Wildfire Resilience

Program Overview 

In 2018 Senate Bill 901 directed CAL FIRE to create a Wildfire Resilience Program for purposes of assisting nonindustrial timberland owners with wildfire resilience efforts by providing technical and financial assistance for their forest management needs. The Wildfire Resilience Program includes several state forestry assistance programs within CAL FIRE that share the goal of improving the health and productivity of private forest lands and reducing the threat posed from wildland fires. Individual subprograms under the Wildfire Resilience are:

  • The Forest Stewardship Program
  • The California Forest Improvement Program (CFIP)
  • The L.A. Moran Reforestation Center
  • The Forest Legacy Program.

Subprogram Descriptions

The Forest Stewardship Program and California's Forest Improvement Program (CFIP) offer technical and financial assistance opportunities to assist individual landowners with land management planning, conservation practices to enhance wildlife habitat, and practices to enhance the productivity of their forested land.

The L.A. Moran Reforestation Center specializes in cone processing and seed storage as well as nursery grown, native tree seedlings which combine to provide private landowners with the seeds and seedlings needed to restore forests lost to pest, disease or wildfires.

The Forest Legacy Program protects environmentally important forest land threatened with conversion to non-forest uses by providing funding for purchase of working forest conservation easements or fee title to willing sellers of forested lands.

Please find links below for more information about each of these subprograms.

Wildfire Resilience Block Grants

CAL FIRE created a grant opportunity in 2020 focused around providing funding for eligible entities to provide technical and financial assistance to forestland owners. The purpose of the block grant is to allow prospective grantees the ability to provide a program of financial and technical forestry assistance to nonindustrial forest landowners, where the grantee serves as the supervising entity, receives the grant from CAL FIRE and then provides outreach and/or technical/financial assistance to landowners so they can conduct forest restoration or management activities on their property. In 2020, CAL FIRE awarded $2.2M to two grantees. Additional funding was allocated for Wildfire Resilience Block Grants in 2022. This program remains dependent on special funds.

  • CAL FIRE's Wildfire Resilience team seeks to maintain and enhance the resilience of California’s small non-industrial private forestland owners to promote healthy resilient forests throughout the state by supporting a diverse set of projects designed to interact with landowners in a similar fashion as the California Forest Improvement Program (CFIP).
  • Applicants are limited to counties, resource conservation districts, special districts, and 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations that have the capacity to deliver a forestry based technical and financial assistance program to non-industrial forest landowners. 
  • Projects should prioritize funding forest improvement practices including but not limited to tree and brush thinning, tree release, pruning, site preparation and tree planting, follow up work to support tree growth, and/or slash disposal. This grant opportunity will not fund prescribed fire but will fund burning of piles for slash disposal.

The Wildfire Resilience Block Grant solicitation period for 2022 ended on April 1, 2022.

Please view the Block Grant recipients, including a brief description of their project and their award amounts.


Resources and Publications for Private Forestland Owners

Forest management handbook for small-parcel landowners in the Sierra Nevada and southern Cascade Range

Forests in the Sierra Nevada and southern Cascade Range are being stressed by many factors that put them at risk. High-severity wildfire, drought stress, insect outbreaks, disease, and a backdrop of changing climate are a few. A significant portion of Sierra Nevada and southern Cascades forests are owned and managed as small parcels (10 to 100 acres) by nonindustrial private landowners. The Forest Management Handbook for Small Parcel Landowners is designed to help landowners determine what, if any, management actions need to be done, and how to obtain technical and financial support to manage private forestland.

The full version of the handbook is available here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/63618
Please view a shortened ‘summary’ version of the full handbook
Please view a 2 page overview of the full handbook

Forest Management Handbook with link

A virtual meeting was held on April 26, 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. with the authors of the handbook.

Virtual meeting link: Join Zoom Meeting https://ucdavis.zoom.us/j/92069326496

To obtain a hard copy of the publication, please contact a Forestry Assistant Specialist in your County: https://www.fire.ca.gov/media/vqbfq3nq/2022-03-03-contact-a-cfip-forest-advisor.pdf

Planning and Permitting Forest Fuel-Reduction Projects on Private Lands in California

This publication presents some key considerations and insights into selecting the appropriate permit to facilitate fuel-reduction projects on private lands—and offers insights into permitting larger fuel projects that involve multiple owners or multiple funding sources. The publication is organized around projects that take place before or after wildfires. It is intended for foresters, private owners of both small and large parcels of land, natural-resource professionals, and project developers. The publication includes decision trees to help landowners and resource managers crosswalk projects to permits.

The new publication can be found https://anrcatalog.ucanr.edu/pdf/8716.pdf and is available for free download.


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