USDA Forest Service Announces Major Investments To Reduce CA Wildfire Risk

USDA Forest Service Announces Major Investments To Reduce CA Wildfire Risk


New funds offer “big shot in the arm” for Task Force efforts.

In an expanded effort to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire through the Forest Service’s Wildfire Crisis Strategy, USDA Forest Service announced an investment of more than $490 million to protect communities, critical infrastructure, and forest resources across the western U.S.

Made possible through President Biden’s landmark Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the funds will directly protect vulnerable landscapes in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Combined with initial landscape investments, the additional efforts announced today represent a total USDA investment of $930 million across 45 million acres, mitigating risk to approximately 200 communities.

Here in California, the funds will go towards a wide range of vital projects that fall under the Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force Action Plan, with particular focus on historically underserved communities and tribes.

This funding is a big shot in the arm. Combined with billions in state funding from Governor Newsom and our Legislature, this federal investment will translate into projects that protect our communities and restore the health of our natural landscapes. While catastrophic wildfire remains, threats remain high across the West, we’re making good progress with our federal partners here in California building resilience to wildfire.”

 – Wade Crowfoot, California Natural Resources Secretary

The following California landscapes were selected for increased funding:

  1. Southern California Fireshed Risk Reduction Strategy (4M acres): The immense values at risk in southern California and the collaborative solutions underway for vegetation management represent investment opportunities to avoid staggering social, economic, and ecological costs.
  2. Trinity Forest Health and Fire Resilient Rural Communities (910K acres): California’s northern forests are naturally adapted to low-intensity fire. The health and well-being of California communities and ecosystems depend on urgent and effective forest and rangeland stewardship to restore resilient and diverse ecosystems. Numerous roads through the area serve as critical ingress/egress routes for local communities.
  3. Klamath River Basin (OR + CA – 10M acres) The Forest Service manages about 55 percent of the 10-million-acre Klamath Basin. These lands generate 80 percent of the mean annual surface water supply to the Klamath River. The area provides important habitat for fish listed under the Endangered Species Act.
  4. Plumas Community Protection (285K acres): The Plumas Community Protection Projects Landscape focuses on community zones across the Plumas National Forest with very high, high, or moderate wildfire hazard potential.
  5. Sierra and Elko Fronts (Nevada, California – 3.4M acres): This Intermountain Region project totals 3.4 million acres and encompasses landscapes in two states. These two projects together demonstrate the comprehensive landscape treatment goal of USDA’s Wildfire Crisis Strategy.

“Restoring natural forest health and diversity with thoughtful, science-based fuels treatments is critical for the future of California communities and natural resources. With our partners, we are dramatically increasing the scope and pace of fuels reduction projects in landscapes across the state.”

– Kara Chadwick, Deputy Regional Forester with the Pacific Southwest Region

This announcement comes on the anniversary of the launch of the Forest Service’s Wildfire Crisis Strategy, which combines an historic investment from congressional funding with years of scientific research and planning into a national effort that will dramatically increase the scale of forest health treatments.


CAL FIRE Announces New Grants Available For Multiple Initiatives

CAL FIRE Announces New Grants Available For Multiple Initiatives


Funding is now available for a wide range of critical needs, from forest health and post-fire reforestation to workforce development and green school yards.

WILDFIRE PREVENTION GRANTS PROGRAM: Up to $120 million for projects focused on protecting people, structures, and communities.

FOREST HEALTH GRANT PROGRAM: Up to $120 million for landscape scale forest restoration and resilience projects.

POST FIRE REFORESTATION AND REGENERATION: Up to $50 million for reforestation treatments.

BUSINESS AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT: Up to $7.5 million for wood products and up to $5 million for biomass transportation subsidy projects.

GREEN SCHOOL YARDS: Up to $117 million to improve tree canopy cover on California K-12 public school campuses and nonprofit childcare facilities.

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Unique Coalition Unites to Restore California's Giant Sequoias

Unique Coalition Unites to Restore California's Giant Sequoias


Giant Sequoia Land Coalition Brings Together Government Agencies, Tribes and Environmental Groups To Save Iconic Trees

California has lost nearly a fifth of its population of giant sequoias to wildfires over the past few years, according to a 2021 report. 

Over the past year, however, the Giant Sequoia Lands Coalition has treated more than 15,000 acres of forest land in and around the groves. By sharing their knowledge and working to better treat forest areas where groves of giant sequoias can be found, the group is working to make these titans more resilient to future massive wildfires. 

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How Wildfires are Transforming California’s Most Iconic Landscapes

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Governor Reflects on a Year of Progress and Resilience

Governor Reflects on a Year of Progress and Resilience


In November, Governor Newsom and state and local officials announced an end to peak wildfire season in California. CAL FIRE Director, Joe Tyler, highlighted favorable weather conditions, strategic investments in firefighting equipment, aerial resources, and fuels reduction and forest management projects, coupled with the hard work of firefighters and the diligence of of local communities resulted in an 85% reduction in acres burned and a 78% reduction in structures destroyed from 2021. 

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Interview with CAL FIRE Director Tyler

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Shasta College HELO program

CAL FIRE Funding $14M In Workforce and Business Development Projects

Shasta College HELO program

CAL FIRE Funding $14M In Workforce and Business Development Projects


Focused on increasing California’s capacity to establish healthy, resilient forests through workforce and business development, the Wood Products and Bioenergy Team at CAL FIRE awarded $14 million in new grant agreements. The 10 new awards will go to non-profits, family businesses, wood products manufacturing facilities and local governments that are building the infrastructure and capacity to sustainably manage California’s forests as outlined in California’s Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan.

In addition to grants to non-profits, family businesses, and county and local governments, a $3 million grant will allow Sierra Pacific Industries to begin immediate construction on a new nursery that will be capable of producing 25 million seedlings per year.

CAL FIRE PRESS RELEASECAL FIRE/ SIERRA PACIFIC INDUSTRIES JOINT PRESS RELEASE

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CAL FIRE: Wood Products & Bioenergy

Project Updates

USFS Updates

USFS Updates


Two important updates were released from the USFS in November. One from the Pacific Southwest Regional Office about reducing threat to homes in wildland urban interfaces and another from the Tahoe National Forest that addresses forest thinning along the North Yuba River Watershed. 

Growing Wildland Communities and Reducing Wildfire ThreatProtecting the North Yuba landscape with thousands of forest acres thinned and restored in California

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Synthesis Report: Wildfire Crisis Strategy Roundtable

Synthesis Report: Wildfire Crisis Strategy Roundtable


In spring of 2022, the National Forest Foundation (NFF), together with the USFS, hosted a series of virtual ten roundtables for employees and partners of the agency to gather input on the USFS’s Confronting the Wildfire Crisis Strategy and associated Implementation Plan.  NFF has published a report synthesizing key themes and opportunities for action that emerged from the roundtables.

The NFF will host a webinar on Monday, November 14, 2-3:30 p.m. EST, to share more information about the report, discuss next steps, and provide an opportunity for Q&A with Forest Service leadership.

Read the Report

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National Forest Foundation Roundtables

Opportunities for Action and CollaborationRegister for the Webinar

The 2021 Caldor Fire: One Year Later Video Series

The 2021 Caldor Fire: One Year Later Video Series


October 21, 2022, marks exactly one year since the Caldor Fire was completely contained.

Over the last year and with months of research and collaboration, the Eldorado National Forest released a four-part series examining the Caldor Fire. This series reviews the suppression efforts that took place, the fire behavior challenging firefighters, the road to rehabilitation and restoration, and what is being done now to lower the future risk of fire to communities.

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Episode 1: Initial response and experiences of firefighters who not only worked but also lived in the area

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Episode 2: How fire behavior and fuel conditions made for a challenging fire fight

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Episode 3: What restoration and rehabilitation work has occurred and its importance

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Episode 4: What is being done to reduce extreme wildfire behavior

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LiDAR Data Collection for Northern California and Sierra Nevada

LiDAR Data Collection for Northern California and Sierra Nevada


The California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA), in partnership with the US Geologic Survey’s 3DEP Program and other entities, have now collected nearly 31.5 million acres of LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) covering large swaths of Northern California and the Sierra Nevada. These data fill substantial gaps in LiDAR coverage to improve the state’s ability to manage natural resources and protect public safety, directly enhancing our knowledge of forests and landforms in some of the most rugged and fire prone portions of the state. The $3.9M investment by CNRA is a portion of the funding for LiDAR and other remote sensing data that has been made available from funding allocated by the California Legislature (Budget Bill 21/21) .

Learn More About the 3D Elevation Program

CNRA Announces Tool to Improve Wildfire Resilience with Support from Google.org

CNRA announces tool to Improve Wildfire Resilience with Support from Google.org


The CNRA and the USDA FOREST SERVICE, along with support from Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm, has developed Planscape – a new wildfire resilience planning tool that uses state and federal resilience data to create user-friendly models that will be easily accessible to land planners. A demonstration of Planscape was released at the California Wildfire & Forest Resilience Task Force meeting on September 27th, 2022. The new, open-source tool will permit everyone to evaluate fire risks and remedies.

Read the News Release

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