California Board of Forestry & Fire Protection


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J. Keith Gilless

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EMC Releases 2023/2024 Request for Proposals

The Effectiveness Monitoring Committee (EMC) is an advisory body to the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection (Board), intended to fund robust scientific research aimed at testing the efficacy of the California Forest Practice Rules (FPRs) and other natural resource protection statutes, laws, codes, and associated regulations. The EMC creates an active feedback loop to policymakers, managers, agencies, and the public by facilitating the transfer of research results to inform policy by working with Project Investigators to produce white papers, publish scientific reports and journal articles, and present policy implications to the Board for consideration. The FPRs and related policies and regulations address a variety of natural resource issues including, but not limited to, watershed science, wildlife concerns, and wildfire hazard.


Initial Concept Proposals are due on Wednesday, May 24, 2023. Please review the EMC’s 2023/24 Grant Guidelines or the California Grants Portal – EMC Application Information in detail before submitting your application.  

The Range Management Advisory Committee (RMAC) Annual Report and Workplan is a new annual report developed by the RMAC and introduced for the first time for 2022. This report will be updated and approved by the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection (Board) and is intended to catalogue the yearly accomplishments and status of ongoing RMAC efforts. The Report provides an update of current RMAC membership and staffing, summarizes RMAC activities and progress toward Annual Priorities and Objectives for the previous calendar year, details the Annual Priorities and Objectives for the upcoming calendar year, and highlights constraints and challenges for the committee in completing its Annual Priorities. 

Your input is needed! The Board of Forestry and Fire Protection is developing a new 0-5 foot defensible space zone for wildfire resilience. We’re asking California residents and business owners to help inform cost estimates for the implementation of these new science-driven defensible space standards. Please complete this 5-10 minute survey, open through April 5. Feel free to share the survey using this link:

The Effectiveness Monitoring Committee (EMC) Annual Report and Workplan (Report) is developed by the EMC and approved by the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection (Board) annually and is intended to catalogue the yearly accomplishments and status of ongoing EMC efforts. The Report summarizes EMC accomplishments, details EMC funding actions for the year, and provides an update of current EMC membership and staffing. For Fiscal Year (FY) 2022/2023, the EMC selected three proposed effectiveness monitoring projects to fund and support utilizing a newly developed grant program. Ongoing projects from prior years continued to be funded; numerous project presentations were provided at four open public EMC meetings; a new Strategic Plan was published; a transparent, public process was utilized to begin revisions to the Research Themes and Critical Monitoring Questions; and the EMC welcomed three new members.

A goal of the Effectiveness Monitoring Committee (EMC) is to develop a process-based understanding of the effectiveness of the California Forest Practice Rules (FPRs) and other natural resource protection statutes and laws, codes and regulations. To facilitate an Adaptive Management process that informs proposed changes to forestry policy and regulations, the EMC supports research that addresses twelve core research themes. Aligned with these research themes, the EMC has developed a set of Critical Monitoring Questions (CMQ) to guide prospective grantee research questions and help direct EMC funding focus. The research themes and CMQs provided in this document—initially adopted in 2017 and presented in the 2018 Strategic Plan are updated as determined necessary by the EMC, subject to BOF approval. Prospective grantees should reference this updated document as a guide in developing research questions when seeking EMC grant funding. 

Proponents of vegetation treatment projects using the CEQA streamlining provisions of the California Vegetation Treatment Program (CalVTP) and Program Environmental Impact Report (Program EIR) are proposing one or more specialized technologies in combination with or wholly in place of pile burning to process portions of biomass created by the treatments. Most proposals to date focus on portable equipment that can be brought to a treatment area for set up and operation during vegetation treatment to reduce distance and cost of biomass transport to the processing site. This paper evaluates the potential for specialized biomass processing technologies to reduce emissions of greenhouse gas (GHG) and criteria air pollutant emissions, compared to the conventional biomass processing method of pile burning. Pile burning is among the biomass disposal methods included in the CalVTP and covered in the Program EIR, which was certified in December 2019.

Learn more about the CalVTP HERE.

CAL FIRE’s Wildfire Prevention (WP) Grants Program provides funding for wildfire prevention projects and activities in and near fire threatened communities that focus on increasing the protection of people, structures, and communities. In this webinar, CALFIRE and UC Extension specialists explained the ins and outs of applying for the current WP Grant cycle (open now through March 15th!) to fund prescribed grazing projects. Details discussed included the application process, when a grazing plan is required, the basics of grazing for fuel reduction, matching graziers to grazing projects, and considerations when planning grazing projects for wildfire fuel mitigation.

For more information, including links to presentations and the video recording, look for the “Workshops” header on the Range Management Advisory Committee webpage.

The Effectiveness Monitoring Committee (EMC) Strategic Plan is updated on a three-year cycle and approved by the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection (Board). The Strategic Plan documents the Adaptive Management framework utilized by the EMC and the Board to evaluate the impacts of the Forest Practice Rules and associated regulations based on the results of EMC-funded scientific research, as well as the process to adapt rules and regulations to new information. The 2022 Strategic Plan was adopted by the Board on November 2, 2022.


Report On Exempt Timber Harvesting For The Reduction of Fire Hazard Within 150 Feet Of Structures

State law require monitoring of non-discretionary Exemption and Emergency Notice timber harvesting in the state of California and the submission of reports to the Legislature.

2020 California Forest Pest Conditions

In 2019, aerial detection surveys flown between July and August covered 41 million acres of forested land. Field staff then conducted spot ground checks on selected points and polygons to verify host and agent. This year, approximately 3.8 million acres were virtually surveyed by 13 surveyors who utilized either tablets or PCs to visually scan satellite or aerial imagery and digitize points and polygons of disturbance.

2021 Report On Forest Management Research

The board, assisted by the director [of the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection], shall biennially determine state needs for forest management research and recommend the conduct of needed projects to the Governor and the Legislature.

2021 BOF Annual Report

The California State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection (Board) is a Governor-appointed body within the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). Members are appointed on the basis of their professional and educational qualification.

Wildfire Prevention