The California Natural Resources Agency and Department of Conservation Announce $20 Million Block Grant Awards for the Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Program

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The California Fire Safe Council in Partnership with the Watershed Research and Training Center has been awarded a Three Million Dollar Statewide Sub-Grant

SACRAMENTO – The Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Program aims to help communities prioritize, develop, and implement projects to strengthen fire resiliency, increase carbon sequestration, and facilitate greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment.

The California Fire Safe Council in partnership with the Watershed Research and Training Center (WRTC), will deploy and facilitate community involvement and capacity building investments modeled after the Sierra Nevada Conservancy’ successful Watershed Improvement Program (WIP) approach in priority watersheds in need of forest-health activities across the state with a special focus on those at-risk from catastrophic wildfire and ripe for capacity building.

“With California facing unprecedented wildfire risk, we need every tool available to put the state on a path toward long-term wildfire prevention and forest health,” California Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot said. “The California Fire Safe Council (CFSC) will receive approximately $1.7 million over three years to build community and institutional capacity for community wildfire resiliency,” said Tracy Katelman, Executive Director of CFSC. “Working with The Watershed Center, CFSC will place three coordinators and staff in key locations around the state to build local and regional capacity to improve forest health and help Californians learn to live safely with wildfire.”

“Our mission is to create and sustain healthy lands and healthy communities through local workforce training and development,” said Nick Goulette, Executive Director of The Watershed Center. “We look forward to working with CFSC and the other block grant recipients to deploy community capacity building approaches that we’ve honed over the last two decades to support natural resource management, economic development, and community resilience to wildfire.”

The Watershed Research and Training Center, headquartered in Trinity County, has been facilitating the development and implementation of watershed-based forest conservation for over 25 years. Over the last 20 years, we have been a national leader in mentoring, training, and peer network development in support of community and landscape resilience to wildland fire, most recently through our leadership with the Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network.

The California Fire Safe Council has been mobilizing Californians to protect their homes, communities and environments from wildfires for over 25 years. Along with our grant-making and our past liaising for the Firewise USA recognition program, we have a deep history of providing capacity building and technical assistance for local Fire Safe Councils, and in facilitating cross-sectoral investments in wildfire resilience.

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