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Getting Help

University of California Cooperative Extension

UCCE has staff in more than 50 county offices,with agriculture and natural resources experts that can help identify issues and bring science-based information to help solve problems. Their efforts range from technical forestry to farm assistance and water conservation. UCCE is a partnership of federal, state, county and private organizations. UCCE's teaching tools include websites and web-based publications, meetings, conferences, workshops, demonstrations, field days, newsletters and manuals. Click the Event tab above to find out about educational events near you. Click the Publication tab for a comprehensive list of University of California forestry publications.

If you have a specific question for a University of California forestry expert,click the Ask an Expert link above and submit your question by email.Or scroll through the list of UC Forestry Advisors and Specialists  or the list of UC Forestry Faculty under the About Us tab above to find contact information and expertise of University of California based forest science experts. For more information on getting technical assistance from UCCE or the organizations listed below, please see the UCCE publication: Forest Stewardship Series 23: Technical and Financial Assistance

State and Federal Agencies

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFIRE) administers several state and federal forestry assistance programs to assist communities with multiple-ownership watershed and community issues related to prefire fuels treatment, forest health, erosion control, and fisheries issues. CalFIRE provides a list of Forestry Assistance Specialists that can answer questions and explain available stewardship financial assistance program.

CalFIRE also funds the Forest Stewardship Helpline so forest landowners and homeowners can ask questions of a professional forester by calling 800-738-8733 (PET TREE). They publish a quarterly newsletter, the Forestland Steward, with current information for California forest landowners.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife manages the state's wetlands and wildlife habitats. CDF&W manages the private lands habitat enhancement and management program to help private landowners maintain and enhance wildlife habitat. They also offer the fisheries restoration grant program to support projects from sediment reduction to watershed education throughout coastal California.

Resource Conservation Districts work to create for private landowners to identify and accomplish stewardship goals on an individual or watershed basis. Over 100 RCDs operate in California. They are independent local government organizations that coordinate between local landowners and the federal government, primarily the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The NRCS has offices and staff around the state to manage a number of cost share and technical assistance programs. Information on the various programs can be found on their state web site and by contacting local offices.

Finding Professional Help

Professional assistance is sometimes needed by forest landowners for preparation of plans, legal documents, or financial assistance applications. Needed professionals can include: foresters, wildlife and fisheries biologists, archaeologists, loggers and surveyors, pest control applicators, botanists, civil engineers, hydrologists, geologists, and soil engineers. In California, many of these professions have specific licensing requirements in order to practice in that field. Many professions have an organization that represents their members, offers continuing education and certification for practice.

For any timber harvesting done on private land in California, a Registered Professional Forester must prepare the Timber Harvest Plan and work on the ground must be done by a Licensed Timber Operators. To find a professional you can work with, be sure to check their qualification and credentials, and check references and insurance.

For tips on hiring a professional and a list of professional organizations and the licensing they maintain, see the UCCE publication: Forest Stewardship Series 24: Professional Assistance