impact of goldspotted oak borer tree mortality in the area.

Tour Host: La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians

Location: VIEW

Start/End Time: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Accessibility: Driving on dirt road (prius accessible), minimal seating available, tour will be given on mostly flat, dirt terrain

Notes: Field clothing, hat, sunscreen, bug spray, recommended. If available bring mask, eye protection, preferred hearing protection, PPE will be provided as needed for lumbercycle demo. Carpool recommended. Bring snacks.

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Fire History and Frequent Fires in the Cedar Creek Falls Trail Region

Destination: Join CAL FIRE and USFS in the San Diego Country Estates / Cedar Creek Falls Trail to learn what they are doing to defend a WUI community and surrounding ecosystem from frequent fire.


Location: Inaja Trailhead

Start/End Time: 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Accessibility: 1 mile roundtrip hike on uneven terrain

Notes: Carpools encouraged. Please bring lunch, water, hat, and sunscreen. No bathrooms along trail. Limited shade / cover. Please wear appropriate footwear for hiking.

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Powerlines, Roadsides, and Flashy Fuels

Destination: First, learn about the fire hardening and undergrounding work that has already been completed by San Diego Gas & Electric, along with their future risk reduction plans. Then, visit an ignition reduction demonstration site on a fuelbreak on the Cleveland National Forest (NF) designed by UC Santa Barbara and funded by the San Diego River Conservancy. You’ll see the results of herbicide use to control invasive flashy fuels followed by seeding of less ignitable native plants. Finish with a firsthand look at a BurnBot in action, the first use in Southern California and a critical test of its capability to eliminate the invasive seedbank in addition to the above-ground fuels. This collaboration was funded by the National Forest Foundation as part of the Southern California Ignition Reduction Program (SCIRP) conservation finance effort. It will also lay black line for broadcast burning of a unit on the Cleveland NF. Along the way, learn how SCIRP involves collaboration among many partners, especially CalTrans, from the Mexican border to Monterey.

Tour Host: USFS

Location:  VIEW

Start/End Time: 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Accessibility: short walks on uneven terrain

Notes: Carpools encouraged. Closed toed shoes required. Option to bring your own lunch and eat onsite.

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Postfire Restoration at Cuyamaca State Park and Prescribed Fire on Mt. Laguna

Destination: Join the California State Parks and the US Forest Service to examine first hand what CA State Parks are doing to reforest Cuyamaca Rancho SP following wildfire, and join a discussion on management approaches and the Montane Strategy at Mt Laguna. This field trip visits the location where the 2003 Cedar Fire converted 10,000 acres of montane forest to shrubland. We will highlight State Parks’ major postfire reforestation effort and the Cleveland National Forest’s forest health program for reintroducing maintenance fire into the Laguna Mountains. Stops will include locations on both Cuyamaca State Park (Hwy 79) and the Cleveland National Forest (Sunrise Hwy). 

Tour Host: CA State Parks/USFS

Location: Cuyamaca State Park, Paso Picacho

Start/End Time: 8:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Accessibility: Sites will be on or adjacent to roadways, and hiking will be very limited. 

Notes: Carpools encouraged. Lunch is not provided and the tour will not end before 1:30; please bring a lunch, snacks, and water. Sturdy shoes, hat and a warm layer are recommended. 

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Wildfire Grazing: Rancho Jamul Reserve

Description: Join conservation experts in the Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve to learn how local ranchers, land managers, and the environmental community are utilizing a prescribed grazing plan managing livestock on a commercial cattle ranch with a goal of improving wildfire resilience, and promoting soil health and carbon storage, while achieving many other aligned environmental co-benefits.

Tour Host: CDFW

Location: VIEW

Start/End Time: 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Accessibility: Walking approx 1 mile on relatively flat terrain. 

Notes: Carpools encouraged. Closed toed shoes required. Option to bring your own lunch and eat onsite. Binoculars encouraged.

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Impacts from the Witch Creek Fire to the Bernardo Fire to Now

Destination: Join this out-and-back hike along the “River of Fire” and learn how San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy is managing invasive species and fire risk in a Southern California riparian ecosystem that has been impacted by previous wildfires.

Tour Host: San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy

Location: VIEW

Start/End Time: 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Accessibility: Recommended for experienced hikers – 2.8 miles out and back (5.6 miles total). 

Notes: Carpools encouraged. Please bring lunch, water, hat and sunscreen. No bathrooms along trail. Limited shade / cover. Please wear appropriate footwear for hiking. 

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Unique Approaches to Resource Management and Emergency Response on the International Border

Destination: Spend the day exploring the Otay Mountain Wilderness Area which sits directly on the busy International Border, with stops that include the International Fuel Break. There will be discussions about partnerships with Mexico, unique species to the area, and border response challenges. The tour will offer views of the border wall, Tijuana, downtown San Diego, and the Pacific Ocean. Participants will learn about unique approaches being applied for resource management and emergency response in a border area.

Tour Host: CAL FIRE

Location: VIEW

Start/End Time: 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM

Accessibility: Optional short hike to viewpoint. Short walks on flat terrain.

Notes: We will meet at County Fire Station 38 (850 Alta Road, San Diego, CA 92154). We will be utilizing 2 CAL FIRE vans for attendee transportation. While there is no security threat, participants will see migrants on the roadway up to the tour stops. No lunch provided. Restaurant options available.

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Guided Tour of Resource Management and Wildfire Mitigation Programs at the Safari Park

Destination: Venture into the Safari Park’s expansive wildlife habitats on the back of a covered, open-air safari truck, with an expert guide to get an up-close view of a variety of wildlife with a special opportunity to learn about the BioReserve. Visit San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s new Heli-Hydrant Dip Tank, and gain an understanding of SDZWA’s multi-faceted wildfire mitigation program that supports wildlife on grounds, including in our large, multi-species habitats.

Location: San Diego Zoo Safari Park Parking Lot. Meet at the Log Ring. 

Start/End Time: 10 AM – 12 PM

Accessibility: Ability to climb steps into truck

Notes: Closed toe shoes required. Casual attire (layers recommended).

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CAL FIRE’s Urban and Community Forestry Program in Action

Destination: A unique opportunity to go behind the scenes and see an example of the partnership between CAL FIRE and private industry. Participate in a tour of the Taylor Guitars Factory led by founder Bob Taylor. The tour will focus on the process of building Taylor Guitars and Taylor’s Urban Wood Initiative. Tour will end with a Q & A session, an opportunity to play a selection of guitars, and a visit to the gift shop.

Location: VIEW

Start/End Time: 1:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Accessibility: Parking available at factory. Tour will consist of indoor walking. Government issued ID (e.g. driver’s license) is required to participate in tour.

Notes: Lunch will not be provided. Wear comfortable walking shoes.

Register Now

hotel information

Spring Hill Suites By Marriott:

200 La Terrazza Blvd,
Escondido, CA 92025


Comfort Inn Escondido:
1290 W. Valley Parkway,
Escondido, CA 92029


Holiday Inn Express

1250 West Valley Parkway,
Escondido, CA 92029


Building in Calabasas

Sonesta ES Suites: 

11855 Avenue of Industry
San Diego, CA 92128


Questions? Please contact

Thank You to our Hosts

Thank You to our Sponsors

Forest Service Department of Agriculture Logo

The Climate Science Alliance is offering a limited number of travel stipends for Tribal partners. Contact Althea Walker, Director of Community Resilience, at