Watershed Resilience & FACs: Quick Guides Now Available

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We are pleased to release our first set of FAC Learning Network quick guides! This four-part series, which focuses on Increasing Watershed Resilience to Promote Fire Adapted Communities, provides community leaders with new ideas and inspiration for developing watershed-wide forest resiliency and restoration programs. The quick guides are based on examples and insights from four communities in the West: Ashland, Oregon; Santa Fe, New Mexico; the Upper South Platte in Colorado; and Flagstaff, Arizona. The guides provide details on strategies and projects that have worked in those places, and they also emphasize the need for site-specific innovation in programs that … Continue reading

Network Members Recognized for Outstanding Work

Last week four of our Fire Adapted Communities Coalition partners announced the 2015 Wildfire Mitigation Award Winners. The National Association of State Foresters, the National Fire Protection Association, the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the USDA Forest Service issued a press release (see below) stating that the awards “are the highest national honor one can receive for outstanding work and significant program impact in wildfire preparedness and mitigation.” The list of winners includes a number of familiar names, including several that have been engaged in the Network. We look forward to learning more from all of these FAC leaders!   … Continue reading

Announcing the Fire Adapted Communities 2015 Field Guide

I’m very happy to announce that we have just published our first in-depth look at the FAC Learning Network. The FAC Learning Network Field Guide summarizes recent activities and accomplishments for the Network’s 17 hub organizations. The Guide provides a snapshot of current Network membership and includes contact information and key partner lists for each hub. The Guide is full of photos of the people and places in the Network. Toward the end of the Guide you will see several tables that summarize the types of fire adaptation work each hub is engaged in as well as the maturity of that … Continue reading

Grant Writing Tips, Version 2.0

In August 2014, Molly Mowery wrote a blog post titled “Common Grant Writing Missteps – and Solutions!” that listed some tips for writing successful grants. With the start of the new year and upcoming grant deadlines, we wanted to revisit this popular topic. When I was working for a non-profit organization, I spent a lot of time applying for a variety of grants– from small community foundation grants to large federal grants. One of the most important lessons I learned was the amount of time each took. While most of the small community grants required similar descriptive information, large federal … Continue reading

Photo Challenges and Opportunities Specific to FAC Practitioners

Environmental portraits like this one of a fire manager in the field can humanize a story and help people connect with your message. Photo by Larry Luckham.

In part one of this series, we looked at three practices to improve visual communications: learning to use your equipment; applying lessons from deliberate practice and critiques; and telling visual stories. Now, I want to explore some of the particular challenges and opportunities for FAC practitioners who want to improve their photography in service to their FAC work. Your community’s FAC story is one that evolves over time. Photography can help you capture and document your adaptation efforts at all stages including documenting pre-wildfire implementation projects and planning efforts, capturing the story during an active incident and sharing after-the-fire recovery … Continue reading

Telling our FAC Stories through Photos: Tips for Practitioners

This post is part one of a series on enhancing visual communications. Persuasive communication is a cornerstone of a fire adapted community practice. Motivating people to action, showing them what they can achieve and empowering their partnerships helps to make real changes in resilience. Quality photographs can support your communications by helping to tell your story and creating emotionally compelling connections with your audience. At the same time, poor quality pictures, or those that don’t resonate with your audience, can hamper your message. For example, in a recent conversation someone shared with me their struggles with some of the FAC … Continue reading

Becoming Fire Adapted: An Evolutionary Process in the Pine Barrens

Written By: Bill Brash In New Jersey there is a dichotomy with respect to the risk of wildfire and the understanding of that risk by many residents. South Jersey is home to the Pine Barrens, a 1.1-million-acre forest of pitch pine, shortleaf pine and scrub oak that has evolved with fire as one of the dominant forces. The Pine Barrens have evolved through a millennium of frequent wildfires that have shaped the flora and fauna found there, and much of this evolutionary process or its implications are lost on new residents. The Pine Barrens is inhabited by 2.3 million people … Continue reading

Project Management to Facilitate Long-Distance Collaboration

The FAC Learning Network staff and coordinating team are spread across the country. Like many remote teams we have the challenge of working together effectively and efficiently across long distances. We work together on budgets, write reports and other communications pieces, and share information and resources. To do this, we rely on: a couple of collaborative project management tools from Podio workspace, GoogleDrive and Dropbox for file sharing and storage, and WebEx for online conferences/webinar hosting. This post reviews a few different types of tools I have used to work together with teams across the country on projects small to … Continue reading