Natural Resource Management
We protect and restore California wildlands—85 million acres of forests, watersheds, and wildlife habitat.
Our Department manages fourteen Demonstration State Forests which serve as a living laboratory to for how to care for California’s timberlands for multiple benefits—wood products and timber production, recreation, watershed protection and habitat restoration.
CAL FIRE's own activities may impact the environment and are therefore subject to environmental review. The Environmental Protection Program ensures protection to the resources of the state through its sub-program areas.
Conserving forests and improving 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.
Forest pests (insects and diseases) now annually destroy 10 times the volume of timber lost due to forest fires. Our forest pest specialists help protect the state's forest resources from native and introduced pests, and promote forest health on all forest lands.
The Forest Practice Rules are founded on well-established science which encourages a productive, fire resistant, healthy forest. CAL FIRE enforces the Rules on California timberlands to balance sustainable timber harvesting with the protection of our natural resources.
Where conditions allow, we are actively removing overgrown vegetation through the careful use of prescribed fire. These efforts promote forest health and create conditions that change fire behavior, reduce negative ecosystem impacts, and enable fire fighters to better protect communities.
Trees improve the quality of life in urban areas in many ways. We provide technical assistance, education, and grants to help communities improve their urban forests.
The Vegetation Management Program (VMP) is a cost-sharing program that focuses on the use of prescribed fire, and some mechanical means, for addressing wildland fire fuel hazards and other issues on State Responsibility Area lands.
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.