Quantifying Resilience To Ensure More Meaningful Implementation

California’s Year in Fire

Just as data and science from CWI’s projects need to reach land managers, informing the public about wildfire trends and impacts in their region/community is also a significant priority for CWI. 

The California’s Year in Fire project is effectively a monitoring framework aimed at comprehensive assessment of fire season impacts. It will help engage the public to think more proactively about our fire prone/fire adapted landscapes to improve community and landscape resilience. An additional benefit of the scorecards will be the essential insights that scientists and policymakers can glean from the resulting data. The project will serve as a critical connection between activities on the ground and gaps at the policy level. 

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Scoping the Public Health Impacts of Wildfire

Scoping the Public Health Impacts of Wildfire, developed in partnership with the Center for Law, Energy, & the Environment at University of California, Berkeley, is a new scoping report for stakeholders/rights-holders interested in the intersections of wildland fire and public health. The report investigates key issues in the physical and mental health impacts of wildfire, provides an overview of the current state and federal policy landscape, and presents key recommendations for future resilience.

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Defining Resilience

How can we quantify what resilience means at the community level? What metrics are available to define resilience?

To answer those questions, we are co-sponsoring an initiative to develop a comprehensive and measurable list of forest and community resilience indicators. The effort is engaging stakeholders from across the state to define what resilience means and, most importantly, what it looks like on the ground in individual ecosystems and fire regimes.

Our current understanding of resilience is a mosaic of definitions and metrics informed by disparate state, federal and private sector approaches. Our efforts will focus on streamlining available metrics into a unified understanding of forest and community resilience, which will serve as a starting point for developing treatment and stewardship priorities.

Landowner’s Guidebooks

Land managers are a diverse group with varying backgrounds, experience levels, and management objectives. With this in mind, CWI aims to build a guidebook geared towards the use of the Regional Resource Kits, serving as an objective roadmap to treating more acres and building greater forest and community resilience. This initiative will help land managers better understand the work they’re doing while helping to inform what treatments and procedures will be the most impactful and effective.

Smoke rising above recently burned mountains and ridges in Southern California; inversion layer sitting over distant valleys. Aerial photograph.

Project Lead: Ken Alex, director of Project Climate at UC Berkeley’s Center for Law, Energy, & Environment