Taking Action to Reduce Wildfire Hazards: An Initiative of the Rebuild NorthBay Foundation
The Initiative is a regional-scale, collaborative public-private effort focused on advancing climate adaptation and ecosystem health strategies to reduce wildfire hazards, as well as enhance landscape resilience and improve community safety. The Initiative intends to frame enterprise-based treatments and capture economic incentives of value linked to direct benefits and/or avoided costs of a range of potential activities. While the need for similar systems and outcomes is evident in many areas in the western United States (and elsewhere globally), it is appropriate that the initial focus is with landowners, businesses, service organizations, and public agencies in the four North Bay counties of California (Sonoma, Napa, Lake, and Mendocino) which are central to Rebuild and have suffered greatly from wildfires in the last several years.
WRA was retained by Rebuild to serve in a project coordination role and facilitate communications between the core team of advisors and pro-bono experts (e.g., ebalive, Pepperwood Preserve, and other private sector representatives) that conceived of the project to realize organizational transition and build capacity. WRA engaged with the core team, provided an administrative framework and tools accessible across their individual host organizations and platforms and helped them achieve the creation of a distinct entity (Taking Actions for Living Systems or ‘TALS’) and supported them in identifying funding sources and preparing requests.
WRA’s technical staff provided input on the suite of potential effective wildfire hazard reduction actions, spatial scales and priorities, and environmental compliance triggers and pathways. WRA’s conservation finance experts collaborated on posing and testing possible monetization means including forest carbon banking and cost-avoidance for water supply protection that could be the basis of Natural Enterprise Complexes (NECs). WRA prepared graphic work flow representations of the initiative’s unique enterprise-based, regional-scaled approach using theory-of-change, threats analysis/results chain models. WRA assisted their staff and volunteers with assembling and interpreting geospatial data, including a range of parameters controlling fire probability, hazards, community risks and possible market-based solutions. WRA trained TALS representatives so they could create new maps and analyses, as well as make custom versions of the graphic workflow models as they conducted outreach and planning sessions with pilot NEC participants.
John Baas, PhD
Senior Environmental Planner
GIS Team Leader
After the Fire (dba Rebuild Northbay Foundation)
GIS & Spatial Serivces