Sacramento – The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) is proud to announce that $142.6 million has been awarded for statewide investments in projects intended to enhance carbon storage while restoring the health and resilience of existing and recently burned forests throughout California.
CAL FIRE’s Forest Health Program announced today that it awarded 27 grants (link to project list is on the website) to local and regional partners implementing projects on state, local, tribal, federal, and private lands spanning over 75,000 acres and 24 counties. Fuels reduction and prescribed fire treatments funded under these grants are aimed at reducing excess vegetation and returning forest and oak woodlands to more fire, drought, and pest-resilient conditions.
Several projects include work within landscapes severely burned in recent wildfires. Ten awarded projects focus on post-fire reforestation and regeneration activities over the landscape of 11 catastrophic fires in California over the past 10 years. These fires include the Antelope, Bobcat, Beckwourth, Caldor, CZU Lightning Complex, Dixie, KNP Complex, McKinney, Mosquito, North Complex, and Rim.
“CAL FIRE is proud to award Forest Health Grants that will provide invaluable reforestation and restoration capacity to California’s fire-effected and threatened landscapes and communities,” said John Melvin, Assistant Deputy Director of Resource Protection & Improvement for CAL FIRE. “Fuels reduction, reintroduction of beneficial fire, treatment of degraded lands, and conservation of threatened forests are all vital to conserving and improving California’s forest health and resilience.”
Two-thirds of the awarded projects benefit disadvantaged or low-income communities. The economic opportunities provided by these investments are in addition to the expected benefits from forest management activities, including reduced threat of catastrophic wildfire, reduced risk to nearby communities, improvements in water quality and habitat, and climate change mitigation from carbon storage in wood products and retaining and improving forest carbon sinks.
Many of CAL FIRE’s Forest Health grants were made available through California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars toward achieving the state’s climate change goals while also strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment- particularly in disadvantaged communities. This summer, CAL FIRE expects to award additional grants of up to $115 million for Wildfire Prevention and up to $19 million for Tribal Wildfire Resilience.
- Learn more about CAL FIRE’s Forest Health Program and projects already underway HERE.
- Learn more about how, together, we’re creating a more wildfire-resilient California HERE.