Friday, April 24, 2020

FIRESCAPE MENDOCINO UPDATE - Stonyford Regional Meeting March 5, 2020



Stonyford Regional Meeting March 5, 2020

FireScape Mendocino (FSM) hosted a regional meeting in Stonyford on March 5, 2020.  The meeting was focused on local issues and the primary goal was to seek input on what folks want to accomplish with forest restoration after the Ranch Fire.

Approximately 40 people attended including Gary Evans, Christine Hill, Lauren Johnson, and Bob Schneider that are FSM core-team members.  A number of Forest Service scientists and specialists attended as well.

The morning session included presentations made by staff from the Forest Service, Resource Conservation Districts, Central Valley Water Board, and other stakeholders. 

The afternoon breakout sessions focused on FSM’s communication and messaging.  Some attendees stated they want a “Central Clearing House” where landowner questions could be addressed. Other possible platforms include social media, phone trees, messages from the Forest Supervisor, and a website. 

Content on a FSM website might include agency, non-profits and other important contact information; maps of projects both past and ongoing; flow charts that show what approvals are needed for landowner projects; success stories and photos and other helpful information.

The meeting highlighted the need enhanced collaboration between stakeholders to share information and find ways to bring east and west side communities together in support of healthy forests and landscapes in the FSM project area.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

FireScape Mendocino Workshop Highlights Collaborative Approach for Fire and Fuels Management


Chris Mallek, Forest Ecologist, Fire Management on 2019 East Fire

WILLIAMS, CA - A diverse group of over 50 people attended the FireScape Mendocino (FSM) workshop on Fire and Fuels Management that was held at the Granzella’s Inn Conference Room in Williams on Tuesday, Nov.  19, 2019.

There were participants representing the following stakeholders:  California Conservation Corps, air and water regulators, Forest Service, Resource Conservation Districts, BLM, Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, Native American Tribes, recreation groups, conservation organizations, CALFIRE, Prescribed Fire Burn Associations, Fire Safe Councils, local government, private land owners, University of California Cooperative Extension, and other interested parties.

Lenya Quinn-Davidson on Community Burning


The morning presentations and discussions covered post Ranch Fire recovery of natural and cultural resources, repair and reopening of roads, trails, and campgrounds, and ongoing volunteer efforts to clear trails and repair other damaged facilities.

Frank Aebly, District Ranger, on North Shore Restoration Project

Mendocino National Forest District Ranger, Frank Aebly, gave a presentation on the North Shore Restoration Project that has a goal to provide a resilient landscape that restores the ecological integrity and connectivity of habitat by promoting a mix of composition, structure, and functional processes.  The Project is designed to promote continued production of ecosystem services and provide fuel reduction and protection within the North Shore Wildland Urban Interface.

District Silviculturist Radek Glebocki presented information about post-fire projects totaling 2,900 acres on the Grindstone Ranger District. The projects will include removing standing dead and dying trees in preparation for planting Douglas-fir, sugar pine and ponderosa pine seedlings.

Forest Ecologist Chris Mallek gave a presentation on the 2019 East Fire and explained the rationale and decision-making process that is involved with managing a fire for resource objectives in the wilderness.

In the afternoon, Lenya Quinn-Davidson and her team from the University of California Cooperative Extension and the Humboldt County Prescribed Burn Association, discussed efforts to create community-led organizations that help build capacity and mobilize residents to protect their homes, property, and communities from intense wildfire.

These local community-based wildfire groups work closely with local fire officials to design and implement hazardous fuel reduction projects that help minimize impacts from wildfires.  Such grassroots projects are mostly performed by land owners and neighbors.

Wrap up discussions showed that participants left the workshop with a greater degree of shared understanding about current and future fire, fuels, and forest management approaches in the region.

The workshop also provides attendees with the opportunity to identify potential partnerships with additional people, organizations, and programs who they can collaborate with to implement multiple shared values in fire, fuels, and forest management contexts.

FSM looks forward to 2020 where more information can be exchanged at community workshops and field trips.  Facilitating community-based prescribed fire training opportunities is also a goal for FSM next year. Thanks to all who attended.

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Friday, November 1, 2019

NEWS RELEASE - FireScape Mendocino to Host November 19 Fire/Fuels Workshop in Williams




NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Bob Schneider, FSM Core-Team
Phone: 530.304.6215
Date: November 1, 2019

FireScape Mendocino Hosts Workshop 
Fires and Fuels Management

FireScape Mendocino is inviting the public to a workshop on Fires and Fuels Management to be held at the Granzella’s Inn Conference Room in Williams, CA on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 from 9 am to 4 pm.

FireScape is a voluntary, inclusive and collaborative effort to shape the future of our fire-prone landscape in and near the Mendocino National Forest. Working together, we emphasize shared learning, problem solving and action on the ground. Taking the next steps in this effort:


  •      Hear and provide input to FireScape Core Team updates on goals and actions focused on grants, adaptation to a changed fire regime and climate; and recreation.  Learn about $5-million in new grants to the Forest Service for restoration work.

  •       We will learn about the current status and goals of the Ranch Fire Recovery and the North Shore Recovery Project with general discussion and input.
 
       ·    Discuss regional collaborative fire and fuels management with a special presentation               on Prescribed Fire on Private Land:  How does it work and how do we 
                 collaborate to make this happen here.
 
  •       Where is FireScape Mendocino going?  What do you want in future workshops topics?  What are next steps in project development and collaboration?  Are there new grant opportunities?  Bring your ideas and thoughts.  Help us do the job.
 
  • ·          Feedback is important.  Please fill out the survey.


Participants will engage with a variety of collaborators. Guided by the best practices of the North America Fire Learning Network, FireScape Mendocino is designed to enable people with diverse perspectives to find zones of agreement where we can achieve tangible results in our communities and the surrounding landscapes.   For more information, check out our blog at mendocinofirescape.blogspot.com. Other examples from around the country can be found at www.conservationgateway.org.




Tuesday, September 17, 2019

FOREST HEALTH, COLLABORATION, TRIBAL KNOWLEDGE HIGHLIGHT COVELO FIRESCAPE SUBGROUP MEETINGS

Covelo FireScape Subgroup Forest Health Field Trip

Round Valley, an important focal area identified by the public at previous FireScape Mendocino community workshops, was center for a series of meetings and field trips by members and partners of the Covelo FireScape Subgroup.  These events took place on September 13 and 14 in the greater Covelo area on private, tribal, state, and federal lands.

Pre-Field Trip Discussion on Collaborative Fuel and Forest Health Projects


On Friday, fire and conservation leads from the Round Valley Indian Tribes joined other members of the  Covelo FireScape Subgroup to tour potential prescribed fire projects along Etsel Ridge on the Mendocino National Forest.

Discussions centered on the need to substantively incorporate tribal knowledge in the planning and implementation stages so as to best achieve the goals of the project to enhance forest health, improve water quality/quantity, and restore/protect cultural resources.

Other topics covered on the field trip were the important benefits of these potential projects which include jobs for youth and others to support the local economy, enhance wildlife habitat, provide high quality recreation opportunities, and restore Forest resilience on the landscape.  

A Salmon Awareness Festival Forest Health Workshop hosted by the Eel River Recovery Project, Round Valley Indian Tribes, and FireScape Mendocino was held on September 14 at the Round Valley Indian Health Center.

A diverse group attended the workshop to talk about building capacity in the local community in support of job creation, economic benefits, cultural restoration, restoring the landscape, and doing cross-boundary fuel and forest health projects to meet those objectives which also include enhancing water quality for fish and other wildlife.

Other discussion items were to review the organizational strategies of the Western Klamath Restoration Partnership, Karuk Tribe, TREX, Prescribed Burn Associations, Indigenous People’s Burning Network, Fire Learning Network, and FireScape Mendocino.

The workshop ended by reviewing recent fuel/forest health projects funded by California’s Climate Change Initiative (CCI) Grants recently awarded to the Tehama Resource Conservation District in partnership with FireScape Mendocino on the east side of the Forest.

Local representatives at the meeting thought it was important for them to continue meeting with a goal to apply for CCI and/or other grant opportunities so they could start important collaborative fuel projects in or near Round Valley.

Pre-Dinner Salmon Awareness Festival Ceremonies


After the workshop, members of the Covelo FireScape Subgroup, FireScape Mendocino Core-Team, partners, and general public attended the Salmon Awareness Festival that was graciously hosted by Eel River Recovery Project and Round Valley Indian Tribes.

According to the festival’s sponsors, this is an annual event to celebrate the return of the salmon that enter the lower Eel River at this time each year to stage for their spawning run. Ceremonial dances, a traditional salmon feast, a watershed education fair, and a forest health workshop are all part of the event.

Round Valley Historical Landmark


The weekend’s events highlighted the important role that relationship building has in creating a collaborative spirit in the community to support much needed forest health projects to restore the landscape for current and future generations.

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Friday, November 16, 2018

POST RANCH FIRE RECOVERY - Duty to Engage

Observing/Discussing Ranch Fire Impacts

Core-Team members from FireScape Mendocino toured portions of the Ranch Fire that burned over 400,000 acres on the Mendocino National Forest.   The field trip focused largely on reviewing fire impacts to vegetation, cultural resources, and recreation facilities, with discussions about how FireScape can continue our collaboration with the Forest Service in responding to the fire’s effects.

FireScape Mendocino Core-Team Field Trip

The Ranch Fire was part of the Mendocino Complex Fires that scorched both public and private lands during the “not yet over” 2018 Wildfire Season.

Discussing Burn Severity at Field Trip Stop


FireScape Core-Team members believe the recovery phase of wildfire can bring communities together just as effectively (and at times, even more effectively) than the time before a wildfire.

Temporary Closure of Designated OHV/Multi-Use Trail

As the Forest Service continues to engage in critical post wildfire recovery efforts such as hazard tree removal and soil stabilization activities, FireScape Core-Team members believe that FireScape should help facilitate communication between the agency and the local stakeholder community. Part of this role includes FireScape’s participation in identifying, scoping, and securing approvals for recovery actions, based on collaborative input from our stakeholders.



Hazard Tree Closure Sign


As severe and fatal wildfires continue to impact people, private property, and public lands, let us remember that Wildfire is our Future and WE have a solemn duty and responsibility to engage in a substantive and proactive manner in post wildfire recovery efforts and projects.

Less Severe Burn in Pre-Fire Fuel Reduction Project Area

Watch for future updates from FireScape on post wildfire public engagement opportunities.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Building Capacity for Prescribed Fire and Fuel Projects on Private and Public Lands

Field Exercise on Working at Multiple Scales
Lake Chelan, WA

Overview of 2018 National Fire Networks Workshop
By Don Amador, FireScape Mendocino Core-Team Lead
Date: 6/5/2018

As a Core-Team Lead for FireScape Mendocino, I had the privilege to attend the National Fire Networks Workshop (May 22 – 25, 2018) in Wenatchee, WA.   

It was the 1st time all of the five wildland fire networks* - (Fire Learning Network (FLN)Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network (FAC Net),Indigenous Peoples Burning Network (IPBN), Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (TREX) Coaches Network, Washington State Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network (WAFAC)- met together to advance our collective work in ecosystems and communities in North America.

Attendees at National Fire Networks Workshop
Wenatchee, WA

The Network objectives were to advance place-based work via peer-to-peer learning and by facilitating more cross-network action; strengthen relationships across networks; strengthen intra-network relationships, and facilitate network evolution and improvement; and distill lessons from the 2014 and 2015 wildfires in central Washington.

For me, the networking and/or cross-pollination with other fire practitioners (local, state, federal, Native American, non-profits, et al.) was golden.   Each day was a “full day” where one networked at breakfast – then attended informative modules – and then networked again during dinner and 
afterwards.

 Waterfall at Wenatchee Convention Center


I found inspiration, encouragement, and hope for our continued efforts at FireScape Mendocino.

One of the most significant presentations at the conference was made by the Mayor of Paternos, Carlene Anders, and other members of the Okanogan County Long Term Recovery Group.  The Group was formed in response to the 2014 Carlton Complex wildfire which was the largest wildfire disaster in the history of Washington State.

Slide from Presentation on Fire Recovery Efforts in WA

The presentation included emotional testimony from local families who were devastated by massive wildfires over the last few years.  Disaster Case Managers also described their efforts to gain the trust of displaced residents in order to secure critical resources (grants, donations, volunteers, etc.) to help them rebuild their lives.

I urge readers to visit their website link below to review information and videos about their herculean efforts.


The conference provided a lot of formal and informal learning opportunities to assist fire practitioners and collaboratives build capacity for fire and fuel projects on both private and public lands. 

The Washington State Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network (WAFAC) gave an excellent presentation where they highlighted their program.

WAFAC states that fire adapted communities use many tools and programs to better live with wildfire.  The Firewise Communities USA program is one tool available to communities but is not the only tool.  Programs such as Ready, Set, Go! as well as local codes and ordinances, Community Wildfire Protection Plans, collaborative planning efforts, business resilience activities, local mutual aid agreements, fire department capacity, and more all help adapt a community to live with wildfire.

WAFAC also states there is no right or wrong time to become more adapted to wildfire.  And, that communities taking action to better prepare for, respond to, or recover from wildfire can all become fire adapted.  The recovery phase of wildfire can bring communities together just as effectively (and at times, even more effectively) than the time before a wildfire.

Check out more about WAFAC’s efforts at link below:

I believe the various megafires and numerous wildfires that have occurred over the last 3-10 years in the West have created the “perfect political storm” to help foster the political will in Western States to enact substantive political reforms to encourage and support fire/fuel/forest health projects on both private and public lands.

Several political events that might signal said sea change are as follows:

WA Governor, Jay Inslee, Talks About His Support for Prescribed Fire Projects

Governor Jay Inslee attended our event and highlights his/WA’s commitment to support more fire/fuel projects (see attached pic)

Forest Service and BLM Fire Leads from their Washington D.C offices were there to actively participate in the workshop and experience the collective power of the group to effect change to support enhanced fire and fuel projects in the country.

Governor Brown recently issued another executive order to bolster our efforts


Liz Rank, Publisher of the Networker, sent out highlights of a historic “3 week” burn permit in Nor Cal (see narrative below and also link to the Networker)

News from the Field
California: In a show of support for its growing partnership with the Cultural Fire Management
Council (CFMC), CAL FIRE recently issued a three-week permit to CFMC for controlled burning. The burns are part of the family-led burning program of the Yurok-Hupa-Karuk IPBN, and burns enable cultural fire practitioners to revitalize traditional fire practices. Multiple TREX in the area have prepared CFMC to work with families to safely complete these burns.


I believe that FireScape Mendocino is well poised to build on our collaborative efforts over the last 5 years to increase the number, size, and scope of fuel treatments on public and private lands.


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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Post FireScape Mendocino Workshop Report - March 2017

FS Staff Give Overview of Recent Fuel Reduction Project

Fifty-eight people from 17 organizations got a stunning view of small communities nestled between the north shore of Clear Lake and checkerboard lands leading up into the Mendocino National Forest during a visit to the Lakeview WUI Project. The project is a collaborative effort of the USFS, Lake County Fire Safe Council, CAL FIRE and the North Shore Fire Protection District.

Western Bark Beetle
(dark spot in center of photo)


The Forest Service designed the fuel reduction treatments on its land to achieve improved access for firefighters as well as forest restoration. Indoor work during this workshop, which focused on Fire Ready Communities, included shared learning from three collaborative groups – the Western Klamath Restoration Partnership, the Amador Calaveras Consensus Group and the Central Appalachians FLN.

Two USFS fire staff members designed a fun WUI exercise using 3 pans of sand, matches and birthday candles for trees, tiny wooden houses, and a fan for wind. Participants removed “trees” to reduce fuels prior to ignition with a campfire lighter (with a fire extinguisher nearby). Community engagement expert, Jana Carp, gave a presentation on an asset-based approach to community engagement.

Mendocino National Forest Supervisor, Ann Carlson, Welcomes Group to Workshop


Finally, the Mendocino Blacktail Deer Association shared a presentation about the nexus of fuels management with improving deer habitat. The Association has been a financial contributor for management treatments on the Mendocino NF.