UCCE Advisor speaking to CAL FIRE and a landowner about the benefits of prescribed fire.
Californians have the benefit of working with a diversity of support organizations. Many organizations are doubling down and prioritizing their efforts to help address the current and future fire challenges and fuels management issues.
The following summary provides a brief snapshot of key agencies and organizations.
has Forestry Assistance Specialists
that help landowners with technical, financial, and educational assistance. These foresters administer 1) the California Forest Improvement Program (CFIP), which is a cost share program to help landowners with forest management planning, reforestation, site preparation, thinning, and wildlife habitat improvement projects; and 2) the Vegetation Management Program (VMP) to help manage fuels and improve rangelands through a variety of treatment approaches.
Fire Safe Councils (FSCs)
are common throughout California. Each community fire safe council seeks to plan and manage fire prevention projects and be able to acquire grant funding to accomplish their objectives. FSCs are local in scale and can be as small as a neighborhood or homeowners’ association or as large as a county. There is a California Fire Safe Council that seeks to provide overall coordination and guidance. FSCs can also help provide a framework for fire coordination and share fire safety information, assess fire risk, set fire protection priorities, etc.
Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs)
are special districts of the State of California set up to be locally governed agencies with their own locally appointed or elected independent boards of directors. RCDs implement projects on public and private lands. The focus of each RCD is unique to the conditions and interests of their boards. The RCD network includes 98 special districts serving rural, urban, and suburban communities across the state. Many have a focus on soil and water conservation, and some have developed skills in forestry and fuels reduction. They are well positioned to help landowners implement projects and contracts within their jurisdictional areas.
UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Advisors
are present throughout California and help build stronger and resilient communities through their leadership and technical skills in natural resources, agriculture, and community health. UC ANR has an existing network of Registered Professional Foresters and Certified Rangeland Managers able to help navigate environmental compliance and permitting needs, and it is well positioned to provide similar levels of guidance, expertise, and coordination on fire topics throughout the state. As trusted long-term partners, UC ANR provides education that empowers landowners and residents at every level. UC ANR evaluates and develops practices, disseminates new research and innovations through trainings and guidance documents, provides coordination and capacity for local and state-level collaborative efforts, and can help landowners and agencies overcome policy barriers.