The Solano Resource Conservation District is working to catalogue habitat concerns remaining in the 2020 LNU burn footprint. This survey effort will inform upcoming work funded under a fire resilience grant from the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (CARCD), and help build future projects and proposals.
As the size and intensity of California wildfires grow, the challenges of post-fire restoration grow as well. From 2019-2021, over 7 million acres of California burned, many of which include high severity landscape-altering burn acres. Post-fire recovery is not only a time of healing for the community but also presents a narrow opportunity to address impacts to the landscape. One of the many important parts of post-fire community healing is managing the landscape to restore ecosystem function, support habitat resilience, and prevent a semi-permanent to permanent deforestation event.
In May 2022, the USDA United States Forest Service (USFS) awarded CARCD a Post-Fire Disaster Recovery Grant to provide sub-grants to RCDs through a competitive process. In July 2022, Solano RCD’s project was one of six funded across the eligible state area, bringing $175,000 to local economies to complete fuel reduction and fire readiness projects. Beginning in Summer 2023, Solano RCD will use the grant to implement fire resilience projects – including fuels removal and habitat restoration – in burned creek areas within the 2020 LNU footprint.
“RCDs like Solano RCD are well integrated and trusted in their communities, so they are perfectly situated to work with private landowners and tribes to complete critical post-fire forest recovery work,” said Karen Buhr, former executive director of CARCD.
Solano RCD staff will be conducting a survey of burned areas to assess remaining habitat damage. Participation in this survey is voluntary, and data collection will be focusing on impacts to landscapes – such as forest health, fuel loads, creek impacts, flooding and erosion concerns – rather than infrastructure.
While work on riparian properties (those with creeks running through them or along their borders) can be funded through the CARCD grant, the goal is to use the survey findings to apply for future grants that could address broader habitat impacts throughout the burned areas in Solano County.
“With the increasing size of landscape-altering wildfires, timely and effective restoration is needed to reduce hazards, restore forest resilience, and prevent permanent impacts to Solano County’s natural areas,” said Chris Rose, Solano RCD’s Executive Director. “Solano RCD is working to play our part in the community’s recovery, and collaborating with our partners through forums like the Solano Fire Safe Council to plan additional fire resilience projects.”
For additional information, please visit our Wildfire Resources page or contact Karin Young, Conservation Project Manager: karin.young (at) solanorcd.org