Partner Spotlight: CARCD Forestry Committee

CARCD and Statewide Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committee members along with guests pose for a group picture in Bonita, CA.

Forest management in California holds a unique set of challenges—the prevalence of wildfire, drought, bark beetles, and the tree mortality crisis— and opportunities—carbon sequestration, renewable energy for rural communities, learning from indigenous communities, community grassroots organization like fire safe councils and prescribed burn associations, and a sustainable timber industry. The California Association of Conservation District (CARCD) Forestry Committee brings together 25 members, including resource conservation district (RCD) staff and board, non-profit organization partners, and state and federal agency personnel, to address some of these challenges and opportunities. With the mission to “provide expertise, advice and support to conserve, restore and sustain the health, diversity and productivity of California’s forested landscapes,” the Forestry Committee acts as a hub to coordinate a diverse set of stakeholders on forestry efforts across the state.

The Committee’s main responsibilities include providing recommendations to the CARCD board of directors and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, providing support and assistance to RCDs for their individual forestry programs, providing recommendations and assistance for the the State Forest Action Plan, increasing forest landowner and public awareness of emerging issues affecting California’s forested landscapes, and more.

They have been collaborating closely with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s (CAL FIRE’s) Statewide Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committee, which advises CAL FIRE’s director, and they have some exciting changes coming up. The two statewide forestry committees have drafted a new charter to become one body, with CARCD holding the responsibility to lead the new committee. They hope to sign this charter in May.

Laurie Tippin, the Chair of the Committee, welcomed anyone who is interested to join their meetings, which are once a quarter, the next one being on May 12, 2020. The Forestry Committee’s webpage is constantly updated with meeting information, as well as plenty of resources on forestry. In addition, seats will be opening up on the Committee at the end of the calendar year, so they are looking for representation from RCDs and others to join 2021 for a three term period. More information on openings will be announced in September.