Managing Central Sierra Forests
Forests and woodlands in the Central Sierra Nevada are beautiful, extensive, diverse and owned by both public and private landowners. These ecosystems are adapted to frequent, low severity fires that have been suppressed for over 100 years. As a result, many forests are overcrowded, unhealthy and stressed. As the climate warms, overcrowded forests are increasingly at risk from drought, wildfire and insect-caused mortality.
More active management is needed to reduce forest density and to help forests recover after wildfire. The cost and regulatory environment in which family forest owners must conduct their management is very challenging. The goal of the Central Sierra forestry program is to empower landowners to overcome these challenges. The program consists of:
- Conducting forest stewardship workshops to help landowners develop their own California Cooperative Forest Management Plans to enable them to apply for state and federal cost share programs.
- Encouraging the use of prescribed fire in the Central Sierra as a cost effective tool through outreach and educational workshops and materials.
- Assisting landowners who have experienced in a wildfire to understand how to move forward with recovery and reforestation.
- Increasing access to management information and resources through blogs, publications and websites.