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California Reforestation Resources

The amount of existing and emerging information about reforestation and post-fire response in California can be overwhelming. To help resource managers and private landowners efficiently find, review, and select the most appropriate resource for their needs, we assembled the following categories of reforestation resources. Though not comprehensive, these resources may be a useful starting place for post-fire response efforts.

NOTE: If you know of any reforestation resources relevant to California’s natural and working lands that are not on this list, please contact Jennifer Smith.

  • Forest regeneration after disturbance (PostCRPTool)

    Purpose: Predict post-fire conifer regeneration potential to help managers prioritize locations for restoration.

    Format: Input fire perimeter files and RnDBR (relative differenced normalized burn ratio). Outputs are taxon-specific map and histograms of predicted regeneration probability within fire perimeter under 2 scenarios (low seed and precipitation, high seed and precipitation, mean).

    Geographic Area: Primarily Sierra Nevada and northeastern California

    Intended users: Resource managers

    Post-fire Restoration Prioritization Tool (PReP Tool)

    Purpose: Guide and prioritize post-fire restoration efforts in shrublands

    Format: Input requires spatial data clipped to the targeted fire. Output includes a map with scores of regeneration capacity based on fire history, drought, and nonnative grasses

    Geographic Area: Chaparral shrublands in southern CA

    Intended users: USFS resource managers

    Climate-wise Reforestation Toolkit

    Purpose: Identify reforestation locations, explore conditions after the 2012 – 2016 drought from plot data, and provide guidance on BMPs.

    Format: Select scenario parameters; output is an interactive map reflecting prioritization calculations

    Geographic Area: SNV National Forests

    Intended users: Resource managers

    PReSET Reforestation Tool

    Purpose: Identify where within a fire footprint tree planting may be the most (and least) effective at increasing tree seedling density, independent of post-fire weather and assuming a uniform management approach.

    Format: User inputs fire severity raster, fire/focal area perimeter

    Geographic Area: Yellow pine mixed conifer forests in the Sierra Nevada

    Intended users: Resource managers

    Climate-adapted Seed Tool

    Purpose: Identify seed sources (from seed bank inventory data) that are pre-adapted to local climate conditions at a planting site.

    Format: Input planting site seed zone and elevation range. Output is seed zone sources and the associated %DP from each zone (strength of the match between planting site and zone source). %DP is the percent decline in tree volume or biomass expected from planting a seed source that is not well adapted to the climate it will grow in.

    Geographic Area: CA, OR, WA, ID, NV

    Intended users: Resource managers

    Seedlot Selection Tool

    Purpose: Match seedlots with planting sites based on climatic information and under different future climatic scenarios

    Format: Input location, region and climate scenarios. Output is a layer indicate the degree of match between the past climate the seedlot is adapted to and the climate of the time period in which the trees are expected to be best adapted to the planting site.

    Geographic Area: North America

    Intended users: Resource managers

    TRM Seed Zone map

    Purpose: Interactive map of seed zone data

    Format: Selection of geographical area of interest reveals data on seed zone and climate data

    Geographic Area: Nationwide

    Intended users: Resource managers

    Reforestation Hub

    Purpose: Provide county-level estimates of the potential area of new forests (acres) and how much carbon those acres could store

    Format: Interactive map that provides data

    Geographic Area: Nationwide

    Intended users: All landowners

  • Growth and spatial patterns of natural regeneration in Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer forests with a restored fire regime

    Authors: Hannah M. Fertel, Malcolm P. North, Andrew M. Latimer, Jan Ng

    Key topics: regeneration, plant spacing


    Operational resilience in western US frequent-fire forests

    Authors: Malcolm P. North, Ryan E. Tompkins, Alexis A. Bernal, Brandon M. Collins, Scott L. Stephens, Robert A. York

    Key topics: stand densities


    Tamm Review: Reforestation for resilience in dry western U.S. forests

    Authors: Malcolm P. North, Jens T. Stevens, David F. Greene, Michelle Coppoletta, Eric E. Knapp, Andrew M. Latimer, Christina M. Restaino, Ryan E. Tompkins, Kevin R. Welch, Rob A. York, Derek J.N. Young, Jodi N. Axelson, Tom N. Buckley, Becky L. Estes, Rachel N. Hager, Jonathan W. Long, Marc D. Meyer, Steven M. Ostoja, Hugh D. Safford, Kristen L. Shive, Carmen L. Tubbesing, Heather Vice, Dana Walsh, Chhaya M. Werner, Peter Wyrsch

    Key topics: regeneration, plant spacing


    Tamm Review: Management of mixed-severity fire regime forests in Oregon, Washington, and Northern California

    Authors:Paul F. Hessburg, Thomas A. Spies, David A. Perry, Carl N. Skinner, Alan H. Taylor, Peter M. Brown, Scott L. Stephens, Andrew J. Larson, Derek J. Churchill, Nicholas A. Povak, Peter H. Singleton, Brenda McComb, William J. Zielinski, Brandon M. Collins, R. Brion Salter, John J. Keane, Jerry F. Franklin, Greg Riegel

    Key topics: management strategies


  • Postfire restoration framework for national forests in California

    Authors: M.D. Meyer, J.W. Long, H.D. Safford

    Key topics: project planning

    Reforestation practices for conifers in California

    Editor: W. Stewart

    Key topics: project planning, site prep, vegetation mgmt., regeneration

    Recovering from Wildfire: A Guide for California's Forest Landowners

    Authors: K. Shive, S. Kocher

    Key topics: project planning, site prep, vegetation mgmt., regeneration

    Forest Management Handbook for Small-Parcel Landowners in the Sierra Nevada and Southern Cascade Range

    Authors: P. Stine, S. Ostoja, S. McMorrow

    Key topics: vegetation mgmt., planting, regeneration

    Forest Adaptation Resources

    Authors: C. Swanston, M. Janowiak, L. Brandt, P. Butler, S. Handler, P. D. Shannon, A. Lewis, K. Hall, R. Fahey, L. Scott, A. Kerber, J. Miesbauer, L. Darling, L. Parker, and M. St. Pierre

    Key topics: climate adaptation strategies (R-R-T)

    Adaptation Strategies and Approaches for California Forest Ecosystems

    Authors: C. Swanston, L. Brandt, P. Butler-Leopold, K. Hall, S. Handler, M. Janowiak, K. Merriam, M. Meyer, N. Molinari, K. Schmitt, P. D. Shannon, J. Smith, A. Wuenschel, and S. Ostoja

    Key topics: climate adaptation strategies

    Climate Change and Forests of the Future: Managing in the Face of Uncertainty

    Authors: C. Millar, N. Stephenson, S. Stephens

    Key topics: climate adaptation strategies (R-R-R)

    Forest Regeneration

    Authors: C. Nunamaker, Y. Valachovic

    Key topics: regeneration

  • What to Replant After the Trees Die

    Authors: S. Kocher

    Key topics: replanting

    Prioritizing planting effort and heterogeneity in reforestation

    Authors: J. Williams

    Key topics: regeneration, plant spacing

    Shrub control associated with reforestation in high-severity burn areas promotes understory diversity

    Authors: G. Bohlman

    Key topics: site preparation and maintenance

    Spatial predictions of conifer regeneration after wildfire may help managers prioritize reforestation efforts

    Authors: M. Coppoletta

    Key topics: natural regeneration

    Private landowners in California face loss and choose to reforest after high-severity wildfire

    Authors: S. Kocher

    Key topics: landowner outreach

  • California Forest Improvement Program

    Host: CALFIRE

    Target audience: private and public owners of 20 - 50,000 acres

    Function: Provides cost-share assistance for development and implementation of a Forest Management Plan

    Purpose: Encourage private and public investment in, and improved management of, California forest lands and resources

    Forest Stewardship Workshops

    Host: UC Cooperative Extension

    Target audience: private forest landowners

    Function: Provides technical information and assistance to landowners to promote sound forest management, and assists communities in solving forest-related issues.

    Purpose: Encourage good stewardship of California's private forestland

    Landowner Assistance Program

    Host: Feather River RCD

    Target audience: private landowners in Plumas County

    Function: Provides no-cost technical assistance for landowners regarding fire recovery, erosion control, fuels reduction, timber stand improvement and other resource interests and concerns.

    Purpose: Increase the pace and scale of wildfire and other recovery and repair

    Emergency Forest Restoration Program

    Host: USDA Farm Service Agency

    Target audience: private forest landowners

    Function: Provide payment for restoring forested land damaged by a natural disaster.

    Purpose: Encourage landowners to protect natural resources and wildlife habitats

    North Bay Forest Improvement Program

    Host: After the Fire USA

    Target audience: private non-industrial forest landowners or managers of 5 - 500 acres

    Function: Provide incentives for private non-industrial landowners to implement non-commercial forest improvement activities

    Purpose: 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

    Environmental Quality Incentive Program

    Host: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

    Target audience: Owners or lessee of cropland, rangeland, pastureland, or non-industrial private forestland

    Function: Provide non-industrial forest managers with financial resources and one-on-one help to plan and implement conservation practices

    Purpose: Provide financial and technical assistance to non-industrial forest managers to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits

This work is supported by the USGS Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center (SW CASC) and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE).