Recap of The Central Coast Regional Meeting


May 11, 2023

Over 300 people came together in Santa Cruz (with over 200 joining online) for the regional meeting of the California Wildfire & Forest Resilience Task Force focused on the Central Coast region and ongoing efforts to create more resilient communities and landscapes in the face of wildfires and climate change. The meeting brought together a wide range of experts and agency partners for updates and in-depth panel discussions on the State’s progress on wildfire and forest resilience. Hosted by the California State Coastal Conservancy and San Mateo Resource Conservation District, discussions focused on the unique landscapes and land management issues of California’s Central Coast, with updates and panel discussions about real progress being made on the ground, and opportunities to network with partners from around the state.

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


  • Director’s Report: Director Wright provided an update on the status of the 99 key actions outlined in the Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan, outlined the Task Force’s mulita-pronged “Roadmap to Resilience,” and highlighted Task Force partners’ achievements on the Central Coast. 
  • The Central Coast Mosaic: A panel of experts discussed the Central Coast’s unique ecosystems, safeguarding communities in the WUI, and indigenous land use practices of tribal communities in the region. The Task Force Interagency Science Team then introduced the new data tools for practitioners available in the Task Force’s Regional Resource Kits.
  • From Local Collaboration to Regional Action: Two panels of regional leaders discussed 1) the value of collaborative efforts for delivering on Central Coast resource priorities and, 2) how project implementors are navigating complex regulatory requirements.
  • Moving Towards A Regional Investment Strategy: A panel of Task Force partners discussed the challenges and opportunities for state-wide funding programs to align programmatically to support locally identified regional priorities.
  • Keynote address by Senator John Laird: Senator Laird (CA-17) is a champion of natural resources and authored SB 456 which codified the CA Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force. Among his accomplishments, Laird served as Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency under Governor Jerry Brown (2011-2019) and two-term mayor of Santa Cruz. In his keynote, Senator Laird reflected on the Central Coast as “ground-zero” in recent times for the effects of climate change.

View Full AgendaCAL-SPAN


• Amy Hutzel, CA Coastal Conservancy

Opening Remarks

• Wade Crowfoot, CNRA

• Jennifer Eberlien, USFS

• Valentin Lopez, Amah Mutsun Tribal Band

• Task Force Executive Committee

Director’s Report

• Patrick Wright

The Central Coast Mosaic

• Moderator: Steven Ostoja, USDA California Climate Hub

• Virginio Matzek, Santa Clara University

• Chris Dicus, Cal Poly SLO

• Peter Nelson, UC Berkeley

• Peter Stine, Climate & Wildfire Institute

From Local Collaboration to Regional Action

• Moderator: Kellyx Nelson, San Mateo RCD

• Anne Crealock, Marin Wildfire Prev. Authority

• Dylan Skybrook, Santa Cruz Stewardship Network

• Devii Rao, UC ANR

• Steve Auten, Auten Resource Consulting

• Madeline Cavalieri, CA Coastal Commission

• Len Nielson, CAL FIRE

• Paul Hann, State Water Board

Moving Towards a Regional Investment Strategy

• Moderator: Lisa Lurie, Santa Cruz RCD

• Valentin Lopez, Amah Mutsun Land Trust

• Brian Newman-Lindsay, DOC

• Robin Bellows, CAL FIRE

• Chris Zimny, NRCS

• Sherry Hazelhurst, USFS

Keynote Presentation

• Senator John Laird, CA 19th District

Closing Remarks

• Task Force Co-Chairs

NRCS California Plans Expanded Conservation Investments

NRCS California Plans Expanded Conservation Investments

NRCS California announced a 2023 investment of over $20 million for climate-smart agriculture practices and forest resiliency in California, including $6.8 million for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program; $5.2 million for the Conservation Stewardship Program; and $7.6 million for the Conservation Technical Assistance Program. These additional investments flow from the Inflation Reduction Act – from which hundreds of millions of dollars more will appropriated over the next five years. This investment is above NRCS California’s annual $125 million investment through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Conservation Stewardship Program, Wetland Reserve Easements program, and other NRCS programs.


The deadline to apply for this NRCS California IRA funding is March 17, 2023. Please visit your local NRCS service center to apply, which can be found by clicking here.

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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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Forest Stewardship Workshop

Forest Stewardship and Post-fire Forest Resilience Projects 2022 Annual Report

Forest Stewardship Workshop

Forest Stewardship and Post-fire Forest Resilience Projects 2022 Annual Report

Launched in 2019 in response to a recommendation by Governor Brown’s Forest Management Task Force the UC ANR Forest Stewardship Education Initiative established the Forest Stewardship and Post-Fire Resilience Programs.  These programs involve forest landowners in managing and protecting their forests through the development of a forest management plan. Since 2020, 368 people have completed one of the 19 workshop series offered across the state. The 2022 Annual Report summarizes the impact of the programs.

Read the Report

Private Landowner Assistance Work Group | September 2022 Action Item Updates

Private Landowner Assistance Work Group | September 2022 Action Item Updates 

Progress is being made on key Action Items from the Private Landowner Assistance Work Group’s Implementation Strategy. Read the update (link below) for a report on a few emerging EFRTS, NRCS‐CA new forestry technical and financial assistance agreements with partners, and UC Extension Stewardship Workshops.

Read the Update


Biden Signs Inflation Reduction Act Affecting Health, Climate and the Economy

Biden Signs Inflation Reduction Act Affecting Health, Climate and the Economy

Biden Signs Inflation Reduction Act Affecting Health, Climate and the Economy. On August 16, President Biden signed a landmark climate change and health care bill into law. The Act includes the most substantial federal investment in history to fight climate change — some $375 billion over the decade, and significant investments in wildfire and forest resilience including:

Wildfire Resilience and Ecosystem Restoration

  • $1.8 billion for hazardous fuels reduction projects on National Forest System land within the wildland-urban interface.
  • $200 million for vegetation management projects on National Forest System land.
  • $250 million for conservation, ecosystem, and habitat restoration projects on National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management lands.

Climate-Smart Forestry for Non-Federal Forest Landowners

  • $450 million for grants to support climate mitigation, forest resilience, and carbon sequestration and storage practices.

Urban and Community Forests

  • $1.5 billion for competitive grants to cities, tribal nations, nonprofits, and other eligible entities.

Forest Conservation

  • $700 million for competitive grants through the Forest Legacy Program.

Forest Products and Innovation

  • $100 million for grants under the Wood Innovation Grant Program.

Learn More


dessert flower

Administration Announces Plans for Reforestation, Climate Adaptation

dessert flower

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Plans for Reforestation, Climate Adaptation, including New Resources from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

On July 2022, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Forest Service announced a nationwide strategy that will address a reforestation backlog of four million acres on national forests and plant more than one billion trees over the next decade.  According to USFS Chief Randy Moore, the reforestation strategy  will serve as a framework to understand reforestation needs, develop shared priorities with partners, expand reforestation and nursery capacity, and ensure the trees planted grow to support healthy, resilient forests. In addition to the reforestation strategy, Secretary Vilsack announced 13 new USDA agency climate adaptation plans, which outline how each USDA agency will incorporate climate change into their operations and decisions to support communities, agriculture and forests nationwide.

Read the Press Release


US Forestry Service: Confronting the Wildfire Crisis

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USDA Action Plan for Climate Adaptation and Resilience

Learn More