USDA Forest Service Invests Nearly $179 Million For Priority Landscapes In California to Confront Wildfire Crisis

USDA Forest Service Invests Nearly $179 Million For Priority Landscapes In California to Confront Wildfire Crisis


February 20, the USDA Forest Service announced it will invest nearly $179 million into priority landscapes across California as part of a $500 million national investment to expand work on the Wildfire Crisis Strategy to reduce risk to communities, critical infrastructure, and natural resources from the nation’s ongoing wildfire and climate crisis. This builds on the $2.8 billion already invested by Governor Newsom and California’s Legislature to take proactive actions to reduce catastrophic wildfire risks, protect communities, and restore the health of our landscapes.

“These and other federal investments are vital to match the Governor’s $2.8 billion investment over the last several years. They will also strengthen our partnership with the Forest Service, California’s largest landowner, in taking an ‘all-lands’ approach to improve the health of our forests and the safety of our communities,” said California Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force Director, Patrick Wright.

Funding has been designated for the following projects:

Regional Landscapes                               FY24 Allocation
Stanislaus $57,663,352
North Yuba $16,489,560
Sierra and Elko Fronts (includes CA & NV) $27,692,340
Klamath River Basin (includes CA & OR) $36,831,090
Plumas Community Protection $3,522,500
Southern California $1,915,000
Trinity $34,749,886
Total Allocation FY24: $178,863,728

An additional $100 million will be allocated across 24 qualifying states under a new Forest Service program — the Collaborative Wildfire Risk Reduction Program which will expand work in high-risk wildfire areas outside the 21 priority landscapes. The Collaborative Wildfire Risk Reduction Program will use hazardous fuels funds from the Inflation Reduction Act to treat areas in other high-risk wildfire areas where national forests and grasslands meet homes and communities.


Planscape Adds All Four CA Regions and Launches Plan Journey

Planscape Adds All Four CA Regions and Launches Plan Journey


Planscape is a free decision support tool built to maximize wildfire resilience and ecological benefits across California. Planscape has expanded its coverage to Northern California and now offers statewide coverage. The recently launched Plan journey helps determine the best locations for land treatment. Planscape is a collaborative effort by the California Natural Resources Agency, the US Forest Service, The University of California, and Spatial Informatics Group (SIG) with support from Google.org.


USFS Awards Stanislaus National Forest $57.6M in FY24 Wildfire Crisis Strategy Landscape Funding

USFS Awards Stanislaus National Forest $57.6M in FY24 Wildfire Crisis Strategy Landscape Funding


Stanislaus National Forest is currently into year three of a ten-year, 305,000-acre project to reduce fuel loads on the forest through a variety of methods to include mechanical thinning and the application of prescribed fire. FY24 funding is part of USFS’ Wildfire Crisis Strategy, which also includes the already underway Social and Ecological Resilience Across the Landscape (SERAL) Project being implemented by Stanislaus National Forest, Tuolumne County and Yosemite Stanislaus Solutions (YSS), a collaborative of 25 local industry, environmental and recreational groups.


Tongass National Forest

USFS Advances Commitment to Protect Old-Growth Forests

Tongass National Forest

USFS Advances Commitment to Protect Old-Growth Forests


On December 19, 2023, the USFS published a Notice of Intent to prepare an environmental impact statement for a National Old Growth Amendment in the Federal Register. This would amend all 128 forest land management plans across the country to conserve and restore old-growth forests across the National Forest System to maintain and improve amounts and distributions of old-growth to improve resilience and climate-adaptability of our forests.


Road clearing

CAL FIRE Funding Grants Available for 2024

Road clearing

CAL FIRE Funding Grants Available


  •  Wildfire Prevention: CAL FIRE’s Wildfire Prevention Grant Program will award up to $117 million to local projects that address the risk of wildfire and reduce wildfire potential to communities. Applications are due January 10, 2024.
  •  Forest Health: CAL FIRE’s Forest Health Program will fund up to $120 million forest fuels reduction, prescribed fire, pest management and reforestation projects and $50 million post-fire reforestation and regeneration projects. View the virtual workshop. Applications are due January 15, 2024.
  • Forest Health Research: CAL FIRE’s Forest Health Research Grant Program will award $4.5 million for scientific research projects that address wildfire and forest health issues critical to the State of California. Concept proposals are due January 24, 2024.
  • Business and Workforce Development: CAL FIRE Wood Products and Bioenergy expects to open a solicitation for a new round of funding on January 15, 2024.


NFWF and USFS Announce $50M for Landscape-scale Grants

NFWF and USFS Announce $50M for Landscape-scale Grants


The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), in partnership with USFS-Region 5, has $50M available for landscape-scale grants — targeting landscapes encompassing up to 250,000 acres — to address comprehensive efforts to restore forest ecosystems. The priorities outlined in the California Headwaters RFP include ecological restoration and protection at a landscape scale using a comprehensive approach that takes into account the interdependencies between water and fire. NFWF is hosting a webinar on December 12 at 1:00 PM PST. Pre-proposals are due on January 18, 2024.


Fall color leaves in the forest

DOI Invests Over $12 Million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Fall color leaves in the forest

DOI Invests Over $12 Million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to Advance Wildfire Resilience in California


On November 30, the Department of the Interior announced that it has invested over $12.2 million in fiscal year 2023 from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to advance wildfire resilience work and support fuels management projects on 27,669 acres in California. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is bringing much-needed help to communities across the country to increase the resilience of lands facing the threat of wildland fires and to better support federal wildland firefighters.

Read The News

Planting sequoia seedilings

American Forests Partners with USDA Forest Service

Planting sequoia seedilings

American Forests Partners with USDA Forest Service to Expand Reforestation Across National Forests


On December 6, American Forests announced a $20 million agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service to help the agency address a 4-million-acre backlog of burned, damaged forests nationally over the next five years. Over 40% of the 4 million acres identified for reforestation are in California. Built on the foundation of the REPLANT Act, this will expand nursery production, grow the forestry workforce and increase seed collection capabilities. Together, the Forest Service and American Forests will use landscape-level planning and climate-informed restoration practices to advance goals identified in the agency’s National Forest System Reforestation Strategy.

Read The News

Statewide Set of Regional Resource Kits Completed with Release of Northern CA Region

Task Force Offers Statewide Set of Regional Resource Kits with Release of Northern CA Region


On October 5, 2023, the Task Force released its fourth and final Regional Resource Kit and Regional Profile for Northern California. This adds to the kits and profiles already available for the Sierra Nevada, Southern California, and Central California Task Force designated regions. Kits provide sets of tools and data created to accelerate the work by regional partners and collaboratives to reduce wildfire hazard and improve the conditions of forested and shrub landscapes. Regional Profiles add socio-ecological context for each region, highlight examples of current condition assessments from the associated kit, and present findings from interviews and surveys about stakeholder priorities and concerns for community and ecosystem resilience.


Wildfire Mitigation and Management Commission Releases Final Report

Wildfire Mitigation and Management Commission Releases Final Report


On September 27, the federal Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission, co-chaired by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Interior and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, released a final report submitted to Congress that reflects a comprehensive review of the federal wildfire system. The report makes 148 recommendations covering seven key themes:

  • Urgent new approaches to address the wildfire crisis
  • Supporting collaboration to improve partner involvement
  • Shifting from reactive to proactive in planning for, mitigating and recovering from fire
  • Enabling beneficial fire to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire
  • Supporting and expanding the workforce to hire and retain the wildland firefighting staff needed to address the crisis
  • Modernizing tools for informed decision-making to better leverage available technology and information
  • Investing in resilience through increased spending now to reduce costs in the long run

RESOURCES


Read the Report