Sierra Nevada Conservancy announces $23 million forest and fire restoration program

The Sierra Nevada Conservancy has launched the second cycle of its $50 million Wildfire Recovery and Forest Resilience Directed Grant Program.

Last year, the California State Budget appropriated $50 million to the Sierra Nevada Conservancy to address wildfire- and forest-resilience priorities. In June, SNC made awards totaling $21 million to forest resilience and wildfire recovery projects and approved guidelines for up to an additional $23,700,000 in local-assistance grants next fiscal year.

“We just awarded more than $21 million in the first grant cycle to 18 fantastic projects throughout our service area,” said Andy Fristensky, Field Operations and Grants Division Chief with the SNC. “And still, the need for wildfire recovery and forest resilience work in the Sierra Nevada and California’s Cascades is immense. Our local partners have been busily planning projects and building capacity for the task and we anticipate that demand for SNC funding will remain strong.”

Eligibility requirements and application schedule
To be eligible for the $23 million in funding, applicants must be a public agency, nonprofit organization or a tribal entity. Projects must be located within, or provide services to, the Sierra Nevada Region as defined by SNC governing legislation — an area including the mountains and foothills of Sierra Nevada range, much of California’s Cascade range, the Mono Basin, Owens Valley, and parts of the Klamath Mountains.

Concept proposals must be submitted by July 29, 2022. If invited, full proposals will be due Oct. 28, 2022, and project awards will begin in March 2023. Projects must be completed by Jan. 1, 2028.

Applicants interested in submitting a concept proposal must first discuss the idea with an SNC Area Representative.

Grant program supports California’s Wildfire Resilience Action Plan
The primary priority of the Wildfire Recovery and Forest Resilience Directed Grant Program is the planning and implementation of forest-health projects that promote wildfire recovery and forest resilience. Successful project applications will follow guidelines and support the goals of California’s Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan and the Sierra Nevada Watershed Improvement Program.

The Program is funded through the General Fund in the 2021 Budget Act directed towards addressing wildfire recovery and forest resilience. The funding is part of the state’s historic $15 billion investment focused on protecting Californians from the effects of climate change, which includes drought, extreme heat, and wildfires.