Ongoing, seasonal vegetation and fuels management projects include ecologically appropriate tree and brush thinning, targeted mowing and clearing of roads to improve emergency vehicle access.
Grazing is a cost-effective way to reduce grasses and shrubs that could fan a future wildfire. Grazing mimics the natural disturbance of the landscape by large animals like bison and elk that used to roam Sonoma County, and when carefully managed, can help support habitat for native plants and animals.
Shaded fuel breaks
A shaded fuel break is often a strip of land where the density of vegetation is reduced to slow a potential wildfire. Unlike a fire break, where all vegetation is removed leaving only bare soil, a shaded fuel break retains larger trees to provide shade and wildlife habitat. In partnership with Cal Fire and local fire districts, we construct shade fuel breaks on park lands, as resources allow.
A prescribed fire or controlled burn is a fire that is intentionally set under specific conditions. Goals for prescribed fire range from restoring ecosystem health, reducing invasive species or build-up of vegetation, reducing wildfire risk, fire personnel training, or reintroducing an historic cultural practice.
Climate durable design
After repeated wildfire, we’ve learned that our natural landscapes will restore themselves in time; seeds will sprout, wildlife will return. It’s the built park infrastructure – culverts, fences, signs – that need repair or replacement. We believe the best course of action is not to simply rebuild what was there before – leaving it vulnerable to damage during another wildfire – but to invest in “climate durable” infrastructure and strategies. For example, replacing wood with metal or plastic with concrete to make a park, and thereby neighboring communities, more resilient to future wildfires, and longterm climate change.
Sonoma Valley Wildlands Collaborative
We are a member of the Sonoma Valley Wildlands Collaborative, a group of six conservation organizations and land management agencies that is coordinating the management of 18,000 acres in Sonoma Valley to improve ecosystem health, increase resilience to wildfires and climate change, and reduce future impacts of wildfire to communities. This model partnership recognizes the benefits of working across boundaries and property lines to affect change.