Sierra Nevada Forest and Community Initiative
- On August 21, over 7,000 firefighters were battling a dozen major wildfires across California, that in total have charred over 100,000 acres.(California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection's California Statewide Fire Summary, Wednesday, August 21, 2013)
- As of mid-June in 2013, more than 51,000-acres have burned across California, 32,000 more acres than this time last year. Cal Fire has responded to 2,600 fires so far in 2013, a 75% increase from 2012. (Daniel Berlant, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, LA Times, June 17, 2013)
- California has been experiencing lower-than-average rainfall for about eight years, which pushes up the dry season and raises the risk of wildfires. (NASA climatologist Bill Patzert, NBC news, June 2013).
- 11 of the 20 largest fires in California history have happened in the past 10 years. (Daniel Berlant, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, NBC News, June 2013)
- Nationally, in the last decade, the number of burned acreage has topped 9 million three times, said Randy Eardley, spokesman for the National Interagency Fire Center, which tracks all wildfires in America. Seven of the worst fire years in recorded history happened since 2000, he said. (NBC News, June 2013)
Sierra Nevada Forest and Community Initiative (SNFCI)
Sierra Nevada forests are one of the primary sources for California’s rich biodiversity, the source of most of California’s water and a premier recreational destination for people around the world. Large, damaging wildfires threaten this resource and put at risk the Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) Region’s many contributions to all of California. Overgrown forests in much of the Sierra increases California’s risk for catastrophic wildfires that can result in serious statewide consequences. While periodic fire is part of a healthy ecosystem, the current condition of many of our forests makes these beneficial fires less likely and when the larger, more intense fires occur, these positive benefits are not realized. Sierra Nevada forests and watersheds are a savings account the State of California relies on for a variety of needs critical to life. We need thoughtful management, active collaboration and continued investment to ensure that this important Region will remain a jewel in the crown of the state’s treasured natural resources, beautiful natural wonders, and important community-sustaining working landscapes. The SNC is committed to identifying, supporting, and implementing actions that support the health and preservation of our forests. The video link below provides an overview of the Sierra Nevada Forest and Community Initiative (SNFCI).
The Sierra Nevada Conservancy's Proposition 84 Grant Program has awarded over $50 million in funds to a wide variety of projects, many of which supported efforts that reduced the risk of large damaging wildfires that threaten communities, water reliability, and quality for Californians, and at the same time, created much needed jobs. The video links below include examples of some of these projects.
- $250,000 Wood Energy Team grant.The Sierra Nevada Conservancy is part of a collaborative which was recently awarded a $250,000 Wood Energy Team grant from the US Forest Service. This funding will be used to enhance education and technical assistance to communities pursuing bioenergy facilities and to coordinate bioenergy activities state-wide. The program will be managed by the Watershed Training and Research Center under the guidance of the state-wide Biomass Working Group. This award was one of only five that were awarded nationwide, and the only project awarded in California. See the full story here.
- California projects receive nearly 20% of available awards from the USDA Forest Service’s Woody Biomass Utilization Grant Program, including the Sierra Institute for Community and Environment, in Plumas County, CA for $250,000, and Calaveras Healthy Impact Products Solution, in Wilseyville, CA, for $184,405. Both projects are key bioenergy projects in the Sierra.