Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
May 31, 2018
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative
Thank you for joining us at our Quarterly Meeting to learn about how transportation and other solutions can help to solve the region's significant air quality and extreme heat challenges, fight climate change, and support mobility. We also discussed our SB1 Adaptation Planning Grant to address the urban heat island effect and support cooling strategies such as trees and cool roofs. You'll find all presentations and other event materials on our website, and if you have a few minutes, we'd love to hear your thoughts about the event.
The true scope of the disaster in Puerto Rico
Photo: Carlos Giusti / AP
At least 4,645 people died in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria last autumn, far exceeding the official government estimate of 64. Researchers surveyed more than 3,000 randomly chosen households in the US territory, finding a 62% increase in the mortality rate in the three months following the storm, compared with the same period in 2016. Interruption of medical care was the primary cause of sustained high mortality rates in the months following the hurricane. Hurricane Maria looks increasingly like Katrina in terms of its effects. If the true death count is closer to 8,000, the September storm would be the single most devastating natural disaster to hit the United States since the Galveston Hurricane in 1900. ( The Atlantic)
Governor issues executive order to support forest health and reduce wildfires
Photo: David McNew/Getty Images
In the face of the worst wildfires in California's history, Governor Brown issued an executive order to combat dangerous tree mortality, increase the ability of our forests to capture carbon and systematically improve forest management. The Governor also revised the May budget to include $96 million to support these actions. Key elements of the order include: Doubling the land actively managed through vegetation thinning, controlled fires and reforestation from 250,000 acres to 500,000 acres; streamlining permitting for landowner-initiated projects that improve forest health and reduce forest-fire fuels on their properties; supporting the innovative use of forest products by the building industry; and more. A Forest Management Task Force will be convened to help implement this order and its accompanying  Forest Carbon Plan. ( Link)
PG&E responsible for three California wildfires, says Cal Fire
Cal Fire alleged that Pacific Gas and Electric Co. failed to remove or cut back trees around power lines, sparking three wildfires in Butte and Nevada Counties in October. In all, nearly 1,000 acres burned and 60 structures were destroyed by the three fires that forced thousands of residents to flee. Cal Fire findings are still pending in most of the 170 fires that burned over 245,000 acres in Northern California last October. PG&E could be on the hook for billions of dollars in damages if Cal Fire links the company's equipment to the worst of what became the largest and most destructive wildfires in state history that month. PG&E argues that the 2017 wildfires season is due to climate change, and utilities should not pay the price for nature's new normal. ( Sac Bee)
Homeless students, destroyed campuses, 'invisible injuries': What California schools learned from recent disasters
California schools ravaged by fire, floods and mud this year have mostly re-opened and are diving in to a new semester, but district leaders say they've learned some crucial lessons about handling natural disasters that all schools could benefit from. During disasters schools can become an important center of the community, especially for immigrant families. School might also be the only source of stability in a child's life for a while. ( Link)
Climate change will increase tree die offs in the West
Photo: Nick Cote for The New York Times
Ponderosa pine and pinyon forests in the American West will die at an increasing rate as the world grows warmer, becoming less and less resilient when they are weakened by higher temperatures. Although these forests now withstand short droughts, warming temperatures increasingly stress the forests, which means they will no longer survive the shorter droughts they once endured. The study is significant because rather than looking at the effects of a single temperature increase, it examines the effects of multiple increases that provide a more realistic forecast. The results may apply to many other types of forests around the world. Because of the complexity of these systems, many scientists believe that forest mortality has been underestimated; pathogens, ozone pollution, wildfires, and pests are additional threats. ( NYT)
In California's Sierra Nevada, putting the trees to work
Photo: Julie Cart/CalMatters
The Sierra Nevada Conservancy brings together historically opposed stakeholders - county officials, timber companies, environmental groups, and federal land managers - to work on restoration projects such as forest thinning to minimize fire threats and sustain healthier trees, which stabilize slopes that store valuable water underground. That work clearly dovetails with the state's interest in using forests to capture carbon emissions and finding ways to reduce the significant carbon release that accompanies massive wildfires. ( Link )
As fire risk explodes across the West, an Oregon city finds a solution
Photo: Courtesy City of Ashland
Using selective logging and controlled burns, Ashland has reduced fire risk on thousands of acres in the forested watershed that provides the city's drinking water. The partnership that made it happen could be a model for other fire-prone communities. The origins of the project date back to the 2003 Healthy Forests Restoration Act, which allowed local governments to draft a "community wildfire protection plan," and required the national forest in the area to consider this plan. Funding from the federal government, state, and a monthly fee on Ashland water customers helped to pay for the restoration. Community engagement helped to shift public attitude that thinning and managed fires were necessary. (  Water Deeply)
Achieving toughest climate target will save world $30tn in damages, analysis shows
Photo: Murdo Macleod for the Guardian
Achieving the climate change target set in the global Paris agreement will save the world $30 trillion in damages, far more than the costs of cutting carbon emissions, estimated at $0.5 trillion by a new economic analysis. While the exact benefit may vary, the researchers are confident that keeping climate change to 1.5C is very likely to benefit the vast majority of the world's people, including the US, China, and Japan. Data from the last 50 years shows clearly that when temperatures rise, GDP and other economic measures fall in most nations, due to impacts on factors including labour productivity, agricultural output and health. ( Guardian)
Tools and Resources
Fighting Fire with Finance: A Roadmap for Collective Action
The Forest Resilience Bond (FRB) seeks to fund forest restoration not through increases in public or philanthropic funding, but by harnessing private capital to complement existing funding and facilitate investment in the management of public lands. The FRB is a public-private partnership that enables private capital to finance much-needed forest restoration. Beneficiaries of the restoration work such as USFS, water and electric utilities, and state governments make cost-share and pay-for-success payments over time (up to 10 years) to provide investors competitive returns based on the project's success. ( Link)
Planning Guide for Local Jurisdictions: Addressing People Experiencing Homelessness in the Disaster Planning Effort
This guide provides a step-by-step guide for local government staff to integrate homeless response into disaster plans. ( Link)
Farms Under Threat: The State of America's Farmland
The report by American Farmland Trust shows that between 1992 and 2012, almost 31 million acres of agricultural land were irreversibly lost to development. This is part of a multi-year initiative by AFT to complete the most comprehensive assessment of the loss of U.S. farmland and ranchland ever undertaken, both past and future. ( Link)
Upcoming Opportunities
Interested in organizing a networking meeting at the California Adaptation Forum?
The California Adaptation Forum is now accepting proposals for network meetings, specifically in the morning of Wednesday, August 29th. These meetings are a great opportunity to bring together participants and stakeholders within your network to reconnect, strategize next steps following the forum, and more! Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis - we encourage you to get your proposals in early to secure a spot. ( Link)
Apply to be a CivicSpark Fellow today!
CivicSpark is Recruiting for Fellows for 2018-19! Over the past 3 years, CivicSpark, the Local Government Commission's Governor's Initiative AmeriCorps program, has provided 230,000+ hours of climate and water capacity-building support to over 140 public agencies. This coming year, the program is offering three thematic tracks: Climate (50 fellows), Water (20 fellows), and a new Opportunity Access track (20 fellows) that will focus on affordable housing, alternative transportation, and rural broadband. First priority deadline: June 1. (  Learn more and apply)
SolSmart Advisors Technical Assistance
SolSmart Advisors provide no-cost, hands-on technical assistance in communities selected by this competitive application process. Advisors work full-time for six months to help the community accelerate the advancement of solar energy, such as by launching Solarize campaigns, modeling solar installations on government buildings, streamlining solar permitting processes, and much more. Deadline: June 4, 2018. ( Link)
EPA: Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program
The Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Transportation and Air Quality is soliciting proposals nationwide for projects that achieve significant reductions in diesel emissions. Priority for funding will be given to projects which result in outcomes that benefit affected communities, and can demonstrate the ability to promote and continue efforts to reduce emissions after the project has ended. Applications are due June 12. ( Link)
Free Technical Assistance for Active Transportation Program Cycle 4 Funding
California Walks is offering free one-on-one technical assistance to help communities most in need participate and compete in Cycle 4 of the Active Transportation Program. Projects must benefit disadvantaged communities. Applicants are accepted on a rolling basis; please complete this survey by June 15.
Low or No Emissions Funding Program for Transit Fleets
The Federal Transit Administration has $84.45 million available for the purchase or lease of low or no emission vehicles as well as related equipment or facilities as part of their Low or No Emission Program (Low-No Program). The main purpose of the Low-No Program is to support the transition of the nation's transit fleet to the lowest polluting and most energy efficient transit vehicles. Project proposals will be accepted until June 18. ( Link)
Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Program (EEM) 2018 grant cycle
The program offers grants to local, state, and federal governmental agencies as well as nonprofit organizations for projects to mitigate environmental impacts caused by new or modified transportation facilities. Grants are generally limited to $500,000 for development projects and up to $1 million for acquisition projects. Deadline: June 20, 5pm. ( Link)
U.S. Forest Service Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program
The Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program offers a unique opportunity for communities to acquire and conserve forests that provide public access and recreational opportunities, protect vital water supplies and wildlife habitat, serve as demonstration sites for private forest landowners, and provide economic benefits from timber and non-timber products. Local government and nonprofit applicants must submit applications to the State Forester, and tribes to the appropriate Tribal government officials by June 29, 2018. ( Link)
Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Mini Grant Program
SACOG will award mini-grants of up to $3,000 per project in support of small events and non-infrastructure programs or projects that encourage biking, walking, riding transit, carpooling, vanpooling and teleworking, as options for reducing car trips and vehicles miles traveled. Projects that focus on testing a new strategy or tactic for changing travel behavior will be prioritized. Applications considered on a rolling basis until $30,000 has been awarded for each of two application phases. The first phase will run from January 16 through June 30, 2018. The second phase will open July 15 through December 31, 2018. ( Link)
SACOG: 2018 Regional Funding Program
Combining previous Regional/Local and Bicycle & Pedestrian funding programs, SACOG's 2018 Regional Program will fund cost-effective transportation projects that realize the performance benefits of the Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS). The program seeks to promote effective and efficient use of limited state and federal funding resources to both develop and maintain the regional transportation network and provide regional benefits. This is accomplished through the funding of capital and lump-sum category projects included in the 2016 MTP/SCS. Deadline: 4pm, July 19, 2018. ( Link)
Bureau of Reclamation WaterSMART Grants: Small-Scale Water Efficiency Projects
This Small-Scale Water Efficiency Project grant opportunity supports specific small-scale water efficiency projects that have been prioritized through planning efforts led by the applicant. These projects conserve and use water more efficiently; mitigate conflict risk in areas at a high risk of future water conflict; and accomplish other benefits that contribute to water supply reliability in the western United States. Deadline July 31, 2018. ( Link)
Apply now for Active Transportation Program grants up to $5 million
The California Transportation Commission is now accepting applications for Cycle 4 of the Active Transportation Program. Funded through the California Climate Investments, this grant program was created to help make it safer and easier for Californians to walk and bike in their communities. Grant applications of up to $5 million will be accepted until July 31. ( Link)
4th National Adaptation Forum: Call for Proposals is Open!
Proposals are being accepted for Symposia, Training Sessions, Working Groups, Oral Presentations, Posters, and the Tools Cafe. Submissions should reflect the best thinking in the adaptation field, informed by theory, research and practice on subjects related to identified focal topics and cross-cutting themes. Deadline is August 3, 2018. ( Link)
Land and Water Conservation Fund Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program
This program provides grants to acquire and/or develop public lands for outdoor recreation purposes consistent with the purposes of the LWCF, but with the further specific goals of funding projects that are located within or serve jurisdictions delineated by the Census Bureau as urbanized areas, and are in or directly accessible to neighborhoods or communities that are underserved in terms of parks and recreation resources, and where there are significant populations of people who are economically disadvantaged. Deadline: September 18. ( Link)
Upcoming Events
Recycling Globally: California's Role in Adapting to a New Market Climate
Monday, June 4, 9am-3pm
Coastal Hearing Room, Cal/EPA Bldg, 1001 I Street, Sacramento
CalRecycle will be hosting a dialogue to share information regarding changes in international recycling markets, hear how those changes are affecting recycling efforts in California, and discuss potential long-term solutions. In March 2018, China began limiting imports of contaminated recyclable materials, leading to more recyclables being stockpiled at solid waste facilities and recycling centers or disposed of in landfill around California and elsewhere. These changes may have significant impacts on California's economy, as recyclable materials exports had a total vessel value of $5.2 billion in 2017, and on California's broader environmental goals. See webpage for an agenda and webcast information. ( Link)
Business of Local Energy Symposium 2018
June 4-5, Sacramento
Join Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) experts from across the state for a day-long event about accelerating CCA adoption, sharing best practices, and creating more benefits for our communities. A pre-symposium workshop on June 4th will focus on distributed energy resource projects that build local resilience, provide unique customer services, and contribute to local economic development. ( Link)
Yolo County Climate Compact
Friday, June 8, 9-11am
Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District, #103, 1947 Galileo Court, Davis
This meeting will focus on recent changes in the climate action planning process that affect all local governments, featuring three experts - Michael McCormick from the Governor's Office of Planning and Research, Erik De Kok with the consulting firm Ascent, and Pelayo Alvarez from the Carbon Cycle Institute. Topics include updates to state guidelines, guidance for communities looking beyond a 2030 planning horizon, recent litigation, regulation affecting climate action plans, and innovative approaches to climate action planning. (Contact:
Sierra Nevada Regional Meeting: California Natural and Working Lands Climate Change Implementation Plan
Friday, June 8, 10am-noon
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 11641 Blocker Drive, Suite 110, Auburn
The State of California is seeking local and regional stakeholder input on its   California 2030 Natural and Working Lands Climate Change Implementation Plan (NWL Plan), which provides a blueprint to achieve the state's carbon sequestration and GHG emissions reduction goal for its natural and working lands. The regional meeting will help state agencies gain feedback on conservation priorities and the draft acreage targets for conservation, management, and restoration practices to be included in the final NWL Plan. ( Link; RSVP)
Webinar: Movement & Field Building - Climate Justice & Adaptation
Wednesday, June 13, 10.15-11.45am
The third webinar in the Climate Change Adaptation & Resilience Leadership Series focuses on climate justice. The costs of taking climate action and the benefits of resilience-building must be equitably shared. We can use climate action to minimize harm, maximize options, and build power for oppressed and underrepresented people and communities. This webinar features champions of climate justice who are ensuring that adaptation action creates adaptation equity. ( Register)
Webinar: Three Revolutions - Transforming Transportation
Monday, June 25, 10.15-11.45am
Automated, shared and electric - these new transportation technologies have the potential to transform communities and infrastructure. Will the rapidly evolving transport sector live up to its promise of creating healthier, more equitable and livable cities? Or lead to increased congestion and sprawl? Join this discussion led by Dr. Daniel Sperling on the three revolutions transforming the passenger transit sector. ( Register)
APA Speaker Series: Planning in an Era of Increasing Uncertainty and Disruption
Friday, June 29, 8.30-10.30am
West Sacramento Community Center, 1075 West Capitol Avenue, West Sacramento
Is the planning profession prepared to respond effectively to rapidly advancing technology, changing environmental conditions, and ever-evolving social and demographic circumstances? In this kick-off to the Speaker Series, state and local APA leaders will frame the challenges facing planners and our colleagues in affiliated professions. Join in a discussion of whether the "predict-and-plan" model of planning is capable of addressing the uncertainty and disruption associated with technological, environmental, and social change. Weigh-in on the implications of shifting to an "anticipate and adapt" model, including potential legal and institutional impediments. ( Link)
Cleaner Air Partnership: Quarterly Luncheon
Friday, June 29, 11.30am-1.30pm
Community Room, Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, 3333 3rd Avenue, Sacramento
At the June meeting, the Cleaner Air Partnership will provide an update on its efforts to ensure that the Capital Region wins a proportionate share of state Cap & Trade funds for air quality-related projects. The coalition has been hard at work engaging the regional delegation in the State Capitol, and there is much to discuss. ( Register)
Seminar: Tiny Houses: A Sustainable, Eco-Friendly and Affordable Housing Solution
Friday, June 29, 1.30-3.30pm
Oakland, CA
The tiny house movement is no longer a fad, but becoming an integral part of housing offerings and opportunities. Communities throughout the US are amending building and zoning codes to permit tiny houses in both tiny house villages and as accessory dwelling units. This seminar will discuss tiny houses as an affordable and eco-friendly alternative to conventional housing and as a partial solution to California's housing crisis, changes in laws and building codes, regulatory issues, and more. Cost is $135, includes AIA LU/HSW credits. ( Register)
Sierra Nevada Alliance Conference: Regional Resilience
August 15-17, Kings Beach, CA
Attendees will collaborate and learn innovative ways to enhance the ecological resiliency of the Sierra. There are many opportunities and constraints that stand before us, but as a true alliance we can succeed. The Sierra Nevada Alliance is planning a progressive, provocative agenda, with many networking opportunities, and fun to be had throughout. ( Link)
Save the date for the 3rd California Adaptation Forum
August 28-29, 2018, Sacramento, CA
Join the Local Government Commission and the State of California at the 3rd California Adaptation Forum taking place August 28-29 (with pre-forum workshops on August 27), 2018, in Downtown Sacramento. The Forum gathers a multidisciplinary audience of 600+ climate leaders to foster knowledge exchange, innovation, and mutual support to transition from adaptation awareness to planning and action through a series of engaging plenaries, sessions, workshops, networking activities, and more. ( Link)
About the Capital Region Climate  Readiness  Collaborative
The Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative is a membership based collaborative network designed to promote greater climate change resilience planning coordination in the six-county Sacramento Region. The purpose of this collaborative network is to create a forum where leaders from government, academia, environmental and community groups, the business community, and labor can come together to exchange information, identify vulnerabilities and data gaps, leverage resources, and advance comprehensive solutions in an effort to create stronger, sustainable, and economically viable communities in the Capital Region.

The CRC is a program of the Local Government Commission.