CAL FIRE's Fire and Resource Assessment Program (FRAP), The 2017 Assessment covers a broad range of topics across both private and public lands. Each chapter includes a number of indicators that collectively are used to evaluate the sustainability of forest and rangelands. Chapter 3 of this assessment includes a detailed report on California's Urban and Community forests.
Program Staff provide expert urban forestry support to communities, non-profit groups and other municipal governments to create and maintain sustainable urban forests. These specialists also administer and provide technical support for grant-related activities such as tree planting, municipal tree inventories, and management plans, urban forest educational efforts, and innovative urban forestry projects.
The program's mission is accomplished in cooperation with many groups including:
- USFS Center for Urban Forest Research, urban forest researchers located in Davis.
- Urban Forestry Ecosystem Institute, at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, urban forestry education and applied research.
- California ReLeaf, a non-profit organization that coordinates grants to local groups,
- California Urban Forest Council, a statewide non-profit comprised of a diverse membership that advocates for the best possible urban forests in California.
Additional partners include other state agencies, non-profit organizations, private urban forestry, and arboricultural companies, power and utility companies, cities, counties, special districts, and professional organizations. These varied partners are brought together via the Director's advisory committee for urban and community forestry, the California Urban Forestry Advisory Committee (CUFAC). Together they discuss trends, address concerns, develop suggestions for consideration by CAL FIRE management, and provide support and information to their local communities on urban forestry issues.
California's State Urban Forestry Program also works with our Fire Prevention Program in advocating fire-safe landscaping for homeowners and communities. Landscape design, tree selection, and maintenance are critical elements in reducing the spread of fire and the risk to adjacent buildings. Even well-designed landscapes can become hazardous if not properly maintained. The program encourages compliance with the defensible space requirement for communities in the urban-wildland interface areas (PRC 4291) and offers suggestions for types of trees, landscape designs and pruning methods to assist homeowners in meeting that standard.
CAL FIRE Urban and Community Forestry is dedicated to California's efforts under AB32 to adapt to and mitigate climate change. For more information about CAL FIREs statewide forestry strategies for reducing or mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, please visit our Climate Change and Energy page.