May 02, 2019
How We’re Burning Across Boundaries: Trinity Integrated Fire Management Partnership Case Study
By: Nick Goulette, Watershed Research and Training Center
Here in Trinity County, California, we were early adopters of the FAC ethos. We created our first community wildfire protection plan before the CWPP acronym was even invented. Our Trinity County Fire Safe Council, composed of land and fire managers and community leaders, began meeting monthly 19 years ago! Locals conceived of the Weaverville Community Forest in the late 90s and pioneered one of the nation’s first stewardship agreements in 2004. We’ve been utilizing partnerships for collective impact across public and private lands, and scaling up our fuels treatments since 1994. And all the while, chainsaws, logging equipment, mastication and pile burning have been our go-to tools for accomplishing the good work.
We always knew that we needed to bring broadcast burning into our toolbox, too. Controlled burning has a sordid history in Trinity County, to say the least. In 1999, The Lowden Ranch Prescribed Fire escaped and burned 25 homes in our county.
Despite jilted public perception and the myriad challenges of using prescribed fire in and around our communities, we continued to push toward cooperative prescribed burning for community wildfire protection.
Through a combination of local innovation, shared risk-taking, and a lot of help from friends and colleagues we’ve met through The Nature Conservancy’s Fire Learning Network, we have:
- Leveraged funding and workforces across organizations and state, federal and local agencies; and
- Implemented burning across land ownerships, including on federal, private-industrial and small family forestlands.
And, all of this work has happened in and around our highest value resources and assets: our communities.
The Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition recently unpacked and explored these successes in their publication, Trinity Integrated Fire Management Partnership; check it out below to understand how we’ve accomplished all-lands work in our area. You can also access it online for a printer-friendly PDF (887KB).
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