The Swanton Pacific Ranch has received a grant of $4.7 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency to assist with the recovery efforts of the June 6, 2018, Cedar Fire in San Luis Obispo County. The grant will assist in developing a permanent fundraising strategy for the ranch, which was destroyed by the fire.
At a time when all of California is feeling the burn in the form of devastating wildfires and the recent Camp Fire in Butte County, the San Luis Obispo County Region 5 Asst. Fire Marshal, Robert Clark, has been awarded a grant from the Forest Service to assist with post-fire recovery efforts at the Swanton Pacific Ranch. The grant will be used to help clean up the property, which was destroyed by the Camp Fire, and to provide immediate fire safety for the public.
Cal Poly alumnus and Swanton Pacific Ranch donor Mike Sweetser has committed $4.7 million to the university to help with the recovery efforts from the recent wildfires in the San Jacinto and Cleveland National Forests. According to a press release from Cal Poly, the grant will support the ongoing efforts of the Ranch’s staff and volunteers to restore the Ranch and its natural resources. The grant will also assist with ongoing work to establish a Center for Fire and Forest Restoration, which will assist with ongoing restoration work, and ongoing work to establish a Center for the Study of Forest and Natural Resources, which will assist with ongoing research efforts that will better understand the forest ecosystem and the forest fire risk.
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Cal Fire’s Forest Health Program recently granted a $4.7 million grant to Cal Poly’s Swanton Pacific Ranch to help with post-fire recovery operations.
The funding is the second of two Cal Fire grants totalling almost $9 million that were recently granted to support the ranch’s efforts to develop long-term, sustainable solutions for working landscape management and stewardship.
The award comes a year after the CZU Lightning Complex Fire raced through Swanton Pacific Ranch in Davenport, California, burning many of the ranch’s buildings as well as most of the surrounding forest. Swanton Pacific Ranch teamed up with the nearby Cal Fire Soquel Demonstration State Forest to apply for a $4.7 million grant from the Cal Fire Forest Health Program, which will fund fire resilience planning and provide opportunities for students to help implement treatments to restore and maintain healthy forests while increasing carbon storage. The funds will be used to undertake treatments like as replanting, forest thinning, removal of dead trees and other possible fire fuels, and tree trimming on more than 930 acres of redwood forest between the two locations, which are both classified as outreach forests in coastal redwood systems.
Swanton Pacific Ranch’s research and education coordinator, Grey Hayes, stated, “Through this effort, we are strengthening our forests and developing leadership and expertise at the Central Coast’s top outreach forests to produce more resilient forests for demonstration, study, and teaching.”
We’re going to get through this together, Atascadero
Recent catastrophic wildfires, like the one at Swanton Pacific Ranch, have highlighted the need of increasing forest health and resilience before and after a wildfire, particularly in California’s coastal redwood ecosystems as wildfires grow more common. More than 4 million acres burned throughout California in 2020, with 2021 on track to be just as bad.
“The objectives of Swanton Pacific Ranch and the Soquel Demonstration State Forest are quite similar,” Grey said. “Swanton is primarily focused on workforce development and academic study on coastal redwood forest sustainable management, while the demonstration forest’s goal is to educate the same to a wider audience.”
The funds will be utilized at Swanton Pacific Ranch to help restore ecosystem functions that have been harmed by wildfire. Forest management and fire resistance measures will be implemented in the adjacent Soquel Demonstration State Forest in preparation for future fires.
“With this Forest Health Grant and our collaboration with Cal Poly, we will be able to do more fuel reduction and forest health treatments throughout the Soquel Demonstration State Forest,” said Angela Bernheisel, the state forest’s manager. “In addition, Cal Poly will collaborate on research and monitoring of the therapies and their effects. Through teaching and demonstration, the local community and recreational tourists will be able to learn about fire resilience strategies.”
Cal Fire granted the ranch a $4.2 million Forest Health Program grant in June to offer additional training in fire mitigation for the existing and future employees. The initiative will be led by Hayes and Jeremy James, the director of Cal Poly’s Natural Resources Management and Environmental Sciences Department. According to Mark Swisher, director of Swanton Pacific Ranch, “this grant money from Cal Fire will greatly improve our capacity to perform essential forest health treatments at Swanton Pacific Ranch after the CZU Lightning Complex Fire.” “Involvement of Cal Poly professors, students, and staff in the design, implementation, and monitoring of those treatments will have far-reaching consequences for the speed and scope of fuel treatment in California.”
Students will learn practical lessons in the classroom, such as how to develop plant management strategies to make forests more fire resistant. Students will also be able to participate in fire recovery studies and help with reforestation initiatives, which will involve the planting of 55,000 trees over 270 acres. A series of seminars will be conducted across California, led by a program coordinator and supervised by Hayes, outside of the classroom. Students will also be a part of the process.
“The critical support we are receiving from our partners along the way ensures that our students will continue to receive unparalleled hands-on learning and research opportunities for understanding sustainable land management practices as we work to re-envision and rebuild Swanton Pacific Ranch for the future,” said Andrew Thulin, dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science.
As an example:
As if Loading…
The California Firestorm of October 2017 devastated more than 1,500 homes and multiple business in Sonoma County. The blaze killed four people, destroyed 12,000 homes and burned over 88,000 acres of land.. Read more about cal poly u pick 2020 and let us know what you think.
- swanton pacific ranch fire damage
- swanton pacific ranch map
- swanson ranch
- cal poly apple picking
- swanton ca