On February 20th, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the investment of nearly $500 million to expand work on the USDA Forest Service’s Wildfire Crisis Strategy to reduce risk to communities, critical infrastructure and natural resources. This funding is part of the Biden Administration’s Investing in America agenda. 

Approximately $400 million of the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds will be allocated to ongoing efforts on the 21 priority landscapes designated under the Wildfire Crisis Strategy, while an additional $100 million will be allocated under the new Collaborative Wildfire Risk Reduction Program established by the Forest Service to expand work outside these landscapes.  The new program will use hazardous fuels funds from the Inflation Reduction Act to treat areas outside the 21 priority landscapes in high-risk wildfire areas of the Wildland Urban Interface. The program allows national forests, in collaboration with Tribes, communities and partners in 24 qualifying states (including California), to build local capacity for projects to reduce wildfire risk and improve forest health to protect communities, infrastructure, water quality and adjacent landowners. Criteria for the Pacific Southwest Region (California) can be found here

For more information, contact RCRC Senior Policy Advocate, Staci Heaton