Enhancing Public Benefits of California’s Trees with the Forest Stewardship Program

With support from the USDA Forest Service Cooperative Forestry, California is achieving goals outlined in its Forest Action Plan.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) works on-the-ground with several partners to achieve stewardship goals.

CAL FIRE is utilizing the California Cooperative Forest Management Plan template which will satisfy multiple program requirements and allow a landowner to produce one plan that qualifies for a variety of state and federal cost-share funding.

The federal Forest Stewardship and Forest Health Management Programs, in combination with California’s Forest Improvement Program, provided valuable technical assistance and funds for stewardship planning, timber stand improvement, forest rehabilitation, reforestation and fuels reduction.

The funding allows many landowners to work with California Registered Professional Foresters to develop stewardship plans to help them achieve their management goals.

These plans will also assist landowners in participating in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) program to address climate change. The GGRF provides significant funding for incentives to reforest and or reduce fuels on forestlands. In fiscal year 2014 11,320 acres were incorporated into forest management plans.

“Collectively, small privately owned forested lands make up a large portion of California,” said CAL FIRE Chief and State Forester Ken Pimlott. “These programs offer important tools and incentive for these landowners to invest in forest health which, ultimately, helps us in our mission to protect this valuable natural resource from the effects of climate change, including large, damaging wildfires.”

The USDA-CAL FIRE programs have provided a broad scope of educational forums including the Forest Landowner Stewardship Curriculum, the quarterly Forestland Steward newsletter that reaches more than 7,000 readers via hard and electronic copies, and the toll-free HELPLINE.

The HELPLINE provides valuable assistance over the phone to anyone who calls. There is always a Registered Professional Forester to answer questions regarding forest health, harvesting, insects and diseases, fire, reforestation and more, as well as information on where the caller can receive more information on State Forest Practice Regulation or Federal Policy.

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