Due to local topography, high fuel loads, and frequent extreme drought conditions, the Central Coast of California has significant potential for catastrophic wildfires. An increasing number of houses are built in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) across the region, inadvertently impacting natural fire regimes due to suppression efforts to protect property.
Forest and ecosystem health diminishes when fire is suppressed, making natural systems less resilient in the face of climate change.
There is a clear need for improving forest health, providing technical forestry assistance, creating adequate defensible space around homes, minimizing fuel loads across larger landscapes, reducing the spread of invasive plants and pathogens, and providing post-fire landowner assistance on the Central Coast.
In response to this, the US-LT RCD, along with partner RCDs along the Central Coast, has received funding for the delivery of a regional forest health and resiliency program. Our collaborative approach will build the regional foundation and capacity necessary to mobilize at the local and landscape levels to ensure integrated management of wildfire resiliency and forest health initiatives.