In 2015, twelve organizations comprised of state and federal land and resource management agencies, environmental groups, and regional prescribed fire councils came together to pledge their commitment to advancing the use of fire for ecological benefit and improved fire management. They included the U.S. Forest Service, Sierra Forest Legacy, Cal Fire, The Wilderness Society, The Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, National Park Service, Northern California Prescribed Fire Council, and the Southern Sierra Prescribed Fire Council.
Since then, an additional 25 partners have signed on to the MOU (37 total today). The following agencies and partners are members of the MOU Partnership:
USDA, Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region
Sierra Forest Legacy
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE)
State of California Sierra Nevada Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy
USDI, National Park Service Pacific Region
The Wilderness Society
The Sierra Club
Center for Biological Diversity
Northern California Prescribed Fire Council
Southern Sierra Prescribed Fire Council
Pacific Forest Trust
Audubon Canyon Ranch
Center for Fire Research and Outreach, UC Berkeley
Center for Forestry, UC Berkeley
USDI, Bureau of Land Management
The California Forestry Association
California State Parks and Recreation
Central Coast Prescribed Fire Council
Southern California Edison
Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center
Terra Fuego Resource Foundation
California Wildlife Foundation/California Oaks
El Dorado Air Quality Management District
Butte County Air Quality Management District
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Placer County Air Pollution Control District
California Indian Water Commission
Yuba Watershed Institute
Defenders of Wildlife
Sagehen Creek Field Station, UC Berkeley
California Native Plant Society
California Tahoe Conservancy
The Fire Restoration Group
Save the Redwoods League
Read the press release here.
US Forest Service All Lands Approach to Ecological Restoration
Region 5 Ecological Restoration Initiative - Leadership Intent
The National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy
Governor Brown's State of Emergency Proclamation and State of California Tree Mortality Task Force
State of California Strategic Fire Plan
Sierra Nevada Conservancy
Sierra Nevada Watershed Improvement Program
If your organization or agency's work focus includes land use policy, fire policy, or smoke management in California, we welcome you to become a partner in the Fire MOU Partnership.
First steps to joining the MOU:
2. Read the Meeting Notes (Kick-Off Meeting, Feb. 2-3, 2016). The structure of the working groups is detailed in these notes, so be sure to read this before filling out the application form.
3. Contact Craig Thomas to request the Partnership Initiation Form. Some web browsers no longer support the mailto function. You may have to copy and paste the email address.
Note that the original 2015 MOU lists only the original signatories and doesn't list the partners who have joined since then.
April 28, 2021
Listen to Scott Stephens, Lenya Davidson, and Craig Thomas discuss fire prevention and prescribed burning on Cap Radio's Insight program today. Slide to 23:07 minutes to begin this segment.
April 23, 2021
There are growing concerns about the health impacts of wildfire smoke as California faces larger and more devastating blazes. NBC News’ Steve Patterson goes inside Stanford’s Allergy & Asthma Lab, where researchers are testing firefighters for exposure and their gear for toxins.
MSNBC: California Scientists are Fighting Fire with Fire
NBC’s Jacob Ward reports from California where scientists are preparing for wildfire season by setting controlled fires.
August 28, 2020
They Know How to Prevent Megafires. Why Won’t Anybody Listen? -- ProPublica
This is a story about frustration, about watching the West burn when you fully understand why it’s burning—and understand why it did not need to be this bad. By Elizabeth Weil. Read it here.
August 23, 2020
California fires: State, feds agree to thin millions of acres of forests – Mercury News
New plan would last 20 years, reshaping California’s landscape. By Paul Rogers. Read it here.
August 20, 2020
California Looks to Battle Mega Wildfires with Fire -- Scientific American
As flames once again rage across the state, officials embrace a counterintuitive firefighting approach. By Jane Braxton Little. Read it here.
August 13, 2020
Long-Term Strategy to Manage Forests and Rangelands – Press Release from Governor Newsom’s office
In a key step to improve stewardship of California’s forests, the Newsom Administration and the U.S. Forest Service today announced a new joint state-federal initiative to reduce wildfire risks, restore watersheds, protect habitat and biological diversity, and help the state meet its climate objectives.
The Agreement for Shared Stewardship of California’s Forest and Rangelands includes a commitment by the federal government to match California’s goal of reducing wildfire risks on 500,000 acres of forest land per year. To protect public safety and ecology, experts agree that at least one million acres of California forest and wildlands must be treated annually across jurisdictions. Read the press release here.
June 22, 2020
Meteorology, Predictive Services and Fire Weather Forecasting: MOU Partnership Virtual Meeting
Monday, June 22, 2020, 3:30 PM 4:30 PM. Link to agenda and presentations here.
April 9, 2019
The Spring Fire MOU Partnership Meeting in 2019 was held at McClellan Wildland Fire Training Center on April 5, 2019. Download the Presentation PDFs:
Policy Barriers to Prescribed Fire: Challenges and Opportunities Across the West by Courtney Schultz, Associate Professor and Director, Public Lands Policy Group, Colorado State University. View Presentation PDF >
Using fire in burned forests: untangling the complex interactions among successive fires by Brandon Collins, Pacific Southwest Research Station and UC Berkeley. View Presentation PDF >
Pyrodiversity in Sierra Nevada Mixed Conifer Forest by Jamie Lydersen, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Fire and Resource Assessment Program. View Presentation PDF >
Fire and Reforestation in California by Malcolm North, Research Ecologist, Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station. View Presentation PDF >
Pyrosilviculture by Rob York, Adjunct Assoc. Prof. of Forestry, UC Berkeley. View Presentation PDF >
April 26, 2019
Don't miss reading "Planned burns can reduce wildfire risks, but expanding use of 'good fire' isn't easy" by a team of research scientists in The Conversation, an online journal publishing factual news stories written by leading scholars and academics. The conclusion? There are many obstacles to achieving the use of fire to achieve fuels reduction at the level necessary to make a significant difference, but the lack of trained personnel and the funding needed to accomplish the work on the ground is number one.
California Senate Bill 462 aims to address this problem by creating a new training program within California's publicly funded community college system. SB 462 (Sen. Stern) Community Colleges: Urban and Rural Forest and Woodlands Restoration and Fire Resiliency Workforce Program, establishes a model curriculum for a forest restoration workforce. The bill has seen tremendous support from a broad number of sectors, and is moving rapidly through the legislature.
March 5, 2019
CAL FIRE has released the 45-day report as requested by Gov. Gavin Newsom in January (see last post, below). Download the report here.
January 8, 2019
On his first day of office, newly elected Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order explicitly referencing the fire related issues facing California in the face of climate change--"persistent drought, warmer temperatures, and more severe winds"; the beneficial impact of Native American burning on the landscape in historical times, and pledging additional investments in the 2019-2020 budget to improve fire prevention and management in addition to the $1 billion that will be available starting this year for the purpose of active forest management. The Governor has requested, within 45 days, a report from CAL FIRE with recommendations of the most impactful changes that are necessary to "prevent and mitigate wildfires to the greatest extent possible, with an emphasis on environmental sustainability and protection of public health." Read more and link to the EO here.
December 20, 2018
"Scientists and land managers agree on the importance of reducing flammable fuel in California's vast conifer forests. And they say that fire is the best tool for the job." Read more from science reporter Julia Rosen in the LA Times today in this excellent piece.
September 5, 2018
Jane Braxton Little in the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Environment360: Fighting Fire with Fire: California Turns to Prescribed Burning.
July 16, 2018
July 6, 2018
OP-Ed in Mammoth Times:
June 16, 2018
Living with Fire: A Little Smoke Now Prevents a Lot More Later Craig Thomas, Jim Branham, and Op-Ed in Fresno Bee
February 5, 2018
Read more about the Little Hoover Commission Report
December 11, 2017
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