Sierra Nevada Conservancy awards grant for tribal prescribed fire training exchange

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The Sierra Nevada Conservancy governing board voted to award $282,380 to the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West for a Sierra-Sequoia Burn Cooperative Prescribed Fire Training Exchange.

The SSBC is composed of Native American tribes, private landowners, and other fire practitioners in Fresno and Madera counties. It builds upon the skills and expertise of its members to restore a working fire culture to this part of the western slope of the Sierra Nevada.

With SNC’s support, the cooperative will conduct prescribed and cultural burns on 115 acres across three privately owned parcels adjacent to the Sierra National Forest and expand tribal and other local prescribed fire crews by conducting training events in conjunction with the burns. Project funds will also purchase critical equipment that will allow cooperative members to continue to engage in cultural burns, prescribed fire, and fuel reduction work for nearby forest health projects.

“We’re excited and honored to support a project that simultaneously puts beneficial fire on Sierra Nevada lands and supports Native American tribal members in the stewardship roles they have held since time immemorial,” said Angela Avery, Sierra Nevada Conservancy’s Executive Officer in a press release. “As a state we still have a lot to do in order to restore beneficial fire to the landscape. To succeed, and to do so fairly, tribes and tribal members must be part of and benefit from this work.”

The award of this grant was made during the SNC’s quarterly board meeting. At the meeting, board members shared stories regarding the efficacy of SNC-funded projects like Fire Adapted 50 in moderating fire behavior near communities like Pollock Pines and Sly Park during the Caldor Fire. Staff also provided updates on wildfire impacts to key species in the Sierra Nevada and SNC’s capacity building work supported by the Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Program.

Laney Griffo is a reporter with the Tahoe Daily Tribune, a sister publication of the Sierra Sun.


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