August 18: The Department of Conservation has awarded more than $72 million to partners across the state working to build fire-resilient communities. Fifteen grantees received awards this year, bringing the state’s total investment to $140 million for regions working to create fire-adapted communities and landscapes by improving ecosystem health, community wildfire preparedness and fire resilience. See the Governor's Office press release and read DOC's announcement here.
2023 RFFC Grantees
Inner Coast Collaborative (ICC)
Funding received: $8,466,000
is a regional partnership of Napa County RCD, Clear Lake Environmental Resource
Center (CLERC), Colusa County RCD, Solano County RCD, Sonoma RCD, and Yolo County RCD, and
is coordinated and administered by Napa County RCD.
Napa RCD has worked with lead partners to develop a Memorandum of Agreement codifying the collaborative, conduct a Regional Needs Assessment to better understand regional capacity needs and opportunities, and develop detailed county-level SOW’s outlining planned activities through 2025 (i.e., original grant end period), while simultaneously supporting high-priority planning, capacity building, and demonstration projects.
This funding focuses on capacity building, planning, project development, technical assistance, outreach and education, and demonstration projects . Their workplan expands upon support for program administration and Lead Partner activities, maximizing the ability for this funding to meaningfully build and sustain increased capacity and a pipeline of shovel ready projects.
North Coast Resource Partnership (NCRP)
Funding Received: $13,560,000
This funding will support the rapid increase of wildfire, forest, and community resiliency projects consistent with the California Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan, Agreement for Shared Stewardship of California's Forests and Rangelands, the California Forest Carbon Plan, and Executive Order B-52-18. This will be accomplished through refining and implementing a
regional priority plan (RPP), supporting the enhanced capacity of regional partners, and developing a substantial suite of priority projects ready for implementation. Specific elements of the RPP planning process that will be leveraged and built upon include regional remote sensing, evaluation of regional priorities via the NCRP Adaptive Planning and Prioritization Framework (APPF), a portfolio of priority large scale, integrated multi-benefit, landscape scale projects, capacity investments in regional organizations, workforce enhancement, technical assistance to project sponsors, and learnings and applications of knowledge from the RPP demonstration projects, as well as from cross boundary collaboration among RFFC grantees, DOC, Task Force and other partners.
NCRP Regional Priority Plan
NCRP Project Tracker
Sacramento Valley Coalition (NSVC)
Funding Received: $8,160,000
NSVC is a regional partnership of RCD of Tehama County, Glenn County RCD, Shasta Valley RCD, and Western Shasta RCD and is coordinated and administered by RCD of Tehama County. NSVC is working region-wide to develop a regional priority plan, support capacity building, plan priority fire resiliency projects, implement demonstration projects of new and innovative techniques, and conduct outreach and education.
This funding will support the successful growth and long-term stability of organizational, community, and collaborative capacity to effectively plan, develop, and implement projects and programs with the goal of creating multi-benefit outcomes. NSVC members will develop organizational capacity within each participating RCD as well as support other organizations throughout the NSVC RFFC Region involved with promoting conservation initiatives. The partnership will work within the region to provide technical assistance to partners and others to increase the pace and scale of project implementation in the region. Additionally, the members of the NSVC will identify opportunities for workforce development and training in order to accelerate the progress of program activities, with the aim of growing capacities and “shovel-ready” project pipelines throughout the NSVC RFFC Region.
NSVC members will collaborate in order to prioritize projects/programs that will contribute to the conception of a robust and informative Regional Priority Plan. As part of regional planning, the NSVC will assess data needs and develop strategies to collect and maintain data relevant to development of the RPP. Finally, the grant will fund demonstration project implementation. Demonstration projects will be developed with the goal of achieving multiple program benefits in mind and will integrate regional workforce development, employ new technologies, make use of innovative techniques, and include outreach components that will allow the NSVC to provide open access to, as well as expansively share the data/outcomes ascertained from these important projects.
State Coastal Conservancy (SCC)
Funding Received: $20,280,000
SCC is working with subgrantees to develop a regional priority plan to define fire resiliency priorities, conduct vegetation management and prescribed burn projects, and build capacity throughout the region.
The 2023 work plan and the SCC’s approach to achieving the RFFC objectives this region builds on existing work in the region and the priorities of partner organizations. SCC has identified subgrants through a combination of receiving applications and proactively seeking partners to help advance the RFFC objectives:
- Increase capacity, support strategic collaborative planning and coordination, and accelerate wildfire and forest resilience, management, and restoration efforts at the landscape level.
- Strengthen regional leadership on wildfire and forest resilience actions in coordination with key state and federal agencies.
- Build a pipeline of forestry and wildfire protection projects. Identify, prioritize, plan, make ready projects that meet regional and statewide public safety, economic resilience, ecosystem, and natural resource goals.
Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC)
Funding Received: $23,170,000
SNC is working to increase regional capacity to plan and implement projects that improve forest health and fire resiliency.
This funding will allow SNC to work closely with existing RFFC subgrantees and other sub regional partners, as well as
Sierra Nevada Tribes and the Intertribal Indigenous Stewardship Council, to identify an effective suite of subgrants to
help meet needs across the RFFC planning areas so that the Sierra Nevada Region as a whole can level up in its
collective capacity to plan, fund, and implement restoration projects to increase the pace and scale of forest
resilience projects. Subgrants will include:
- Additional allocations to subgrantees for expanded capacity building, planning, project development, or demonstration projects
- Allocations to new Subgrantees for capacity building, planning, and project development, focusing on areas or partners not fully covered in the initial rollout of the RFFC program
- Technical assistance Subgrants or contracts for activities that support one or more RFFC planning areas.
This funding will help build the capacity of SNC and their partners, help increase the scale and speed of project development so that implementation programs have extensive statewide lists of shovel ready projects, including a directed subgrant program providing funding for CEQA/NEPA to move projects to shovel-readiness, with a focus on RFFC planning areas needing project pipeline development. Funding will also be used in those planning areas to overcome other barriers related to developing project pipelines. Finally this funding will support demonstration projects that implement techniques or partnerships new to an area, highlight innovative technology or approaches, and may be scaled up or replicated.
Funding Received: $2,700,000
This funding supports regional capacity building, project planning, permitting, implementation, and project demonstration, as well as outreach and education in the Lake Tahoe Basin.
The RFFC Program provides support to the Conservancy for coordinating, planning, and implementing projects that increase regional capacity for improving forest health and fire resiliency for Basin communities. Some projects will utilize innovative and creative approaches for scaling up, building capacity, or leveraging technology and equipment for more rapid, largescale implementation. Stakeholder engagement, outreach, and educational support will be provided for partners, residents, and visitors in the Basin so that people are engaged in wildfire and forest resilience projects and understand their importance. A select number of projects will also be used as case studies for other planning and implementation efforts across the state of California.
The Conservancy is actively working to increase the pace and scale of forest restoration on multiple levels. This funding will allow them to address capacity the following key needs: 1) capacity building that strengthens local expertise in the project level planning needed for building project pipelines among partners; 2) developing innovative partnerships that create efficiencies of scope and scale; 3) more community outreach; and 4) broadening stakeholder engagement above current levels.
Inland Empire Community Foundation (IECF)
Funding Received: $1,600,000
The Inland Empire Community Foundation (IECF) is a non-profit, philanthropy-focused organization serving San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. The IECF RFFC grant will support creating a Regional Priority Plan, assessing Riverside County's needs, and collaborating closely with Inland Empire Resource Conservation District (IERCD), an existing RFFC block grantee. IECF is building partnerships across the Inland Empire to expand upon IERCD's existing work, creating a coalition representative of the entire Inland Empire.
IECF will place a heavy emphasis on organizational capacity building, staffing capacity, civic engagement, and training. However, given that the ultimate goal of RFFC funds is to undertake landscape scale restoration and mitigation projects, IECF will have an explicit focus on project planning and preparation, and progress towards implementation projects, to help the region grow the right skills and abilities to stay focused on California’s wildfire and climate goals. IECF will work in close collaboration with the Inland Empire Resource Conservation District. IECF will distribute subgrant funding with the requirement that grantees utilize and broaden the tools and infrastructure already being built to encompass Riverside County.
Inland Empire Resource Conservation District (IERCD)
Funding Received: $5,695,000
Through this funding, IERCD will address both immediate and long-term projects that fall into the categories of (1) Project development and planning to build a pipeline of forestry and wildfire protection projects (2) Increasing capacity to accelerate wildfire resilience and strengthen regional leadership (3) Expanding collaborative efforts and regional priority planning to continue
preparing the region to accept and apply for more state, federal, and private funding for forest health and fire resiliency
projects and (4) Implementation of demonstration projects and adaptive management of implementation projects. IERCD
will serve as the lead block grantee for the program collaborating with CNRA and DOC staff at the state level and
collaborating locally with regional partners.
The region for this grant includes the San Bernardino Mountains and adjacent fire-prone communities within Inland
Empire RCD and Mojave Desert RCD’s districts. This grant was informed by over a dozen partners and encompasses
programs, projects, and capacity needs identified through the initial Regional Priority Planning process.
San Bernardino Regional Priority Plan
Irvine Ranch Conservancy (IRC)
Funding Received: $4,220,000
This grant will support development and implementation of regional fire resiliency and risk reduction strategies and priorities, regional collaboration and partnership within Orange County and coastal Southern California, creation of demonstration and pilot projects, and community engagement and outreach. This grant will allow IRC to advance the regional shared fire management and risk reduction agenda developed through the County of Orange Area Safety Taskforce (COAST).
The Orange County CWPP has identified ignition prevention, specifically along roadsides, as a priority for fire prevention in the region. Creating a countywide strategic plan focused on addressing roadside ignitions will highlight areas at highest risk for wildfire as well as indicate site specific treatment options for future projects. This information will be made available to all entities affected by fire, including COAST, and can be used as a prioritization tool for roadside ignition prevention efforts. Primary goals will be to:
- Complete an ignition risk assessment for Orange County.
- Develop an ignition prevention model.
- Develop a set of recommendations that will be informed by the aforementioned items to reduce the risk of wildland fires in the IRC RFFC Program region.
Resource Conservation District of Greater San Diego County
Funding Received: $5,355,000.00
With their round 1 RFFC funding, the RCD of Greater San Diego County (RCDGSC) developed a Regional Priority Plan for San Diego County, promoted healthy forest practices through demonstration projects, developed a coordinated effort to reduce the Gold Spotted Oak Borer threat, provided fire management resources to local communities and partners, and developed a Community Wildfire Protection (CWPP) training course.
This funding will allow the RCD to build on work conducted with the initial RFFC Funding. They will continue to increase regional capacity to plan, prioritize, and implement strategies and projects that create fire adapted communities and landscapes by improving ecosystem health, community wildfire preparedness, and fire resilience. Through capacity building efforts they will work to align efforts across the region by continuing to facilitate their local collaborative group, further develop and manage the priority project database to support project readiness and implementation and, increase partner capacity to address immediate and long-term needs.
Primary program goals include:
- Developing a framework for data stewardship, managing and maintaining the priority project list.
- Developing a framework for SoCal regional block grant implementation and management, aligning the Southern Cal resource kit, project planning tools, advisory and planning groups, etc.
- Strengthening efforts to support community level groups such as Fire Safe Councils, HOAs other communities with planning and implementation.
- Strengthening efforts to support Tribes with planning and implementation.
RFFC Related Videos
RCDGSC GSOB Work (funded through RFFC)
San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy (RMC)
Funding Received: $2,300,000
RMC is a state conservancy operating in the urban and undeveloped areas of Los Angeles County. The RMC RFFC grant will support creating a Regional Priority Plan that assesses climate stressors, including extreme heat and drought, and the increased wildfire risk these changes exacerbate. RMC is creating a landscape level assessment of needs and priorities to funnel investments toward the most impactful projects and high-need communities while protecting and restoring socioecological resilience.
The RMC will work with key regional stakeholders and land managers to develop a spatially explicit list of wildfire resilience projects and initiatives, conduct an equity-centered gap analysis to identify critical project areas and communities in need of investment, and build a holistic, prioritized plan to fund, build capacity around, and implement wildfire resilience projects targeted to the region’s socioecological needs.
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (SMMC)
Funding Received: $2,220,000
SMMC worked with the Mountains and Recreation and Conservation Authority and the Santa Monica Mountains Fire Safe Alliance to develop a Regional Priority Plan to identify fire resilience priorities for chaparral and forested ecosystems. Partners in the Fire Safe Alliance include state and county fire officials, state parks, and local stakeholders.
This funding will allow SMMC to facilitate the RFFC program within the SMMC’s Block Grant region and support project development, demonstration projects, and capacity investments. The SMMC will continue to support regional planning and coordinate with regional partners. The SMMC will work with the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) to maintain the Regional Priority Plan and Priority Projects List, engage with local partners to remove roadblocks from developing projects, complete demonstration projects, and other tasks. This funding will also provide resources to SMMC to actively work across its lands to prevent roadside and other fire ignition. Funds from this program increase their capacity to prevent and identify ignitions.
Watershed Research and Training Center (WRTC)
Funding Received: $14,300,000
WRTC's RFFC grant focuses on technical capacity building, peer networking to advance the dissemination of best practices, and coordination.
This funding will allow the Watershed Center to continue their statewide RFFC work with the primary goals of:
- Increasing California wildfire resilience practitioners’ capacity to advance the state’s forest and fire strategies increases.
- Increasing access to professional development opportunities regarding a broad range of wildfire resilience career paths. Long term, the wildfire resilience workforce is more diversified.
- Advance one or more wildfire mitigation demonstration projects that benefit underserved communities through collaboration.
- Improving communication between RFFC grantees and provide technical assistance as needed.
- Assisting with California Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force strategies and plans. Including facilitating the FAC work group of the Task Force and, working with CALFIRE, Task Force staff, and other state agency representatives to monitor and advance work outlined in the Forest Action Plan Goal 2
- Evaluating the impact and/or progress of the RFFC program on grantees, subgrantees, and California practitioners participating in Peer Connect
- Identifying and advance enabling policies and/or authorities and strategies as well as barriers to wildfire resilience and forest stewardship implementation.
California Fire Safe Council (CFSC)
Funding Received (round 1 grantee): $1,615,000
CFSC’s grant focuses on providing technical assistance to existing local fire safe councils, helping start new fire safe councils, and providing resources for fire safe councils and their partners. The grant is funding regional coordinators who provide technical assistance to fire safe councils and communities that are interested in starting fire safe councils.
This funding has allowed CFSC to conduct collaborative planning, organizational capacity building, and partnership development to implement high-impact, sustainable projects and initiatives to enhance resilience across the state. They have deployed peer-networking strategies across watersheds and regions to ensure that innovations and best practices are rapidly diffused and adopted.
Indigenous Stewardship Network
Funding Received: $4,553,763
The purpose of the grant is to grow greater capacity to restore Indigenous-led cultural burning, and other Indigenous stewardship practices to improve biodiversity, ecosystem resilience, and community-health and well-being.
Primary project goals and activities include:
- Building ISN staff and internal capacities to support an Indigenous network, knowledge exchanges, and trainings.
- Providing direct funding to tribes, Native-led non-profits, and traditional cultural practitioners to grow cultural burning in the State of California.
- Conducting education and outreach and engage partners (funders, agencies, non-profits, etc.) to improve opportunities (access and funding) for Indigenous-led stewardship.
The Karuk Tribe
Funding Received: $1,198,522
The Karuk tribe is in the process of developing a facility that will sever as a training center and fill other critical need. Taayvávan Iptáamax, which means “many people stoke the fire,” will be a multipurpose facility used as a Prescribed Fire Training Center while also serving critical support functions in times of emergency. Alongside the building of Taayvávan Iptáamax, KDNR will need to expand its current infrastructure and facilities in order to keep up with the increasing volume of projects, a growing workforce, and climate resiliency needs.
To bring the Taayvávan Iptáamax project to implementation readiness, the Tribe will use this funding to update KDNR's 2015 Facilities Master Plan, hire consultants to conduct required planning studies; complete formal design processes (including site and building design along with a construction cost estimate), and work to mobilize resources and strengthen partnerships for the eventual construction and operation of the facilities.
Water Solutions Network
Funding received: $402,900
This agreement will fund the development and implementation of two forest gatherings on tribal land in San Diego County and Tuolumne County. The gatherings will bring local, tribal, state, and federal entities together to develop an understanding of tribal knowledge, expertise, and connection that Tribes have with their land. The gatherings will also showcase the importance of strong networks and collaborations and build trust and understanding between local, tribal, state, and federal agencies.
Public Resources Code section 4208.1 establishes the Regional Forest and Fire Capacity (RFFC) Program to support regional leadership to build local and regional capacity and develop, prioritize, and implement strategies and projects that create fire adapted communities and landscapes by improving ecosystem health, community wildfire preparedness, and fire resilience. The Department will provide block grants to regional entities (Regional Block Grantees) and to eligible coordinating organizations (Statewide Block Grantees) to support the statewide implementation of the program.
To accomplish the RFFC Program’s objectives, block grants will be utilized by recipients to support partner capacity, project readiness, implementation of demonstration projects, and regional priority planning to achieve landscape-level and community wildfire resilience consistent with the California Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan as well as the California Forest Carbon Plan and Executive Order B-52-18.
Broad and inclusive outreach and involvement in decision-making is a priority of the program. Regional block grantees are expected to partner extensively across their region to identify priorities and develop projects. Current block grantees partner heavily with state, federal, tribal, and local governments as well as water agencies, resource conservation districts, fire safe councils, and other nonprofits.
Program Manager: Brian Newman-Lindsay
California Climate Investments
The Regional Forest and Fire Capacity program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities. For more information, visit California Climate Investments.