Looking for help funding fuels management or other fire preparedness projects? Finding and securing funding is a complicated and ever-changing process. Here are few suggestions:
• Organize your neighborhood as a Fire Safe Council, then put together a “shovel ready project” to submit to the MCFSC for consideration in a PG&E Fuels Reduction grant opening. This grant is not guaranteed to be available from year to year, and calls for MCFSC to batch all the county’s projects and be the point of contact. With many neighborhoods mobilizing and a $100,000 grant cap, there may be ranking criteria for selecting local neighborhood projects.
• California Forest Improvement Program (CFIP): CFIP is a state program, administered by CAL FIRE, that will pay a direct percentage of the cost of treatment. You do need to hire a Registered Professional Forester to plan your project and you need to have a Forest Management Plan for the property before you are eligible for implementation cost-share funding. CFIP does financially assist with the development of a Forest Management Plan. To learn more about the program, visit: (http://calfire.ca.gov/resource_mgt/resource_mgt_forestryassistance_cfip). This program is out of funding for this year – hopefully funding will be reallocated to the program at the start of FY 2019/2020 (July 2019).
• Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP): EQIP is a federal program run by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). NRCS will provide free technical assistance from natural resource professionals (e.g., foresters and engineers). Their cost-share program utilizes this free technical assistance to plan a project with you. Information is available here: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/financial/eqip/
• Talk with your CAL FIRE Battalion Chief about potential projects and inquire about the Fuels Reduction Crew they have or will have for the Mendocino Unit.