California Air Resources Board Releases California Smoke Spotter 2.0

California Air Resources Board Releases California Smoke Spotter 2.0


The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has released a major update to its California Smoke Spotter mobile app to help users protect themselves from smoke during wildfire season. New features of the app include wildfire information and alerts, a 24-hour wildfire smoke forecast, and Air Quality Index (AQI) data from PurpleAir sensors to provide users with real-time smoke conditions (in addition to AQI data from permanent and temporary air monitors).

California Smoke Spotter 2.0 still contains its original features including prescribed fire details, alerts and smoke forecasts, as well as information on how users can protect themselves from smoke. It’s available to download on the App Store and Google Play.

This achievement contributes to the Task Force’s broader goal of strengthening the protection of communities, and more specific aim to reduce the health impacts of smoke.

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Aerial view of residential modern subdivision

OPR Releases Wildfire Technical Advisory and WUI Planning Guide

Aerial view of residential modern subdivision

OPR Releases new resources:  Fire Hazard Planning Technical Advisory and WUI Planning Guide


In an important step forward on two key requirements in the Task Force Action plan, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) today published new resources to support local agencies and communities as they plan for wildfire at the community scale. 

The first is OPR’s updated Fire Hazard Planning Technical Advisory (TA) which helps cities and counties address and reduce wildfire risk in their general plans. They also released the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Planning Guide. This publication complements the TA by providing specific examples and best practice case studies to communities to reference as they plan and implement wildfire solutions.

OPR is an important Task Force partner, and these valuable publications will contribute to the Task Force’s goal of strengthening the protection of communities across California

To learn more, read the OPR announcement and sign up for an informational webinar on September 14th, 2022.

Read the Report

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OPR Wildfire Planning Resources

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Informational Webinar: OPR’s Wildfire Guidance & Resources

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Looking down on pine trees

Grant Guidelines Released for the 2022 Regional Forest & Fire Capacity Program

Looking down on pine trees

Grant Guidelines released for the 2022 Regional Forest & Fire Capacity Program


RFFC grants support regional leadership to build local capacity and fund projects that create fire-adapted communities and landscapes by providing ecosystem health, community wildfire preparedness, and fire resilience. The grants funded with these Guidelines utilize the $110 million of General Fund monies appropriated to the DOC for the RFFC Program.

Grant Guidelines

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Regional Forest & Fire Capacity Program

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bring forest

Administration Announces $1 Billion in Community Wildfire Defense Grants

bring forest

Biden-Harris Administration Announces $1 Billion in Community Wildfire Defense Grants from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law


On July 26, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack launched a new $1 billion Community Wildfire Defense Grant Program. Under this new, five-year, competitive program funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law individual grants of up to $250,000 will be awarded to create and update community wildfire protection plans or conduct outreach and education, and grants of up to $10 million will be awarded for associated infrastructure and resilience projects. Applications will be available soon. Local and Tribal governments are encouraged to conduct planning exercises to assist their communities with wildfire preparedness, response and adaptation efforts.

Read the Press Release

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Community Wildfire Defense Grant Program

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burn near home

California Forest Improvement Program: Creek Fire Success Story

California Forest Improvement Program: Creek Fire Success Story


In 2020, the Creek Fire burned 379,895 acres and destroyed 858 structures. At Rock Haven, near Shaver Lake in Fresno County, 17 homes and 160 acres survived because property owners utilized the California Forest Improvement Program (CFIP) to manage their forestland.  CFIP helps eligible private forest landowners with technical and financial assistance for planning, reforestation and resource management investments that improve the quality and value of forestland.  Landowners can use CFIP for creating management plans, Registered Professional Forester (RPF) supervision, site preparation, tree planting, thinning, pruning, follow-up, release, and improvement of forest habitats.

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California Forest Improvement Program

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fire planning

Guide to Planning and Permitting Forest Fuel-Reduction Projects on CA Private Lands

fire planning

New Guide Released On Planning and Permitting Forest Fuel-Reduction Projects on CA Private Lands


With funding support from the North Coast Resource Partnership and the California Fire Science Consortium, this publication presents some key considerations and insights into selecting the appropriate permit to facilitate fuel-reduction projects on private lands—and offers insights into permitting larger fuel projects that involve multiple owners or multiple funding sources. The publication is organized around projects that take place before or after wildfires. It is intended for foresters, private owners of both small and large parcels of land, natural-resource professionals, and project developers. The publication includes decision trees to help landowners and resource managers crosswalk projects to permits.

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CA Family Forest

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Photo of burned forest

Meet the Scientists Working To Save Fire-Ravaged Giant Sequoias

Photo of burned forest

Meet the Scientists Working to Save Fire Ravaged Giant Sequoias


April 30, 2022 – A collection of scientist, foresters and land managers is trying to rebuild the ancient sequoia stands lost in California’s historic wildfires and ensure survival of the hallowed giants. The San Francisco Chronicle profiled them in a fascinating column.

Read The Article:

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CAL FIRE Reforestation
Services Program

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National Park Service
Giant Reforestation
Overview

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photo of woman tending to a garden

CNRA Finalizes Key Strategies For Advancing Biodiversity To Address Climate Change

photo of woman tending to a garden

CNRA Finalizes Key Strategies For Advancing Biodiversity To Address Climate Change


April 22, 2022 – Today in conjunction with Earth Day, the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) released two documents: 

  1. The final Natural and Working Lands Climate Smart Strategy to advance California’s commitment to building an equitable, resilient, and carbon-neutral future through climate-focused land management.   
  2. The final Pathways to 30×30: Accelerating Conservation of California’s Nature strategy to support the state’s pledge to conserve 30 percent of California’s lands and coastal waters by 2030 (30×30) to protect biodiversity, advance equitable access to nature and address climate change.   

These forward-thinking strategies respond to Governor Newsom’s October 2020, Nature-Based Solutions Executive Order N-82-20, advancing biodiversity conservation as an administration priority and elevating the role of nature in the fight against climate change. As part of this Executive Order, California committed to the goal of conserving 30 percent of our lands and coastal waters by 2030 (30×30).   

The two strategies were shaped by months of public engagement. More than 4,100 Californians engaged with the state to provide input through more than a dozen public meetings, regionally based workshops, expert topical panels on key concepts, such as equity and science, and comments on draft strategies. 

Natural and Working Lands Climate Smart Strategy  

The Natural and Working Lands (NWL) Climate Smart Strategy establishes California’s approach to delivering on our climate change goals through action in the natural and working lands sector. These lands cover 90 percent of California’s 105 million acres.   

Healthy landscapes can sequester and store carbon, limit future greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, protect people and nature from the impacts of climate change, and build resilience to future impacts of climate change. Unhealthy landscapes have the opposite effect — they release more greenhouse gases than they store, worsen climate risks to people and nature, and are more vulnerable to future climate change impacts. 

Climate smart management of natural and working lands can also deliver on other critical priorities for California, such as improving public health and safety, securing food and water supplies, and increasing equity. 

The NWL Climate Smart Strategy defines eight landscape types that California will better manage for climate action, including forests, farms, communities, and wetlands. It highlights priority nature-based climate solutions to address the climate crisis and describes how these solutions can advance California’s broader environmental, economic, and social objectives. The NWL Climate Smart Strategyalso sets priorities for areas of near-term state focus and underscores the essential role of partnerships for successful climate action in this sector.   

30×30  

The state’s 30×30 initiative is part of an international movement of over 90 countries to protect nature across the planet. Pathways to 30×30 will drive action on biodiversity, access, and climate across California and complements the state’s NWL Climate Smart Strategy and the California Outdoors for All Initiative.

Pathways to 30×30 aims to accelerate the conservation of California’s lands and coastal waters through voluntary, collaborative action with federal and local governments, Native American Tribes, and private landowners. It is a visionary, science-based set of strategies for conservation that contains practical, easily applicable, and accessible steps to achieve the goals outlined in EO N-82-20.   

The state estimates that 24 percent of California’s lands and 16 percent of our coastal waters are already conserved. To conserve an additional 6 million acres of land and an additional 500,000 acres of coastal waters by 2030, Pathways to 30×30 includes the following 10 Pathways:   

  1. Accelerate Regionally Led Conservation 
  2. Execute Strategic Land Acquisitions  
  3. Increase Voluntary Conservation Easements 
  4. Enhance Conservation of Existing Public Lands and Coastal Waters 
  5. Institutionalize Advance Mitigation 
  6. Expand and Accelerate Environmental Restoration and Stewardship 
  7. Strengthen Coordination Among Governments 
  8. Align Investments to Maximize Conservation Benefits 
  9. Advance and Promote Complementary Conservation Measures 
  10. Evaluate Conservation Outcomes and Adaptively Manage 

CNRA is responsible for overseeing the implementation of Pathways to 30×30, driving near-term strategic actions to advance progress, leveraging public funding, establishing the 30×30 Partnership, and maintaining californianature.ca.gov to inform, empower, and engage conservation champions across the state.  

In conjunction with today’s announcement, CNRA also recently released a fully functional version of CA Nature, a publicly accessible suite of interactive mapping and visualization tools. CA Nature compiles statewide biodiversity, access, climate, and conservation information in one place to advance 30×30. This geographic information system (GIS) will support the implementation of 30×30 efforts at the state, regional and local levels. The website will be regularly updated to track and show progress toward meeting the goals outlined in EO 82-N-20.    

This year’s Earth Day theme is Invest in Our Planet. Join California in leading the way toward an equitable, resilient, and carbon-free future!  

Spanish translation for both strategies will be available soon.  


Photo of man collecting pine cones

How is California Saving its Forests?


Can California Forests Be Saved?

April 20, 2022 – KQED, the public TV station in Northern California, produced this excellent video called, appropriately enough, Reforestation. The 9:00 minute long video explains the scientific process that geneticists are using to replant our state’s burnt forests. You’ll see the climbers who collect conifer cones in dizzying footage that shows the lofty efforts that are being made to rejuvenate California’s forests by authorities like CAL FIRE and U.S. Forest Service.

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