In 2019, the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) launched the Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Program (RFFC). This non-competitive block grant program, administered by the California Department of Conservation (DOC), invests in individual regions to support forest resiliency planning, implementation, and capacity building.
The Inland Empire Resource Conservation District (IERCD) is the regional grantee serving the San Bernardino region and has worked with dozens of partners to identify priority regional projects to place State funding, including supporting the environmental planning process, supporting fire safe councils with community projects, investing in collaborative tools and processes, identifying opportunities for joint stewardship projects, and supporting workforce development opportunities. The IERCD is also working on the development of a Regional Priority Plan through this program which will be used as a tool to use in driving forward regional collaboration and prioritization.
The RFFC program also works to address elements of the State’s Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan. The plan was finalized in early 2021 and sets a comprehensive strategy for how the State will increase the pace and scale of forest management and wildfire resiliency. One key element of this plan is the recognition that California’s diverse landscapes and communities require regionally tailored strategies and actions and that State programs must recognize and enable regionally and locally-driven solutions in partnership with groups and leaders from these regions. The RFFC program works to address this Action Plan goal by providing direct investments into San Bernardino to be led and determined by regional collaborators on best use to address the unique needs of our region.
- Increase capacity, support strategic collaborative planning and coordination, and accelerate wildfire resilience and forest health protection, 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, ecosystem, and natural resource goals.
Types of Funded Activities
- Regional Priority Planning: Identifying priority projects using the best available science and local knowledge, and working collaboratively across the region to develop strong partnerships
- Capacity Building: Investing in local partners and staffing, acquiring equipment and supplies, developing local programs, and supporting workforce development
- Project Development: Environmental planning including surveys for NEPA/CEQA planning, permitting, partnership work to plan projects
- Demonstration Projects: Projects that implement techniques new to the area, highlight new technology or approaches, and could be scaled up and/or replicated.
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