CAL FIRE Forest Health


CAL FIRE’s Forest Health Program works with local partners to improve forest health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in forests throughout California.


The Forest Health Program addresses the risk to California’s forests from extreme disturbance events including catastrophic wildfires, drought, and pest mortality. These events are the result of climate change, forest overcrowding, past land management practices, and an increasing number of people living in the wildland and urban interface.

American River Headwaters Restoration Project: Greyhorse Valley, American River Conservancy

American River Headwaters Restoration Project: Greyhorse Valley, American River Conservancy

 

The objective of the CAL FIRE Forest Health Program is to conserve forests and improve forest health by significantly increasing fuels reduction, fire reintroduction, treatment of degraded areas and conservation of threatened forests with landscape-scale projects developed and led by regionally-based efforts. 

 

 

From 2015 through 2020, the Forest Health Program has awarded over 150 projects for more than $300 million. 

 

Forest Health Project Examples

Fuels Reduction

Grantee:    Pit River RCD

FY 18/19 Grant Amount:     $5,000,000

Acres of Fuel Reduction:    16,339

Acres of Prescribed Burn:    9,966

Tons of Biomass: 14,337

GHG Benefit (MT CO2e):       58,557

 

The Pit River Resource Conservation District, in collaboration forest industry and utility partners and the Modoc National Forest, is implementing fuels reduction and prescribed fire treatments on public and private lands in Modoc County to increase forest resilience, accelerate reforestation of severely burned forests, and reduce the risk of future catastrophic fire impacts to both local communities and natural resources. This project complements efforts by state, federal and local agencies to increase the pace and scale of fuel treatments in California’s forests.

Fire Reintroduction

Grantee:    Save the Redwoods League

FY 17/18 Grant Amount:     $2,401,102

Acres of Fuel Reduction:    379

Acres of Prescribed Burn:    602

GHG Benefit (MT CO2e):       3,242

 

Save the Redwoods League, in partnership with California State Parks is working to reintroduce a natural fire regime into the 6,500-acre Calaveras Big Trees State Park and Beaver Creek, an adjacent League-owned property. The Giant Sequoia Forest Resilience Project seeks to improve forest health conditions so that prescribed fire will eventually be the primary management tactic deployed, mimicking natural fire regimes and thereby addressing existing conditions and maintaining the important benefits that regional forestlands provide. The ultimate goal for park managers is to move away from thinning treatments, managing adjacent park units entirely with prescribed burns.

Reforestation & Biomass Utilization

Grantee:    Mendocino County RCD
FY 17/18 Grant Amount: $2,039,420
Acres of Reforestation: 745
Number of Trees Planted: 143,000
Acres of Biomass: 2,500
Tons of Biomass: 406
GHG Benefit (MT CO2e): 114,850

 

Mendocino County Resource Conservation District, together with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, are removing dead and dying trees left in the wake of the 2017 Redwood Fire and replanting approximately 745 acres with conifer seedlings. Regenerated forest stands will sequester a large amount of atmospheric carbon. In addition, after standing dead trees are removed, the biomass waste is being converted to valuable electricity, thermal energy, and biochar with the implementation of All Power Lab’s Power Pallet 30 gasifiers.