I’ve helped found two fire safe councils, Bonny Doon FSC in 2010 and the broader Fire Safe Santa Cruz County in 2016. Bonny Doon FSC is focused on the northwestern most corner of Santa Cruz County, on the 50 square mile Ben Lomond Mountain. Fire Safe Santa Cruz County seeks to prioritize wildfire preparedness projects and equitably allocate resources across the entire county.
I am especially interested both in fire ecology as Ben Lomond Mountain is a biodiversity hotspot, and in educating rural residents on how to understand their home ignition zone and make their community the firebreak as Bonny Doon had two consecutive catastrophic wildfires in the two years before I started the Bonny Doon FSC. I have been NFPA trained in Assessing Structure Ignition Potential from Wildfire.
San Vicente Redwoods Prescribed Fire Preparation
The goal of this project is to further subdivide the firescape on Ben Lomond Mountain, which our prior Warrenella and Fall Creek Truck Trail shaded fuel breaks have bisected east-west, and which our long-term Empire Grade fuel break program will bisect north-south when complete. The objective of the project is to box off an area of 2 square miles of redwood, mixed conifer and mixed hardwood forests and to divide it into 4 watersheds with 6 miles of shaded fuel breaks on strategic ridgetops. Ultimately, we aim to divide the wildlands of Ben Lomond Mountain into 50 - 200 acre segments, then thin them by hand and mechanical means to reduce the considerable fuel load, in order to restore a sustainable fire regime based on regular low-intensity prescribed and cultural fire and to protect the roughly 8,0000 homes on and adjacent to the mountain.
Fire Safe Santa Cruz County fiscal year 7/2018 - 6/2019 Action Plan
a. Establish active standing committees with total board participation (Executive Steering Committee)
b. Continue to work with the RCD of Santa Cruz County to apply for grant funds as opportunities are identified (Technical Advisory Committee)
c. Plan and execute at least one educational event in a WUI area (Education and Outreach Committee)
d. Update bylaws, get Board approval (Executive Steering Committee)
e. Identify alternate funding sources. Strategize how to become financially independent (Development Committee)
f. Achieve name recognition in the community (Education and Outreach Committee)
g. Redefine RCD and FSSCC relationship prior to June 2019 (Executive Steering Committee)