The North Bay Forest Improvement Program (NBFIP) is an innovative incentives program funded through CAL FIRE’s Proposition 68 Wildfire Resilience and Forestry Assistance Grant. Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs) in Sonoma, Mendocino, and Napa Counties have partnered with Rebuild North Bay Foundation and the Clear Lake Environmental Research Center (CLERC) to form the NBFIP to help private non-industrial small forest landowners (between 5 and 500 acres) implement non-commercial forest improvement activities. In 2020, North Bay Forest Improvement Program was awarded $1.5 million from a CAL FIRE Wildfire Resilience and Forestry Assistance grant, which will provide three years of funding to develop and manage an incentives program to mitigate wildfire risk and improve forest health in this highly fire-prone region. Possible treatments include:
planting site preparation
tree planting and protection
woody fuels reduction
Forest management plans should be in place and environmental impacts review completed in order to participate. If you are in need of a plan, contact your local RCD. Projects will occur on forestland consisting of oak woodland, redwood forests, mixed evergreen and ponderosa pine.
The NBFIP was created to provide public funds to support private investment in forest health and resilience projects to reduce vegetative fuel loads and risks of wildfire, insect infestation, and disease epidemics on private properties in the North Bay’s diverse and valuable forestlands. The intent of the program is to increase the pace, scale, and effectiveness of forest treatments in the north bay area by incentivising and supportinglandowners with partial payments to implement planned treatments where they would not otherwise be possible because of financial hardship. The intention of the program is not to provide grants that will cover 100% of the project costs. Assisting landowners in disadvantaged communities is a priority of the program.
Incentive dollars are cash payments to landowners for beneficial forest management activities performed on-the-ground, such as tree thinning or planting, and payment rates are specific to these treatment activities. Actual costs of treatments are based on market research and may not match your contractor’s cost estimate. For a participant to receive incentive dollars, they must first have their on-the-ground activities verified. After payment has been dispersed to the landowner and the landowner has paid the contractor, the landowner must retain proof of payment in the form of a paid vendor receipt. For more on program incentive payments and project costs, see Payment Rates and Covered Activities.
While it is not required to have a forester to apply for this program, we suggest that applicants seek help from their forester to fill out the application. If you have any questions,contact your county’s RCD office for help. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and will be processed for review in two batching periods. Batch 1 begins in March and Batch 2 begins in September of each year.