Help offered to landowners for tree management

A new North Bay Forest Improvement Program is offering financial incentives to private landowners to help mitigate the risk of wildfire.

“These resources will help residents, especially those in disadvantaged communities, get work done on their own properties that increase our collective resilience to wildfire,” said Lisa Micheli, a board member of the Rebuild NorthBay Foundation, which developed the program in partnership with the Resource Conservation Districts of Mendocino, Napa and Sonoma counties and the Clear Lake Environmental Research Center.

The cutting-edge cost-share program will provide public funds to support private investment in forest stewardship activities such as reducing vegetative fuel loads and addressing insect infestations and disease epidemics on forested private properties in Lake, Mendocino, Napa and Sonoma counties.

Specific methods supported by the program may include forest management planning, site preparation, tree planting and protection, forest thinning and pruning and supervision of the work by Registered Professional Foresters.

Micheli, in a press release, said the partnership is innovative and being seen by Cal Fire as a model program to help landowners care for their trees.

“In recent years, we’ve seen a major uptick in requests for assistance managing forestland,” said Valerie Quinto of the Sonoma Resource Conservation District. “Folks are realizing that in forests shaped by decades of fire suppression, they may need to take a more active role in managing fuel buildup. The North Bay Forest Improvement Program will be one tool in the toolbox to support proactive land stewards as they work to make our forests healthier and more resilient.”

Over the next three years, the program aims to support 40 forest health and resilience projects in the four participating counties, with at least 15% of program dollars benefiting disadvantaged communities. The program is funded primarily by a $1.5 million Cal Fire Wildfire Resilience and Forestry Assistance grant.

Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis with no deadline. For the application and more information, visit For more information, contact Jennifer Gray Thompson, executive director of Rebuild NorthBay Foundation, at or call 707-953-6034.

Meg McConahey

Features, The Press Democrat

Like most everyone, I love a good feature story that takes me somewhere I’ve never been or tells me something I don’t know. Where can I take you? Who in Sonoma County would you like to know better? I cover the people, places and ideas that make up Sonoma County, with general features, people profiles and home and garden, interior design and architecture stories. Hit me up with your tips, ideas and burning questions.


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