Sunday, June 6, 2021

DIVERSE STAKEHOLDERS PARTICIPATE at POST AUGUST COMPLEX FIRE WORKSHOP

Post August Complex Fire - Crane Mills Property


DIVERSE STAKEHOLDERS PARTICIPATE at POST AUGUST COMPLEX FIRE WORKSHOP

 

Approximately 45 forest stakeholders attended a virtual workshop to discuss their feelings, experiences, and observations about how they were impacted by the 2020 August Complex Fire that burned almost one million areas of private and public forest and grasslands.  Hosted by FireScape Mendocino (FSM), the workshop was held on the mornings of April 28 and 29, 2021.

Tribal Participation in Forest Health Collaborative

Dave Ceppos, Director of the California State University Sacramento, Consensus and Collaboration Program, facilitated this event that was FSM’s Workshop #12: Our Future in a Fire-adapted Landscape.

Fire Impacts to Home Owners

The program started out both days with the FSM core-team lead acknowledging and expressing their appreciation to the Tribes in the project area for their participation in the forest health collaborative.  A special note of thanks was given to the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians for assigning one of their representatives to be part of the original FSM core-team and the Round Valley Tribe for participating in numerous workshops and field trips over the years and for inviting FireScape to participate in their annual Salmon Awareness Festival.

 

Effective Ridgetop Fuel Break - Crane Mills

On day one, Ann Carlson, the Forest Supervisor, gave an overview of how the recent wildfires have impacted the Forest, agency staff, and surrounding communities.  Forest Service fuels specialist, Hinda Darner, shared her observations on burn severity and the efficacy of various fuel reduction projects.

 

Fire Impacts to Wildlife

Local property owners, recreationists, ranchers, and foresters spoke from the heart how the recent wildfires have affected their personal lives, families, traditions, or outdoor activities.  Chris Baldo, a forester and inholder, talked about how the August Complex Fire affected his ranch and timberlands that are surrounded by the Mendocino National Forest.

 

Pete Bauer, a cattle rancher, explained how the August Complex Fire impacted their cattle operation but offered hope that some of the rangeland and meadows many benefit from the event.  Ryan Henson, a long-time recreationist on the Forest, shared how the fire has impacted him personally and that post-fire recovery of trail and other recreation opportunities is important to the outdoor community.

 

Workshop Graph on Personal Feelings

 

Ann Bradley and Zander Evans, specialists from the Burned Area Learning Network, led the group through several interactive web-based “Way of Life” surveys to gauge the level of post-fire shock or stress experienced by many in or near the fire’s burn footprint.  Other important feelings and emotions were also captured during the online exercises.

Workshop Graph on Values and Experiences
 


While many negative feelings were expressed, there was also a willingness by most to look for new opportunities and renewal in our post-fire reality. 

Day two was focused on presentations by scientists and agency specialists that covered post-fire impacts to wildlife, natural/cultural resources, and surrounding communities.  FSM core-team members, Jon Barrett, Tehama Resource Conservation District and Mike Marvier, Crane Mills Timber Company, talked about the fire impacts to private timberlands and highlighted current and future fuel management projects that are funding through California’s Climate Change Initiative grant program.

 

Public State Access is Important in Post Fire World

Don Hankins from Chico Stat gave a highly informative presentation on the impacts of fire on wildlife including deer and their habitat.  Jonathan Long, fire specialist from the Forest Service, gave an overview of how the August Complex Fire affected natural resources and potential strategies to address those impacts.

 

Post August Complex Fire Field Trip

Gabe Shultz, CALFIRE Staff Chief and Regional Resource Manager, gave a presentation on California’s 2021 Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan that proposes to make a $1 billion dollar investment in a strategy to increase the pace and scale of forest and wildland management to meet the state’s target of completing projects on 500,000 acres annually by 2025 and expanding the use of prescribed fire, particularly on state-owned lands. The plan calls for achieving these goals largely through regional strategies tailored to the environmental conditions, risks and priorities in each area.

 

Hilda Kwan, District Hydrologist, gave an overview of a 4,500 acre post-fire recovery project to remove fire-killed and fire-injured trees. The project would improve employee and public safety, capture remaining economic value of dead trees, and reduce post-fire fuels to prevent the future buildup of excessive fuel loads.

 

Gary Urdahl, District Forester, shared a number of pre and post fire slides that illustrated areas of high burn severity vs. forested units that survived due to pre-fire fuel reduction projects or other mitigating factors.

 

Meadow Benefits from August Complex Fire

Some key takeaways for me include presentations that illustrated both the negative and positive effects of recent wildfires.  Concerns were expressed about how the drought, increased bark beetle infestations, reburns killing tree roots and seedlings, and lack of biomass capacity will impact our post-fire reality.

 

Can Old Mill Sites Serve as Biomass Facilities

FSM believes this virtual workshop setting allowed for more people to participate and provide insight into next steps for a fire-adapted landscape. This setting also allowed for post-fire support from fellow FLN partners that have survived similar events. Also, public feedback will be used to help FSM plan for future workshops and field trips.

 

# # #

 

FireScape Mendocino 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.

 

 

  



Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Post Wildfire Tour to Review Efficacy of Fuel Projects

Post Fire Review of Fuel Projects



Core-Team members from FireScape Mendocino (FSM) along with representatives from CALFIRE, Forest Service, the Resource Conservation District (RCD) of Tehama County, and Crane Mills recently toured portions of the 2020 August Complex Fire that burned over 1 million acres of private and public lands in or near the Mendocino, Six Rivers, and Shasta Trinity National Forests.  

 

The field trip focused largely on reviewing burn severity and the efficacy of several fuel projects funded by California’s Climate Change Initiative (CCI) Grants and administered by the RCD of Tehama County in partnership with the Forest Service, Crane Mills, and CALFIRE. The grant originally was to treat over 5,000 acres of the Mendocino Forest and Crane Mills land.  The project completed treatment of 2500 acres before the August Complex started.    The tour was focused on effective implementation post fire.

 

Mid-Slop Shaded Fuel Break without Biomass Removal Component

 The tour included stops and presentations at fuel projects where mastication was the primary prescription vs. projects that used a combination of mastication and biomass removal.  

 

The location of projects was also a topic of discussion where participants compared/contrasted the effectiveness of mid-slope roadside shaded fuel breaks vs. shaded fuel breaks sited on ridgetops.

Ridge Top Shaded Fuel Break with Biomass Removal Component
 

Additionally, given that the treatment areas were just masticated before the fire started, it was discovered that rearranging fuels was not as effective as other sites that fared better, given the material was allowed to decompose.   The fuel load left on the forest floor helped carry fire and potentially caused the roots of the confers to cook.  The project team thought that this next winter will be critical to determining the fate of the conifers that survived the fire.

 

It appeared to the group the fuel projects that incorporated a biomass component into the prescription burned with less severity and had a higher tree survival rate.  Based on field observations and group discussions, it appeared that removing post-mastication woody debris was a critical factor to the success of the project.

 

The group also discussed the logistical challenges of bio massing and the needs for state/federal subsidizes to help offset the cost of trucking the material to co-generation plants.   Additional challenges include the economic viability of co-generation plants with numerous plant closers.

 

In order to increase pace and scale of project development, the project teamed discussed the importance of continued collaboration with state and federal agencies in an effort to help expedite the critical project development process.

 

Also given the area’s infamous and unpredictable wind patterns, it looked like mid-slope roadside fuel projects were not as successful as those located on ridgetops.

 

The group felt there is a lot we can learn from studying the burn severity in varying types of fuel projects tested by the August Complex Fire.  Given our limited resources compared to the size of the fire, it is important that resource managers consider biomass-centric fuel projects located near or on ridgetops.

Potential Biomass Plant at Old Mill Site near the Forest

Don Amador, Core-Team Lead for FSM, states, “My big takeaway from the field trip was the important role that biomass has in the success of future fuel projects  and also the need for California to invest in locating biomass plants near the Forest to facilitate biomass removal that could create energy, wood products, and local jobs.”

 

“FSM believes we have a duty and responsibility to engage with local communities and partners to help build our capacity to plan for and implement future fuel reduction projects and post wildfire recovery/restoration efforts,” Amador concludes.

 

Jon Barrett, Project Manager for the Resource Conservation District of Tehama County, stressed the importance of continued collaboration with stakeholders during project development in an effort to address environmental concerns before they become wrapped up in the legal process, stalling much needed project implementation in an effort to get in front of the fuel loads in Forest.

# # # 

 

 


 

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.

# # # 




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.

# # #