USFS Will Resume its Prescribed Fire Program

USDA Forest Service Chief Randy Moore Announces Actions the USFS Will Take to Resume its Prescribed Fire Program


Update on USFS’ Prescribed Fire Pause. In a statement announced on September 8, USFS Chief Randy Moore has decided – based on a thorough review, findings, and recommendations provided by its National Review Team – to conditionally resume the USFS’s prescribed fire program nationwide. The conditions include a requirement that all USFS units immediately follow all seven tactical recommendations identified in the National Prescribed Fire Program Review. These actions will ensure prescribed fire plans are up to date with the most recent science, that key factors and conditions are closely evaluated the day of a prescribed burn, and that decisionmakers are engaged in those burns in real time to determine whether a prescribed burn should be implemented.

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Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center

2022 Program Review

U.S. Forest Service Announcement

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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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active fire in grass field

State Can Fight Fire With Prescribed Fire By Funding Jobs In The Field

active fire in grass field

State Can Fight Fire With Prescribed Fire By Funding Jobs In The Field


“It is now accepted that prescribed fire is needed to conserve and restore biodiversity, prevent catastrophic fires, stabilize carbon and promote public health and safety. To address the pace and scale of prescribed fire that is needed, we must invest in careers in prescribed fire.” Read this guest commentary in CalMatters.org from Tom Gardali, CEO, Audubon Canyon Ranch. 

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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.

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US Forestry Service: Confronting the Wildfire Crisis

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USDA Action Plan for Climate Adaptation and Resilience

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forest workforce

U.S. Economic Development Administration Awards $21.5 Million for CA Workforce Training

forest workforce

U.S. Economic Development Administration Awards $21.5 Million for CA Workforce Training in Forest Health and Fire Safety


Through its proposed CA Resilient Careers in Forestry program, the Foundation for California Community Colleges (FCCC) will partner with employers, educational institutions, and local community-based organizations to build a state-wide infrastructure for training in forest health and fire safety. The 32 winning projects were selected from a pool of 509 applicants.

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U.S. Department of Commerce Announces Winners of American Rescue Plan $500 M Good Jobs Challenge to Expand Employment Opportunities

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Cal Fire controlled burn

LA Times Op-Ed: Why Forest Managers Need To Team Up With Indigenous Fire Practitioners

Cal Fire controlled burn

LA Times Op-Ed: Why Forest Managers Need To Team Up With Indigenous Fire Practitioners


Los Angeles Times, July 31, 2022, By Don Hankins, Scott Stephens and Sara A. Clark 

The forests of the Western United States are facing an unprecedented crisis, besieged by wildfires and climate change. There is a precedent for part of the solution, though: intentional burns such as those set by Indigenous peoples.

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giant sequoia tree

Wildfire Resilience Work Helps Save Yosemite Sequoias

Wildfire Resilience Work
Helps Save Yosemite Sequoias

photo credit: New York Times

Fuels Reduction Partnerships Pay Off In Controlling The Washburn Fire

Some of the world’s most iconic trees in one of the world’s most famous forests are safe today thanks in part to resilience treatments funded through CAL FIRE’s Forest Health grant program.

“This project has meant the difference for the community and the grove. I suspect that if Wawona Road was in the state that it was prior to the project, it could be a very different outcome for the Mariposa grove and the community.”

– Garett Dickman, National Park Service Vegetation Ecologist

photo credit: New York Times

Protecting the ancient, majestic giant sequoias in the largest and most popular of Yosemite’s sequoias clusters was an immediate concern for land managers when the Washburn Fire broke out near Mariposa Grove. Fortunately, a partnership that includes the Mariposa County Resource Conservation District, National Park Service and local private landowners had done the important fuels reduction work that reduced the fire’s severity and helped firefighters protect the invaluable trees.

man looking over burn scar in tree stump

Garrett Dickman, a Vegetation Ecologist at Yosemite National Park was on the fire and observed its behavior. Referring to biomass removal treatments along a key road in the park, he said, “Firefighters [were] able to hold the road with minimal prep,” and the fuels reduction was “…proving critical in our ability to protect the community of Wawona.” Dickman pointed out that flame heights were a few inches to a just a few feet in treated areas, compared to flames that were tens to hundreds of feet long elsewhere.

photo credit: New York Times

CAL FIRE Forest Health provides funding to local and regional organizations that coordinate multiple treatment objectives, within landscape scale projects. Objectives include fuel reduction, prescribed fire, reforestation, biomass utilization and pest management. Land may be owned by tribes, private individuals, private companies, and local, state, or federal governments. The Washburn Fire is a good example of the critical impact these projects have in slowing the spread of wildfire, promoting forest health and, in this case, protecting some California’s most iconic natural treasures. 


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CAL FIRE Forest Health

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CAL FIRE Forest Health Grants

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Mariposa County RCD

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Yosemite National Park Fuels Management

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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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forest and lake

Forestry project complete at Feather River reservoir

forest and lake

Forestry project complete at Feather River reservoir


The Little Grass Valley Reservoir Watershed Project will have a big impact when it comes to protecting local communities and valuable water infrastructure from wildfire.

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Photo of Yuba Forest

High Risk Landscapes To Receive $80.7M in U.S. Forest Service Funding

Photo of Yuba Forest

Two High Wildfire Risk Landscapes To Receive $80.7M in U.S. Forest Service Funding


Targeted investments for first high-risk areas identified in Tahoe and Stanislaus National Forests.

April 20, 2022 – As part of the Forest Service’s strategy for Confronting the Wildfire Crisis, two landscapes within the Stanislaus and Tahoe national forests will receive targeted investments to increase forest resiliency and health through a broad range of treatments. These two forests will collectively receive $28.6 million in 2022 and an additional $52.1 million over the next three years, for a total of $80.7 million. This funding is being appropriated through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The North Yuba Landscape Resilience area on the Tahoe National Forest and the SERAL (Social and Ecological Resilience Across the Landscape) area on the Stanislaus National Forest are two of 10 landscapes selected nationally to receive this funding. Overall, the 10 landscapes will receive $131 million this year to begin implementing our 10-year strategy for protecting communities and improving resilience in America’s forests.

In addition to state and federal agencies, these two landscape-scale restoration efforts are supported by partnerships with Yosemite Stanislaus Solutions, Tuolumne County, the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk, the North Yuba Forest Partnership – which includes Sierra County and the Nisenan of the Nevada City Rancheria – and several others. To find out more about the initial landscape investments, visit WCS Initial Landscape Investments- USDA Forest Service.

 


Tahoe National Forest: 

The 313,000-acre North Yuba Landscape is one of the largest contiguous “unburned” landscapes remaining in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The North Yuba watershed is also an important water source for residential and agricultural areas surrounding Sacramento. It feeds a reservoir retained by the tallest dam in California, which also provides power to the Sacramento area. Through ecologically based thinning and prescribed fire, the North Yuba Forest Partnership seeks to protect North Yuba communities from the threat of catastrophic wildfire and restore the watershed to a healthier, more resilient state. This landscape is also host to the first two Forest Resilience Bonds, which leverage substantial private sector investment to help fund implementation of this work.

 


Stanislaus National Forest SERAL: 

Within the Stanislaus Landscape a full suite of needed treatments to restore forest resilience at a landscape scale. Named SERAL for Social and Ecological Resilience Across the Landscape, these treatments include mastication, biomass removal, machine piling for burning, hand piling for burning, hand thinning, timber harvest, hazard tree removal, prescribed fire, and fuel break construction and maintenance. Combined, these efforts will reduce hazardous fuels and create a landscape that can better withstand disturbances such as wildfire, insects, disease, and drought conditions, while also protecting local communities, providing for critical species habitat, and supporting forest use and recreational opportunities.

 

 

 

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