Sierra Nevada Forest and Community Initiative
The video link below provides an overview of the Sierra Nevada Forest and Community Initiative (SNFCI).
- A study commissioned by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission estimates that damages from the 410-square-mile Rim fire on the natural environment and to property value could total between about $250 million and $1.8 billion. Researchers from Earth Economics found that between $100 million and $736 million was lost in environmental benefits, between $102 million and $797 million was lost in carbon storage, and fire-related private property value loss ranges from $49.7 million to $265 million. David Batker, executive director of Earth Economics, said researchers couldn’t or didn’t estimate some “values” from the ecosystem such as a fire’s impact on the water supply or the loss of health due to air quality damage. He said the estimates were “very, very conservative. The actual damage will be larger.” (LA Times, December 27, 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 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.
April 2014 - One of the SNC's Prop 84 Healthy Forest grant projects, the Sagehen Forest Habitat Restoration Project, is now being implemented. Joanne Robique, from the Truckee/Tahoe National Forest, formally thanked the SNC, saying, "I am very pleased to let you all know that the Tahoe National Forest was able to award our first contract implementing the decisions made for the Sagehen Project. This is a wonderful and exciting step. Everyone who participated has helped us get to this point. We are also very pleased to announce that on March 12, 2014, the National Forest Foundation was awarded a $349,140 grant by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy that will allow implementation of the next phase of this project, as well."
April 2014-SNC Prop 84 grants program funded North Fork Biomass Project CUP Permit granted. Project Manager Steve Haze expressed "Our thanks and appreciation to all of the hard work and collaboration that went on between SNC and YSRC&D Council – and successfully securing the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) from Madera County. This was the most important grant that we had received that supports the construction of a state-of-the-art bioenergy facility. Again, we would like to thank SNC for their confidence and support of this important initiative."