Building Prescribed Fire Capacity in New Mexico

Getting ready to burn, filling the drip torch with fuel. Photo Credit Mike Caggiano

By Mike Caggiano, Project Manager In 2011 and 2012, two local efforts, one in northern New Mexico, and one in southern New Mexico leveraged the Collaborative Forest Restoration Program (CFRP)  to help spark a statewide controlled burning movement in at-risk communities. Both collaborative efforts saw cooperative burning as critical for ecological restoration, community protection and improved local capacity. In northern New Mexico, the Forest Guild, a FAC Learning Network regional hub organization, worked with The Nature Conservancy and State Land Office to host two prescribed fire training exchanges (TREX). They brought in students from academic institutions and firefighters from local … Continue reading

Combining Art & Science to Build Support for FAC in Arizona

Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy students help educate younger kids about forest and fire issues. Credit Rick Johnson Photography

Written By Anne Mottek-Lucas, GFFP Board Member; Private Consultant-Forest Health Restoration/Social Science Research The Yellow Belly Ponderosa (YBP) project combines culture, art and science to help convey a lifelong connection to, and understanding of, sustainable forests and watersheds. The program, delivered as an interactive play, reached elementary schools throughout northern Arizona. A talking “yellow belly” ponderosa pine (in the Southwest, this is the term we use for a large, old ponderosa pine) told tales about forest health and restoration, stewardship of our natural resources, the value of science, wildfire mitigation and safety, flash flood safety, and the connection of our forests to … Continue reading

Biophilic Cities – say what?

From parking garage walls carpeted in plants to small lot urban gardens, there are a number of ways that urban areas are becoming more biophilic.

Last month I attended the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute’s 24th annual conference. Although this year’s theme was “Western Places/ Western Spaces – Building Fair & Resilient Communities,” the opening keynote presentation by Dr. Timothy Beatley had a much broader message for all communities: make them biophilic! If you’re anything like me, my first reaction was: bio, say what? Beatley, an acclaimed sustainability professor and author, quickly enlightened us. Showing us slides of vibrant urban environments draped with green vegetation, Beatley walked the audience through a number of examples from around the world in which cities have taken the initiative … Continue reading

Insights from Connecting to Change the World

A screenshot of Connecting to Change the World.

Connecting to Change the World, authored by Peter Plastrik, Madeleine Taylor and John Cleveland, is a handbook for network builders. The book starts by comparing networks to other group efforts (such as coalitions, alliances and associations). The case for how networks can be uniquely leveraged to work in hyper-complex situations—offering a nimble and expansive approach—helps readers see how taking the leap into a network way of working can yield big impacts. So, why would you want to build a social impact network, and if you built one, what could you expect to accomplish? There are plenty of valid ways of … Continue reading

#MakeAKitMonday: Facilitating Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Flashlight

Written By: Annie Schmidt, Director, Chumstick Wildfire Stewardship Coalition Washington State experienced the worst wildfire season in its history last summer. There have been many byproducts of this season of fire, but one of the most positive has been an increased focus on community and individual preparedness. In order to better facilitate preparedness, the Chumstick Wildfire Stewardship Coalition has been assembling a “go bag.” Dubbed #makeakitmonday, each Monday we focus on a new component and add it to our bag. Those following along at home via social media are (hopefully) doing the same. Our friends at Firewise of Southwest Colorado … Continue reading

Public Information Working Groups Create Wildfire Awareness


By Susie Kocher, Forestry/Natural Resources Advisor, University of California Cooperative Extension Wildfire is a critical issue in the Lake Tahoe basin, an alpine resort area in the Sierra Nevada of California and Nevada. The area supports around 60,000 full-time and 40,000 part-time residents, along with hundreds of thousands of tourists attracted to the area for winter skiing and summer recreation around the unique lake. Surrounding lands are primarily forested and owned by the USDA Forest Service and state agencies, along with private lands around the lake where residential and commercial developments are located. In 2007 the 3,100-acre Angora Fire burned … Continue reading

New FAC Learning Network Video


Impressive. That’s the word that kept going through my mind while I was participating in the fire adapted communities learning exchange between members of the Austin, Texas and Boise, Idaho fire departments in February. I was impressed with the participants’ passion and knowledge, their willingness to share and listen, the diversity of the group, and – perhaps most of all — their patience with the video crew I hired to document the occasion. We developed the video and this compilation of lessons learned specifically for other WUI fire departments. Jerry McAdams, Justice Jones and the other participants from Austin and Boise … Continue reading

Building FAC Skills: Collaborative Learning Training Program

Written by: Matt Frank, Program & Research Associate, Dovetail Partners, Inc. In the fall of 2014, Gloria Erickson, Dovetail Partners’ Local Fire Adapted Communities Coordinator, attended a Collaborative Learning Training Program (CLTP) workshop at Giants Ridge in Biwabik, Minnesota. The East Range Joint Powers Board (ERJPB) and the USDA Forest Service (USFS) sponsored the event. The ERJPB serves as an economic development organization for the towns of Hoyt Lakes, Aurora and the Town of White in northern Minnesota. The CLTP team is led by Steve Daniels, a professor in the Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology Department and Extension Director of Community … Continue reading