USFS Issues Old Growth Technical and Reforestation Strategy Reports

USFS Issues Old Growth Technical and Reforestation Strategy Reports

USDA Forest Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior have worked together on two reports required under Executive Order 14072 (4/27/2022) that calls for strengthening the nation’s forests, communities, and local economies.

Mature and Old-Growth Forests: Definition, Identification, and Initial Inventory on Lands Managed by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management contains the first national inventory of old-growth and mature forests on these lands.

Reforestation Goals and Assessments, and a Climate-Informed Plan to Increase Federal Seed and Nursery Capacity in which DOI and USDA outline an agency-specific target to reforest over 2.3 million acres nationwide by 2030. The report also includes an opportunity assessment of voluntary reforestation (in acres) through federal programs and partnerships.

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Read the Plan

CAL FIRE Forest Health Awards

CAL FIRE Awards $142 Million For Critical Wildfire Resilience Projects Statewide

CAL FIRE recently announce that $142.6 million has been awarded for statewide investments in projects intended to enhance carbon storage while restoring the health and resilience of existing and recently burned forests throughout California.
CAL FIRE’s Forest Health Program awarded 27 grants to local and regional partners implementing projects on state, local, tribal, federal, and private lands spanning over 75,000 acres and 24 counties. Fuels reduction and prescribed fire treatments funded under these grants are aimed at reducing excess vegetation and returning forest and oak woodlands to more fire, drought, and pest-resilient conditions.

“These investments demonstrate CAL FIRE’s ability to deliver on the Governor’s Action Plan and are vital to protect the health of our forests and the safety of our communities.”
  –  Patrick Wright, Director, California Wildfire & Forest Resilience Task Force

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Wildfire & Forest Resilience Treatment Tracking and Mapping

Wildfire & Forest Resilience Treatment Tracking and Mapping

At the March 30 Task Force meeting, the Task Force’s Monitoring, Reporting and Assessment Work Group gave an update on their efforts to build an interagency treatment tracker. The group is assembling federal, state, local, private data on planned, active, and completed projects statewide, including those on forests, grasslands, shrublands, and covering approximately 60 different activities (type of work completed). The goals include tracking progress toward state/federal acreage targets; facilitating regional planning and monitoring; and assessing benefits/costs beyond “acres treated.” The Task Force anticipates having a publicly available treatment tracking map and dashboard by summer 2023.

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Recap of Sacramento Task Force Meeting


March 30, 2023

The California Wildfire & Forest Resilience Task Force held its quarterly meeting at the California Natural Resources Agency in Sacramento and live on Zoom.
The agenda and video recordings are available below


  • Looking Back: Members on this panel highlighted major accomplishments from state and federal agencies in 2022, shared preliminary results from California’s Year in Fire analysis, discussed what field monitoring reveals about the effectiveness of fuels treatments, and what recent wildfires reveal about the effectiveness of defensive space and home hardening. Subjects covered include:
    – What have we accomplished?
    – How do we measure the impacts of fires? California’s Year in Fire
    – Are treatments working?
  • Moving Forward: Presentations covered the questions that components of the Regional Resource Kits are meant to address: What are our goals and how do we define them? What is the current condition of our landscapes? How do we most effectively plan and prioritize projects? Where are we currently investing? How do we measure the effectiveness of those investments? The Monitoring and Reporting Work Group unveiled the Interagency Treatment Tracker, and provided an update on the decision support tool, Planscape. Subjects covered include:
    – Where is management most beneficial?
    – How do we more effectively plan & prioritize projects? Planscape
    – Where are we investing? Interagency Treatment Tracker
    – How do we measure the effectiveness of our investments?
  • Wood Utilization Work Group: The Work Group provided an overview of preliminary proposed actions in future joint strategy for wood utilization. Panelists discussed the importance of private sector investments in a vibrant wood products market that advances the state’s sustainable forest management strategy. Subjects covered include:
    – Overview of Proposed Action
    – Panel Discussion with Industry Representatives

View Full Agenda

Welcome & Opening Remarks

• Wade Crowfoot, CNRA

• Jennifer Eberlien, USFS

• Task Force Executive Committee

Director’s Report

• Patrick Wright

Looking Back

Moderator: John Battles, UC Berkeley

• Patrick Wright, Task Force

• Leana Weissberg, UC Berkeley, Center for Law, Energy & the Environment

• Scott Stephens, UC Berkeley

• Yana Valachovic, UC Cooperative Extension

Moving Forward

Moderator: John Battles, UC Berkeley 

• Pat Manley, USFS Pacific SW Research Station

• David Saah, Spatial Informatics Group

• Mickey Kataria,

• Alan Talhelm, CARB

• Loretta Moreno, CNRA

• Stephanie Coppeto, USFS.

Wood Utilization Work Group Report

Moderator: Steve Frisch, Sierra Business Council

• Elizabeth Betancourt, Dept. of Conservation

• Helena Murray, USFS

• Matt Dias, California Forestry Association

• Julia Levin, Bioenergy Association of California

• Dan Porter, The Nature Conservancy

• Matt Sjoholm, Blue Forest Conservation.

Final Remarks

• Task Force Co-Chairs

USDA Invests More than $48.6 Million to Manage Risks, Combat Climate Change

USDA Invests More than $48.6 Million to Manage Risks, Combat Climate Change

USDA will invest more than $48.6 million this year through the Joint Chief’s Landscape Restoration Partnership for 14 projects that mitigate wildfire risk, improve water quality, restore forest ecosystems, and ultimately contribute to USDA’s efforts to combat climate change. Under the Joint Chiefs’ Partnership, the USDA Forest Service (USFS) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) co-invest in areas where public forests and grasslands intersect with privately-owned lands. An award of $3.3 million was awarded to a phase three project focused on fire resilience in Trinity County. The project will address high-risk cross-boundary threats by strategically treating forests on both private and national forestlands, and it will address new threats created by 2020 and 2021 wildfires.

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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.

TRIBAL WILDFIRE RESILIENCE PROGRAM: Up to $15 million is available for wildfire resilience implementation projects. These grant funds will assist California Native American tribes in managing ancestral lands, implementing and promoting Traditional Ecological Knowledge in wildfire resilience, and establishing wildfire safety for tribal communities.


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

Read and Listen

CAL FIRE Updates Fire Hazard Severity Zone Map

CAL FIRE Updates Fire Hazard Severity Zone Map

Will Host 57 Public Hearings For Comment Throughout California

After years of planning and collaboration with fire scientists, firefighters, stakeholders and local community partners, the new map reflects changes in fire hazard in unincorporated, rural areas, as experienced in California over the past five years.

CAL FIRE’s fire scientists and wildfire mitigation experts developed the map using a science-based and field-tested model that assigns a hazard score based on the factors that influence fire likelihood and fire behavior. Many factors are considered, such as fire history, existing and potential fuel (natural vegetation), predicted flame length, blowing embers, terrain, and typical fire weather for an area. These zones fall into the following classifications – moderate, high, and very high. 

Overall the map shows increased fire hazard, reflecting California’s increase in wildfire occurrence and severity because of many factors, including a changing climate. 

CAL FIRE is inviting public comment on the map until February 3, 2023.

Read the Report


CAL FIRE: Fire Hazard Severity Zones


CARB Releases Final 2022 Scoping Plan

CARB Releases Final 2022 Scoping Plan

On November 16, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released the 2022 Scoping Plan for Achieving Carbon Neutrality (2022 Scoping Plan), which will be presented to the CARB Board on December 15, 2022. The 2022 Scoping Plan lays out a path to achieve targets for carbon neutrality and reduce anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 85 percent below 1990 levels no later than 2045. Significant reductions in fossil fuel combustion will be achieved by deploying clean technologies and fuels, requiring further reductions in short-lived climate pollutants, supporting sustainable development, employing technology to capture and store carbon, and taking increased action on natural and working lands to reduce emissions and sequester carbon.

Link to Documents