SACRAMENTO – The California Natural Resources Agency and Department of Conservation today announced awarding $20 million in block grants for local and regional projects to improve forest health and increase fire resiliency.
Funded by Cap-and-Trade revenues through California Climate Investments, 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 reductions.
The program is one element of the state’s efforts to improve forest health, protect communities from wildfire risk and implement the California Forest Carbon Plan and Executive Order B-52-18. Projects funded through the program will build on priority projects identified by the Forest Management Task Force and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection through Executive Order N-05-19.
“Getting this funding out the door will help local communities develop watershed-level projects that can make a big difference in forest health and fire resiliency,” California Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot said. “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.”
Six regional block grants are being awarded on a noncompetitive basis to support project implementation in the North Coast, Central Coast, Sierra Nevada, Klamath-Cascade, and Southern California Regions. In addition, two grants are being awarded to assist in implementing statewide efforts.
Regional block grant recipients will oversee distribution of funding and collaborative planning with local entities including municipal and Tribal governments, nonprofits and community organizations, fire safe councils, land trusts, resource conservation districts, residents, private and public forest landowners and managers, businesses, and others to accomplish the program’s objectives.
Block grant recipients were selected based on their history of implementing related projects, demonstrated capacity to work across regional partners, and ability to serve as fiscal administrators for the program.
The block grant recipients by region include: North Coast:
- The North Coast Resource Partnership, $4.25 million
- California State Coastal Conservancy, $4.25 million
- Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, $1.5 million
- Inland Empire Resource Conservation District, $1.5 million
- Greater San Diego Resource Conservation District, $1.5 million
Sierra and Klamath-Cascade:
- Sierra Nevada Conservancy, $2 million
- Assembly Bill 2551 implementation (awardees to be determined), $2 million
- Watershed Research and Training Center in partnership with the California Fire Safe Council, $3 million
The program will be administered by the Department of Conservation on behalf of the California Natural Resources Agency.