California Forest Improvement Program

The purpose of the California Forest Improvement Program (CFIP) is to encourage private and public investment in, and improved management of, California forest lands and resources. This focus is to ensure adequate high quality timber supplies, related employment and other economic benefits, and the protection, maintenance, and enhancement of a productive and stable forest resource system for the benefit of present and future generations.

The program scope includes the improvement of all forest resources including fish and wildlife habitat, and soil and water quality. Cost-share assistance is provided to private and public ownerships containing 20 to 5,000 acres of forest land. Cost-shared activities include management planning, site preparation, tree purchase and planting, timber stand improvement, fish and wildlife habitat improvement, and land conservation practices.

The source of funds for CFIP projects historically has come from California's Forest Resource Improvement Fund (FRIF). CAL FIRE may also receive funding from a variety of other State and Federal sources. Different funding sources may have different requirements or additional application procedures. Be sure to discuss this with your Forestry Assistance Specialist (FAS) at the CAL FIRE unit in which your project resides, the Regional FAS, or call the CFIP program manager in Sacramento. A list of contacts is provided in the "More Info" section to the right..

As of August 30, 2018, the CFIP program has fully encumbered all available funds.

CFIP applications may be submitted at any time following the five steps described below in “THE APPLICATION/CONTRACT PROCESS”.

The California Forest Improvement Program was awarded appropriations from the Timber Regulation and Forest Restoration Fund (TRFRF).  These funds are currently being encumbered for cost share contracts.

The High Speed Rail Authority is providing funding for reforestation projects under this program. The Authority has granted funds to CAL FIRE for the purpose of assisting the Authority in meeting some of its environmental commitments to offset direct greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the construction of the rail project. Funds granted to CAL FIRE will be used for tree planting services implemented as cost sharing agreements with private non-industrial timberland owners through the CFIP program. Tree planting will provide climate benefits by reducing atmospheric greenhouse gas levels.

Please see the HSR User’s Guide for more details and discuss project details with your regional FAS

  • Fiscal Year 2017-- $2,400,000 for CFIP cost share grants for reforestation (HSR)
  • Fiscal Year 2017-- $3,450,000 for CFIP cost share grants (TRFRF)
  • These funds are available for spending through 2021.

All projects using High Speed Rail Authority funding must include calculated estimates of carbon benefits, tabulated as metric tons of CO2(MTCO2e). Accounting for the total carbon dioxide equivalents sequestered as a result of the reforestation activities will be determined using The California Air Resources Board Greenhouse Gas Quantification Methodology for the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Forest Health Program. This quantification methodology can be found at this link:

Please read the CFIP User's Guide, provided in the “Start Here" section to the right. The User’s Guide contains answers to common questions about CFIP.

Step 1 – Contact CAL FIRE
The CAL FIRE forester can advise you of the availability of funds in your area. A contact list is provided in the “More Info” section to the right.

Step 2 – Initial Application
Contract the services of a consulting Registered Professional Forester (RPF) to write the elements of the application package, including:

  • The CFIP Application pages 1-2
  • CFIP Application page 3 (Project Summary)
  • Project description
  • Property location map that shows the property in relation to a local landmark
  • Project map showing each practice location and differentiating the levels (light, moderate, heavy) if more than one rate applies.

Step 3 – Field Visit
The CAL FIRE forester will schedule a field visit to review the project for eligibility.

Step 4 – Application Filed
If the CAL FIRE forester determines that your project is eligible for funding, they will determine that the project is filed.

Step 5 – Final Agreement Package
The CAL FIRE forester will ask for a final application package that will include:

  • 1 revised CFIP application
  • 1 project description with maps
  • 4 copies of the CFIP agreement
  • 1 payee data record
  • Additional proof of ownership may be required for properties held in trust, partnerships, corporations, or other businesses.

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The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protecton is unable to guarantee the accuracy of this translation and is therefore not liable for any inaccurate information resulting from the translation application tool.

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