The Barbed Wire - January 27, 2023

January 27, 2023
Comment Deadline Extended for SRA Fire Hazard Severity Maps
U.S. DOT Providing $29.4 Million in ‘Quick Release’ Emergency Relief Funding to for California Flood Damage Repair
U.S. Senators Introduce Bill to Ensure Communities with High Wildfire Risk Qualify for Federal Mitigation Grants
USDA Prioritizes California Wildfire Mitigation Projects
RCRC Communications Survey for County Board Supervisors and Administrative Officers

Comment Deadline Extended for SRA Fire Hazard Severity Maps

The Office of the State Fire Marshal has extended the deadline for public comments on the recently-released State Responsibility Area (SRA) Fire Hazard Severity Maps to April 4, 2023, a 60-day extension of the previous deadline. The maps represent the first update in 15 years and indicate a dramatic shift in fire hazard severity for several communities in the SRA. The maps are intended to inform state and local decisions on planning and deployment of wildfire mitigation resources, with local responsibility area (LRA) maps expected to follow once the SRA maps are finalized.  

The notice of extension of the comment deadline can be viewed here.

U.S. DOT Providing $29.4 Million in ‘Quick Release’ Emergency Relief Funding to for California Flood Damage Repair

This week, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced the immediate availability of $29.4 million in “quick release” Emergency Relief funds for use by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and four U.S. Federal land management agencies. FHWA is providing $10.2 million to Caltrans to be distributed to local transportation agencies throughout the State to help repair Federal-aid highways maintained by local agencies. FHWA is also providing a total of $19.2 million to the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Reclamation in order to repair federal land areas damaged by the severe storms that led to flooding, landslides and mudslides in California. Significant damage occurred in several areas, including in Merced, Monterey, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and San Luis Obispo counties. Caltrans has assessed initial damage at 87 locations in 37 counties and assessments are ongoing.  

U.S. Senators Introduce Bill to Ensure Communities with High Wildfire Risk Qualify for Federal Mitigation Grants

This week, U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Steve Daines (R-Montana) introduced the Community Wildfire Protection Act, to ensure at-risk communities are eligible for federal grants to reduce wildfire risk. Eligibility for many federal wildfire resilience grants is based on the 2003 Healthy Forests Restoration Act, which defines “at-risk” communities as those adjacent to federal lands or on a list of communities in the Federal Register from 2001. Since then,  a shifting climate has significantly expanded the threat of devastating wildfire, posing a much greater risk to communities that are not currently eligible for these grants. The Community Wildfire Protection Act would amend the definition of an “at-risk” community to be more comprehensive, ensuring communities at high risk of wildfire are eligible for federal mitigation grants. 

USDA Prioritizes California Wildfire Mitigation Projects

On January 19th, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) announced an investment of $490 million to expand efforts to reduce wildfire risk across the Western United States in 11 high risk landscapes. Five of the new projects are in California, covering nearly 19 million acres: 

  • Klamath River Basin in California and Oregon – 10 million acres
  • Southern California Fireshed Risk Reduction Strategy – 4 million acres 
  • Sierra and Elko Fronts in Nevada and California – 3.4 million acres 
  • Trinity Forest Health and Fire-Resilient Rural Communities – 910,000 acres 
  • Plumas Community Protection – 285,000 acres  

Funding for these projects will support strategic forest thinning, removal of hazardous vegetation, controlled burns, and infrastructure upgrades.  These mitigation efforts are part of the Forest Service’s 10-Year Plan for Confronting the Wildfire Crisis.

RCRC Communications Survey for County Board Supervisors and Administrative Officers

RCRC aims to continuously provide our member counties with engaging and informative content. For that purpose, RCRC is currently evaluating our communications methods and asking our member county Board Supervisors and County Administrative Officers to provide input by taking a quick survey. The input gathered will assist RCRC in tailoring our communications content to best fit the interests and needs of our member counties. The brief survey (3-5 minutes) is available here through February 6th: 


A monthly update regarding the important work of RCRC's affiliated entities, providing innovative services for the benefit of rural communities.


GSNR Attends Associated California Loggers Conference to Discuss Forest Resiliency Projects

Golden State Natural Resources (GSNR) staff attended the Associated California Loggers Annual Meeting held in Reno, NV, from January 17-19. The event offered staff in-person opportunities to meet directly with potential suppliers, contractors, processors, workforce development, academia and other relevant industry participants in the forest management and resiliency field. GSNR staff took advantage of the gathering and participated in several meetings to: provide an update on the current status of GSNR; assess opportunities for mutually beneficial partnerships and potential business arrangements; and deepen existing relationships with entities throughout the supply chain. Staff will also attend the upcoming Sierra Cascade Logging Conference taking place in Anderson, CA February 9-11. This conference will offer similar opportunities and benefit GSNR project development efforts. 

 Additionally, GSNR staff will be participating in panel discussions at the UC Davis Institute of the Environment, California Forestry Workforce Summit in Davis, CA from January 31-February 1. The event will provide a platform for federal and state leaders to identify challenges and resources for effective, equitable workforce development in forestry and wildfire management and help Californians prepare for and secure meaningful careers in this vital sector. A broad range of stakeholder groups, including government and tribal representatives, forestry professionals, researchers, college and university administrators, and others interested in forestry, will participate in this critical multilateral dialogue.


U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) Provides Funds for Broadband Strategic Planning in RCRC Member Counties

Last fall, the US Department of Commerce EDA awarded 28 rural California counties a total of $2.7 million for developing strategic broadband plans and two Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS), one for Colusa County and one for the combined counties of Alpine, Mono, and Inyo. In overseeing the deployment of these funds, Golden State Finance Authority (GSFA) will serve as the grant administrator and contract manager.  

 After release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking Consultative Services for the development of the two CEDS included in the EDA grant, Chabin Concepts was selected to develop the Colusa County CEDS and Thomas P. Miller and Associates was selected to develop the Eastern Sierra CEDS for Alpine, Mono, and Inyo counties. This work is currently underway. 

Similarly, GSFA released an RFP for Consultative Services for the development of broadband strategic plans for 26 Golden State Connect Authority member counties on November 30, 2022. Proposals were received by the January 10th deadline and are currently being reviewed and rated by member counties and RCRC Economic Development Team members. It is anticipated that consultants for this project will be selected and the work will be underway by February 15, 2023. 


CPUC Awards Local Agency Technical Assistance Grants to GSCA Members

As of January 12, 2023, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) had awarded more than $33 million of the $50 million available under the Local Agency Technical Assistance (LATA) Program. Of this total, more than half of the awards have been made to Golden State Connect Authority (GSCA) member counties and the cities therein. The LATA Program provides up to $500,000 per eligible applicant (cities, counties, and other local agencies) to fund 100% of pre-broadband deployment activities. The majority of the GSCA applicant/awardees will be using their grant award for the purpose of completing low-level construction-ready network designs on priority unserved/underserved areas within their jurisdictions. Network design is an important first step in evaluating financial feasibility and deployment planning. The network designs can be shared with providers and/or network administrators interested in serving these priority unserved/underserved areas. As GSCA-partner awardees review and approve their MOUs with Golden State Connect Authority, technical consultants Tilson Technology and UTOPIA Fiber have initiated network design work for the approved LATA applications.


Announcements regarding hearings, grants, and public comment notices of importance to California's rural counties.


Energy Safety Office to Host Workshop on Utility Vegetation Management Best Practices

The Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety (Energy Safety) is hosting scoping meeting for stakeholders—including state agencies and California’s electrical corporations—to share ideas and discuss best practices for utility vegetation management for wildfire safety. Topics will include utility vegetation management practices in need of standardization and alignment in high fire risk areas. The meeting notice and agenda can be viewed here. 

DATE:                  Friday, February 10, 2023
TIME:                   9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. 
WHERE:              Zoom/Virtual Only.
Join Zoom Here
Enter Passcode 038077


Webinar January 31st: Children Now Presents the 2023 California County Scorecard of Children’s Well-Being

Children Now has released the 2023 California County Scorecard of Children’s Well-Being, an interactive tool that delivers data on how kids are doing in each of California’s 58 counties, and tracks over 40 key indicators of children’s well-being – over time, by race/ethnicity and relative to other counties – from prenatal to the transition to adulthood. 
This year, 6 new indicators have been added to provide a more comprehensive whole-child view, including the percent of low-income children reached by CalFresh, children with Medi-Cal who had a blood lead screening by age 2, and 5th graders in foster care who met or exceeded standards in science.

To learn more about the Scorecard and how to use it to improve outcomes for kids in your community, please register for the webinar:

Date: Tuesday, January 31st
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Register Today!

Children Now Presenters: 
Ted Lempert, President 
Kelly Hardy, Senior Managing Director, Health & Research  
Vincent Stewart, Vice President, Policy & Programs 
Stacy Lee, Chief Learning Officer & Senior Managing Director, Early Childhood 
Susanna Kniffen, Senior Managing Director, Child Welfare & Government Relations 
Lishaun Francis, Director, Behavioral Health 


Launch Community Resilience Projects and Apply to Be a CivicSpark Partner - Early Application Deadline February 6th

CivicSpark is a national service program implemented by CivicWell (formerly the Local Government Commission), dedicated to supporting local governments and community organizations to address key community resilience issues such as climate change, water resource management, housing, and mobility. To find out about partnership opportunities, eligibility, and the application process, visit the website at  The early partner application deadline has been extended to February 6, 2023. View the program flyer here.


California Cannabis Authority Free Webinar for Local Governments 

The California Cannabis Authority (CAA) is hosting a free webinar on February 2nd, exclusively for local governments looking to start, or currently operating, cannabis programs. 

Hear from Andrew Freedman, Colorado’s first cannabis czar, and nationally recognized experts at Cannabis Public Policy Consulting (CPPC). Get the scoop on what your cannabis program needs to be successful! Reserve your place now

Date: Thursday, February 2, 2023 
Time: 10:00am to 11:00am 
Where: Virtual, Join via Zoom 
RSVP Here 


California Chamber of Commerce Launches Foundations of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Course

To help employers move the needle on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), the California Chamber of Commerce has officially launched its Foundations of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion course, which aims to:

  • Help learners become more conscious about DEI and understand its value to an organization’s bottom line;
  • Support learners in becoming more self-aware; and
  • Identify inclusive leadership behaviors that will ensure a workplace where people can thrive.

Employers can use this approximately one-hour training to empower teams, amplify underrepresented voices, attract and retain an enthusiastic workforce, and establish an infrastructure that supports change and promotes professional development.

Although having employees complete DEI training isn’t a legal requirement, implementing such training would benefit workplaces, employers and employees through improved performance, increased retention, enhanced engagement and loyalty, and more. Participants also are eligible for HRCI, SHRM and MCLE credits.


CMSP Offering Healthcare Infrastructure Development Matching Grant

The CMSP Healthcare Infrastructure Development Matching Grant program (HID Matching Grant) will help CMSP counties and non-profits contracted with CMSP counties to expand their physical capacity to provide healthcare and behavioral health services by providing required local level match funds for state, federal or other infrastructure grants.  Up to $10 Million may be awarded!  Awards range up to $500,000 for projects serving a single CMSP county and up to $ 1,000,000 for projects serving multiple CMSP counties. HID Matching Grant applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, beginning February 1, 2023 through June 1, 2023.   Applications will be considered as they are received and will be submitted to the Governing Board for consideration at an upcoming regularly scheduled public meeting of the Board. Completed applications must be submitted to by June 1, 2023. To learn full program details and requirements, or to download an application, visit the CMSP website here.


Participate in a Caltrans Pilot Study, Earn up to $250, and Help Bring the Rural Voice to the Future of Transportation Funding

California needs a fairer, more transparent, and more sustainable way to fund our roads and is exploring the California Road Charge policy idea. Caltrans wants the voices of rural community members, ranchers, tribes and business owners at the table to understand how the concept fits into your day-to-day and what unique challenges and opportunities it may provide rural and tribal communities.  The state is offering incentives of up to $250 for community members to take part in a 7-month pilot launching in March 2023. To be eligible for the incentive, rural community members will need to have mileage reported electronically through a device or app, drive around as usual during the pilot timeframe and participate in two surveys. Technology and user experience are the focus of the pilot study and no participant will pay for the simulated road charges. For more history and information, or to sign up for the pilot, visit  If you are interested in having Caltrans come to your community or have any questions, contact Road Charge Program Manager Lauren Prehoda at


Training: Land Use Planning for Wildfire (Free!) 

The Board of Forestry and Fire Protection announces the launch of the CAL FIRE / Office of the State Fire Marshal’s Introduction to Land Use Planning for Wildfires in California Trainings.  

These free, all-day, in person trainings are open to land use planners, fire marshals, fire chiefs, fire mitigation specialists, building officials, and other professionals from government agencies and the private sector engaged in planning, policy, development review and/or approval activities in California. 

The following is a list of upcoming trainings across the state. 

  • February 7, 2023 – San Diego 
  • February 16, 2023 – Redding 
  • March 7, 2023 – Roseville 
  • March 9, 2023 – Morgan Hill 
  • April 18, 2023 – Del Rey 
  • April 20, 2023 – Los Osos 

Space is limited. For more information and to register, see here

view flyer


Career Opportunities

Mariposa County

  • Mariposa County is seeking applications for Chief Probation Officer. For more information, or to apply online, see here (position flyer here). Only online applications will be accepted. The position closes on February 13, 2023 at 5:00 p.m.

Shasta County

  • Shasta County invites applications for County Counsel. For more information, or to apply online, see here. View the full position announcement here. The final filing date is February 15, 2023 at 7:59 a.m.

Sierra County

  • The County of Sierra is seeking a Director of Health and Social Services, responsible for the management and administration of Department of Health and Social Services.  A full description and qualifications are available here. For more information, visit the county website here or call (530) 289-2879.
  • The Sierra County Department of Transportation is recruiting for a Transportation Planner II or III, depending on qualifications. This position is open until filled. For more information, see the county website here or call 530-289-2879

Tuolumne County

  • Tuolumne County Auditor Controller's Office is seeking qualified candidates for the Assistant Auditor-Controller. This assistant department head position will be responsible for assisting with the planning, organizing, and directing of the daily functions of the Auditor’s Office, including budget prep and administration, payroll, fixed asset accounting, procurement, general accounting, A/P, auditing and reporting. Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree with emphasis in accounting, and five (5) years of public accounting experience. Equal Opportunity Employer. Salary range: $9,505 - $11,553/mo. Position closes Sunday, February 12, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. Apply online here.

  • Tuolumne County Public Works is seeking an experienced integrated waste professional with extensive knowledge of environmental regulations and compliance to oversee the collection, transportation and disposal of solid waste and hazardous materials, provide public outreach and training, promote recycling programs, maintain two closed landfills, and negotiate and monitor contracts for environmental and landfill services. The Director of Solid Waste, as a key member of the management team, will oversee a staff of four and provide expert advice and support to the Director, Board members, and the community.  Bachelor’s degree and three years’ experience in solid waste management with two years at a supervisory or higher level. Flexible schedule 90/8 or 20%-40% telework considered for right candidate. Position is open until filled. EOE For additional details, see here.

Yolo County

  • The County of Yolo is currently recruiting for the position of Director, Integrated Waste Division. To learn more about the position and application process, please click here. Apply no later than February 24, 2023.

  • The County of Yolo is recruiting to fill one (1) regular, full-time position in the class of Public Information Officer (PIO) at the County Administrator's Office. The role of the Public Information Officer is to manage the County’s communications with the public through press releases, social media, videos, live media and the County website. The PIO informs and engages the community and other stakeholders regarding County activities, services, and strategies.  The PIO also functions as the County Spokesperson which requires knowledge of County programs and policies. As a member of the County Emergency Operations Center personnel, the PIO also acts in a lead capacity in disseminating information during an emergency. The full job announcement can be found here. This position is open until filled.


Institute for Local Government Launches New Digital Planning Commissioner Handbook & Regional Trainings

The Institute for Local Government (ILG) recently released an updated version of their Planning Commissioners Handbook. This handbook is designed to support planning commissioners, their staff, and other officials interested in land use and planning; to help local officials understand the planning process; and provide a glimpse of some potential planning challenges commissioners may experience during their terms. The handbook describes the major terms, plans, and policies that make up the framework of local planning, as well as typical stakeholders in the process and the basics of reviewing applications for development.

In conjunction with this release, ILG is hosting regional training sessions for planning commissioners. These interactive sessions will take place in person at various locations throughout the state and will cover topics such as the role of a planning commission, how to work effectively with staff and the governing board, effective community engagement, CEQA basics, required planning documents, and local and regional planning challenges and opportunities. Each session will give participants the opportunity to engage with experts in the field and fellow planning commissioners to hear best practices, emerging trends, and lessons learned. All sessions are FREE but space is limited and registration is required. Find a full schedule and register here.

Next Training: San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, February 17, 2023


Access the State Grants Portal for a Multitude of Funding Opportunities

Billions of dollars are up for grabs to public agencies and other entities, including tribes and businesses. Grant seekers can access a centralized portal of grant and loan opportunities here, or sign up to receive new grant opportunities delivered straight to your inbox


RCRC press releases and related news clips about RCRC and our member counties. Please note that a subscription may be required to read some external publications.


USDA home repair grants available after California floods – The Sacramento Bee

Homeowners in rural California areas can now receive additional federal grant money to make important repairs to homes that were damaged from the California storms. The grant limits from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development were originally $10,000, but have now increased to $36,250 for California residents whose homes were flooded or damaged by landslides or mudslides.


California unveils 2050 goals for eliminating key pesticides – AgriPulse

The Newsom administration has released a policy framework for eliminating or significantly reducing the use of controversial pesticides by 2050 in California.


California offers health insurance for $10 a month. The deadline is days away – The Sacramento Bee

Sacramento Vice Mayor Eric Guerra and Covered California leader Jessica Altman made a last-chance appeal Wednesday to roughly 200,000 uninsured residents in the Sacramento region to sign up for health insurance before open enrollment ends Tuesday.