The Butte County Resource Conservation District (BCRCD) continues to work with its Partners to assist private landowners throughout Butte County to rehabilitate and protect forest and woodland areas devastated by recent catastrophic wildfires. The agencies and organizations that BCRCD currently works with include:
· U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), a federal agency that provides cost share assistance to landowners to protect soil and water resources;
· CALFIRE, a California State Agency that assists landowners with fire protection and prevention;
· Terra Fuego, a non-profit organization that implements landscape level restoration, conservation, and risk reduction to improve the health of forest ecosystems, and to improve the well-being of residents in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) and rural communities; and
· The Alliance for Workforce Development, an employment center that Terra Fuego works with to provide job training to job seekers wishing to learn fire protection and fuels management skills.
Figure 1: From left to right, Dan Taverner (NRCS District Conservationist - Oroville District), Stephen Graydon (Terra Fuego Executive Director), Tim Keesey (BCRCD Project Coordinator), and Dulcy Schroeder (Private Landowner) discuss land management goals and objectives to rehabilitate areas impacted by wildfire and protect additional areas from future wildfire events.
With assistance from these partners, the RCD is able to assist landowners to develop management Plans that outline potential treatments 2-10 years into the future. These management Plans once developed with the landowner provides the basis for the RCD to acquire funding necessary to plan and implement projects through a variety of sources including:
· NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), a cost-share program that provides landowners with financial resources and one-on-one help to plan and implement conservation practices that protect soil and water resources; and
· CALFIRE California Forest Improvement Program (CFIP), a cost-share program that provides landowners with financial resources to improve management of forest lands and resources
The RCD just recently assisted a private landowner in the Big Chico Creek watershed whose property was affected by a recent wildfire. The RCD assisted the landowner to apply for NRCS EQIP funds to rehabilitate a 43.5-acre burned area through the removal of burned brush and trees. In addition, the RCD acquired CALFIRE CFIP funds and worked with the landowner to develop a Forest Management Plan (FMP) that outlines steps to treat an additional 120 acres on the property over a 10 year period and eventually utilize prescribed fire as a low cost method of maintaining fuel breaks and improving woodland/forest ecology.
Figure 2: Fire impacted oak woodland rehabilitated by Terra Fuego with funding from NRCS EQIP. Burned shrubs and trees have been piled, remaining trees are pruned, and piles will be burned when weather permits.
Please contact Tim Keesey at (530) 260-0934 or (redacted) if you are interested in developing a Forest Management plan for your property and wish to implement projects that will improve forest health and protect forest resources from future fire events.