How is Sonoma County working on vegetation management?
The Board of Supervisors for the County of Sonoma prioritizes vegetation management efforts throughout the county’s 1,768 square miles, half of which is forested. This work is accomplished by several different departments within the County of Sonoma, and ranges from regulatory, to land stewardship and providing funding opportunities to property owners for vegetation management. However, all of this work is informed by our common responsibility to the land where we live: to prevent wildfire, to foster healthy landscapes and to continue to adapt to our changing climate.
Vegetation Management Grant Program
The Vegetation Management Project Grant Program was established to help fund vegetation management activities in high-risk areas and near key ecosystems. This funding is targeted to support the work of local fire districts, schools, communities with Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs), Resource Conservation Districts, community groups, nonprofit organizations, licensed foresters, Tribal entities and technical advisors.
For the 2021 and 2022 wildfire seasons, the Board of Supervisors approved $3,722,160 in grant funding for 20 vegetation management projects throughout Sonoma County. Read about those projects underway in 2021 and 2022
Permit Sonoma Fire Prevention
Fire Prevention and Hazardous Materials is a division of Permit Sonoma responsible for preventing the outbreak of fires within the unincorporated areas of the county.
Their goal is to minimize the danger to persons and damage to property caused by fires. Programs under the auspices of Permit Sonoma’s Fire Prevention Division include:
The chipper program
This free chipper service is offered to residents who are engaged in making their property more wildfire safe. The purpose of the program is to create defensible space, specifically around the home, structures and access routes to the structures, for properties located in the unincorporated areas of Sonoma County. Visit the chipper program page for more information.
Hazardous vegetation inspection and abatement program
Property owners are required to keep properties in compliance with Sonoma County’s Fire Safety Ordinance including Chapter 13A. Inspectors from Sonoma County and local fire districts inspect properties for compliance. Selected properties that are not within city limits (improved and unimproved) may be part of the inspection program. Read more information about the hazardous vegetation inspection and abatement program.
Read more about how Regional Parks manages the vegetation of its 15,000-acre park system with grazing, shaded fuel breaks, prescribed fire, climate durable design and other approaches.
Transportation and Public Works
While it cannot manage vegetation on private property, Transportation and Public Works does address hazard trees and vegetation overgrowth along county roads in the public right of way. Report hazard trees or overgrown vegetation along county roads at SoCo Connect.
University of California Cooperative Extension, Sonoma County
The University of California Cooperative Extension works to ehance the quality of life and environmental and economic wellbeing of Californians through research and education. One area of research for the UCCE Sonoma County has been developing fire resources, many of which can be found here. UCCE's online tools include historical fire footprint maps, resources for livestock assistance during disasters, prescribed burn information and so much more.