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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes
REGION 8: Wildlife Best Management Practices for Home Defensible Space
Region 8, June 22, 2009
A one-page graphic from Best Management Practice Guide developed with the Diablo Fire Safe Council.
A one-page graphic from Best Management Practice Guide developed with the Diablo Fire Safe Council. - Photo Credit: n/a

by Miriam Morrill, Sacramento NWR

The Service‚Äôs Pacific Southwest Region Fire Program has been coordinating a number of interagency workshops for fire mitigation partners throughout California. The intent was to build upon information the California Fire Alliance put together to assist fire safe council grant applicants to better understand the environmental compliance process (more information at http://www.cafirealliance.org/environmental/). 


The project would focus on coordinating three workshops at the county-wide level to bring together fire safe partners, biologists and regulatory agencies and compile local species information, contacts and guidance for defensible space and fuels reduction projects on private lands.  The workshops would emphasize the environmental regulations which are most likely triggered for fire safe grant projects (i.e., [1]NEPA, CEQA, ESA, MBTA and NHPA). 


The first workshop occurred in San Diego in November of 2008.  There were over 30 participants, interactive breakout sessions and guidance material specific to the county.  The second workshop was in Pasadena in March of 2007 and included participants from Los Angeles County, Ventura County and a few from Kern County.  Biologists, fire chiefs and fire safe council members all felt they learned new things and made good contacts.  The final workshop is planned for October 2009 in Butte County and should be as much of a success as the others. 


Through a parallel effort, the regional fire program also funded a county-wide fire safe council to develop a Community Wildfire Protection Plan and accompanying best management practices guide.  The Diablo Fire Safe Council in coordination with the fire program, Sacramento Fish & Wildlife Office biologists and a contractor developed a stunning and visual guidance document. 


Please contact Miriam Morrill at 530-934-2801 for more information.  You can also find some of the BMP materials for biological and cultural resources on the Pacific Southwest Region Fire Management website (http://www.fws.gov/cno/fire/nature/)

[1] NEPA- National Environmental Policy Act, CEQA- California Environmental Quality Act, ESA- Endangered Species Act, MBTA- Migratory Bird Treaty Act and NHPA- National Historic Preservation Act.


Contact Info: Miriam Morrill, 530-934-2801, Miriam_Morrill@fws.gov