Workshop & Presentation Recordings

Workshop & Presentation Recordings

“2024 Wildland Fire Season Outlook”

In this presentation, CAL FIRE Chief Ben Nicholls explained how forecasted conditions are anticipated to affect this year’s wildland fire season, and shared an update on the Point Fire. Watch here.

“Indigenous and Immigrant Farmworkers Building a Forest Resilience Workforce in the North Bay Project”

Guest speakers Josh Cox (Resilience Works) and Connor DeVane (North Bay Jobs with Justice) share how they are working to address workforce gaps in the forestry sector in a way that centers economic, racial and climate justice. Watch here.

“Strategies for Complex Public Engagement Processes”

Kim Batchelder (Ag + Open Space District) and Adriana Stagnaro (Gold Ridge RCD) focus on how private landowners and public organizations collaborate on complex, multi-property, long-term forest conservation projects. They share lessons learned and updates on current projects in progress. Watch here.

“French Broom and Understory Vegetation Management”

Guest speaker Jason Mills of EcoLogiCal Solutions shares his knowledge and expertise in this presentation on French Broom (Genista monspessulana) and Understory Vegetation Management. Watch here.

“Overview of Measure H”

This presentation by Fire Chief Marshall Turbeville of Northern Sonoma County Fire Protection District explained the details of Proposed Measure H, including a focus on the vegetation management component of the measure. This presentation was followed by a Q&A session. Watch here.

“Public Perceptions of Forest Stewardship: Review of Research and Best Practices in Communication”

In this presentation, guest speaker Kristina Rizga, Veteran journalist and a member of the Sonoma County Forest Conservation Working Group, summarized the results of her year-long investigation of public attitudes about ecological thinning and prescribed burning, and shared her findings on best practices in communication and public education. Watch here.

“2023 Fire Season Outlook”

This presentation was hosted by Battalion Chief Marshall Turbeville, who provided an in-depth forecast for the north Bay Area 2023 fire season, including rainfall predictions, fuel moisture, fuel loading, and climatic factors that affect fire behavior. This presentation was followed by a Q&A session. Watch here.

“How and Why to use the CWPP Project Entry Tool”

This workshop was hosted by Caerleon Safford of Permit Sonoma, who walked users through the portal step-by-step. We are happy to announce that the updated Community Wildfire Prevention Plan Project Entry Portal is officially launched! The Project Entry Portal (PEP) is where organizations, agencies or landowners can enter Wildfire Risk Reduction Projects to be considered for inclusion on the Sonoma County CWPP Project list. The list will provide a central place where wildfire risk reduction projects can be seen county-wide so that trends and gaps, and opportunities for collaboration, can be identified. Additionally, having your project on the list enhances the visibility of your project and helps to meet eligibility criteria of grant programs such as the Sonoma County Vegetation Management Grant Program and CAL FIRE’s Fire Prevention Grant Program. We are asking that projects entered on the 2021 CWPP list be reentered to be included in the 2023 CWPP Project List Update. The PEP was revised with easy project entry in mind—we estimate 15 minutes to reenter a project. Watch here.

“Vegetation Trends and Cycles in Fire-Prone Landscapes of Lake, Napa and Sonoma Counties”

Historical ecologist Arthur Dawson of Baseline Consulting presents the findings of a three-year CALFIRE-funded study conducted in partnership with Pepperwood, Mark Tukman, and Dr. Jim Thorne.  Arthur will trace the story of fire and vegetation in the North Bay over the last 150+ years, going back to Indigenous times. Integrating a wide variety of sources reveals the surprisingly dynamic patterns of chaparral, hardwood and conifer woodlands in response to wildfire, timber harvest, and wildfire suppression. It took generations to set the stage for the catastrophic fires of the last decade. It will take several more to change that trajectory. Altering course is going to require hard work on the ground guided by a deeper understanding of the relationship of fire, vegetation and the role of human beings in the landscape. This presentation is designed to be valuable to members of the public as well as vegetation managers, firefighters and other professionals. Wach here.

Sonoma County Comprehensive Tree Ordinance Update Workshop

Presented by Robert Aguero, RPF, and Doug Bush, MCRP, of Permit Sonoma. The Sonoma County General Plan calls for the protection and enhancement of Sonoma County’s natural habitats and diverse plant and animal communities by establishing standards and programs to protect native trees, plant communities, riparian corridors, and timber resources. The County addresses the protection and enhancement of individual trees and their related plant communities through multiple regulations put in place in the past few decades. Over time, emerging factors like climate change, Sudden Oak Death, drought and wildfire have created new challenges for management of this valuable natural resource. In light of these challenges, in 2019 the Board of Supervisors approved a two-year Work Plan for the Comprehensive Planning Division that directs Permit Sonoma to reevaluate current tree removal regulations. Permit Sonoma has received a Wildfire Resiliency and Recovery Planning Grant through the State of California’s Strategic Growth Council to support this work. Watch here.

Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior

Jason Wells, Registered Professional Forester for Sonoma RCD, will provide a basic overview of wildland fire behavior, including the primary wildland fire environment components (fuels, weather, and topography); how characteristics and interactions of fuels, weather, and topography affect fire behavior; how fire behavior affects risk to firefighters; and fuels management practices to modify fire behavior. Watch here.

“Sonoma County Wildfire Resilience Planner Tool: Shared Decision Support for Planning and Prioritizing “

The Sonoma County Wildfire Resilience Planner combines best available science and spatial data with guidance from County and State experts to build a planning and prioritization tool to identify locations where the reduction of fuels will best protect lives and property, critical infrastructure, ecosystem services and biodiversity. The tool was built to provide one shared, countywide integrated and compatible decision support tool to prioritize and coordinate vegetation management efforts for strategic wildfire risk reduction. This presentation introduces the tool, its applications, and its service and integration into other Sonoma County programs, regional and state initiatives. It will also demo the tool through a few use scenarios. Presented by: Susan Haydon, Project Specialist for Sonoma Water, and Deanne DiPietro, Senior Science Coordinator for Conservation Biology Institute. Watch here.

“North Bay Forest Improvement Program (NBFIP)”

Adriana Stagnaro, Outreach & Project Manager for the Gold Ridge RCD, presented an introduction to the North Bay Forest Improvement Program. The North Bay Forest Improvement Program (NBFIP) is a cost-share incentives program established in 2020 and funded through CAL FIRE’s Proposition 68 Wildfire Resilience and Forestry Assistance Grant. NBFIP received additional financial support in 2022 through a block grant from the CAL FIRE’s Wildfire & Forest Resilience Task Force’s Small Private Landowner Working Group to facilitate further expansion of the program. This program is intended to blend the best parts of CAL FIRE’s California Forest Improvement Program (CFIP) and NRCS’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) within the confines of NBFIP guidelines. Watch here.

“Shaded Fuel Breaks”

A diverse panel shares their experience in advising, designing and implementing shaded fuel breaks in a variety of settings. Watch the panel presentation here.

“2022 Fire Season Outlook”

Presented by CAL FIRE Battalion Chief Marshall Turbeville. An in-depth forecast for the north Bay Area 2021 fire season, including rainfall predictions, fuel moisture and fuel loading, and climatic factors that affect fire behavior. June 2022. Watch here.

“Vegetation Management Workforce Development”

Presented by Che Casul from Circuit Riders, Jason Mills from WRA, Inc., Brook Edwards from Sonoma County Regional Parks, and Kim Batchelder from Sonoma County Ag + Open Space. Panelists introduced youth training development programs designed to build the next generation of fire and vegetation managers in the north bay. Issues included serving disadvantaged youth, living wages, housing availability and specialized training. May 2022. Watch here.

“Good Fire Alliance Update”

Presented by Garrett Gradillas, Prescribed Fire Project Coordinator for Fire Forward. We heard updates on the Good Fire Alliance’s work for 2022 and opportunities for engagement. He updated us on their amazing fellowship program, their Type 6 engine build, and on recent prescribed fires and site visits. April 2022. Watch here.

“Wildfire Vegetation Management Division: Sonoma County Fire Management Tools in Development”

Presented by Sashi Sabaratnam, UC Cooperative Extension Wildfire Vegetation Mitigation Program Manager for the County of Sonoma. Sashi Sabaratnam is developing the next version of the Wildfire Decision Support Framework Tools, including the Wildfire Fuel Mapper parcel-level GIS tool. About the speaker: After developing and advocating for a wildfire prevention CEQA reform bill, Sashi began work founding the California Wildfire Prevention Coalition, bringing together fire professionals, environmentalists, businesses and residents to educate and advocate for essential prevention work. March 2022. Watch here.

“Tannery Creek Instream Large Wood Recruitment & Forest Management Project”

Presented by Adriana Stagnaro, Outreach & Project Manager for Gold Ridge RCD. The Tannery Creek Instream Large Wood Recruitment project was constructed in 2019 in Bodega, CA to enhance habitat for salmonids. It utilized redwood and Doug-fir logs from the private ranch where the project was constructed, supporting the 1,000 acre property’s forest management plan and the Salmon Creek Watershed Council’s stream restoration goals. This project was funded by CA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife’s Fisheries Restoration Grant Program. February 2022. Watch here.

“Introduction to CEQA for Vegetation Management”

Presented by Permit Sonoma Senior Environmental Specialist and Forester Robert Aguero, this is an overview of what CEQA is, why your project might need it, and how it can be completed. December 2021. Watch here.

“Beyond Defensible Space: Vegetation Management Outside the 100 Foot Zone”

Hosted by Safer West County, Fire Safe Sonoma and Sonoma Ecology Center. Presented by Michael Jones (UCCE forester) and Brock Dolman (OAEC wildlife biologist and land manager). Very informative presentations showcasing options for landowners in western Sonoma County to manage their land outside of the 100-foot defensible space zone for fire resilience and natural resource protection. See the workshop’s accompanying list of Forestry Resources. December 2021. Watch here.

“Stewarding Forests for Wildlife and Fire Resilience at Pepperwood Preserve”

Presented by Devyn Friedfel, Pepperwood Preserve, Assistant Preserve Manager. Overview of Pepperwood’s forest stewardship plan, activities and monitoring. Includes fire fuels reduction, prescribed burning, pile burning, invasive plant control, and wildlife habitat retention. November 2021.  Watch here.

“Low-tech Biochar Production Demonstration and Implementation Workshop”

Presented by Ellie Insley, Sonoma Ecology Center,  Director. Brief overview of a workshop held in November 2021 in Graton, CA. Demonstrated a low tech, inexpensive method for producing biochar on-site. The crew processed 50 yards of Acacia tree slash, cut last year to create defensible space. The “ring of fire” kilns were used; these are a great alternative to chipping or open pile burning. They produce biochar, while also reducing smoke pollution compared to standard open burn piles. Questions,  email Ellie Insley: More resources on biochar can be found here. November 2021.  Watch here.

“Pacific Union College Forest Fuel Break Maintenance: An Update”

Presented by Peter Lecourt, Pacific Union College, Forester Manager. Brief update on the equipment and strategy employed to maintain and expand the PUC’s ridgeline fire fuel break in Angwin, Napa County. October 2021.  Watch here.

“2021 Fire Season Outlook”

Presented by Fire Chief Marshall Turbeville, chief of the Geyserville-based Northern Sonoma County Fire District, Cal Fire battalion chief. In depth forecast for the north Bay Area 2021 fire season. July 2021. Watch here.

“Sonoma County Vital Lands Initiative”

Presented by Sonoma Ag + Open Space staff. the Vital Lands Initiative is a long-range comprehensive plan to prioritize the land conservation activities of Sonoma County Ag + Open Space through 2031. The plan was developed with the best available science and data, as well as extensive input from Ag + Open Space partners and the community, to ensure the document reflects the knowledge and expertise of stakeholders and the land conservation goals of the Sonoma County voters. June 2021.  Watch here.

“Ecological Principles and Practices for Fire Fuels Management”

Caitlin Cornwall, Ellie Insley and Jason Mills present on ecological principles and practices for fire fuels management at the May 27, 2021 Sonoma County Fire Safe Alliance meeting. May 2021. Watch here.

“Wildfire Fuel Mapper Tool”

Presented by Tosha Comendant, Pepperwood Preserve, Conservation Science Manager. While fuel reduction projects require maps and information about a landscape, there are few tools to assist Sonoma County landowners and managers in locating and understanding fire hazards on their land. The Wildfire Fuel Mapper project was created to help address this gap, providing users with a set of tools, resources, and information to help Sonoma County landowners and managers reduce fire hazards. These tools and resources include detailed maps of landscape elements that help users assess fire hazards, and resources to support users in taking the next step in managing fuels and reducing fire hazards. The Mapper helps landowners to, understand vegetation types, understand the need for fuel treatments in Sonoma County, obtain information on planning and implementing fuel treatments in Sonoma County, and obtain maps for their property or watershed. May 2021. Watch here.

“Spring 2021 CAL FIRE Grant Program Presentation and Q&A”

Presented by Chief Tom Knecht, Pre-Fire Division Chief of the Vegetation Management Program and Chief Ben Nicholls, Sonoma County Operations Chief, for the CAL FIRE Sonoma Lake Napa Unit. They took questions about the Spring 2021 CAL FIRE grant programs. Discusses Fire Prevention Grant Program and Forest Health program briefly. April 2021. Watch here.

“Pacific Union College Demonstration and Experimental Forest at Angwin, an Overview”

Presented by Peter Lecourt, Pacific Union College Forest Manager and Board Member of the Napa Communities Firewise Foundation. Discusses the management approach, projects and treatments on the PUC forest, including timber harvest, shaded fuel breaks, prescribed fire and thinning. February 2021. Watch here.

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