Executive Director’s Report March 2020
Federal Policy Update – Please see attached document regarding the Capitol Hill briefing regarding U&CF last month. “NASF UCF Briefing 2020”
Forest Service Regional Update – Attended meeting on March 11th with Forest Service staff Miranda Hutten and Wendy Yun and Davey Resources representative Dorothy Abeyta to discuss U&CF/WUI grant deliverables. This meeting was very helpful and instructive in terms of where to begin our research and determine long-term outcomes. Contract with Davey Resources starts April 1st.
Forest Service Funding –Miranda has informed me that there will be additional funds for our WUI-UCF grant!
Forest Service Research – no update.
Cal Fire – I met with our grant team last week to brainstorm the final submittals for the two grants we will be submitting to Cal Fire. These are due in April and we should hear back by summer most likely.
CUFAC – next meeting is scheduled for March 25th and 26th but is now going to be held virtually. We will not be traveling to San Diego but using Go-to-Meting instead.
State Policy & Advocacy –
On 2/20/2020 Tasha Newman, from Pacific Policy Group (our legislative consulting group) Anne Fenkner, and I spent the day with Dr. John Kabashima at the Capitol. John gave updates on the efforts through CISAC (CA Invasive Species Advisory Committee) and CDFA (CA Dept. of Food & Agriculture) including Cal Fire’s efforts and the work underway across the board addressing the Invasive Shot Hole Borer. We also discussed the $12M request – $10M expanding on what CDFA and CalFire are already doing and the additional $2M to address other emerging issues such as Gold Spotted Oak Borer, Palm Weevil, etc.
We met with:
- Laurel Brodzensky at Lorena Gonzalez’s office
- Chief Thom Porter, Helge Eng, Tom Smith, and John Melvin
- Jessica Morse, Deputy Secretary of Forest Resource Management and Jennifer Montgomery, Director of Governor’s Forest Management Task Force
- Marie Liu – Speaker’s Office
- Steven Stenzler – Grayson’s Office
Program Updates –
CIRCLE Projects (Cap & Trade Funding) – CIRCLE 2 – all trees planted, monitoring and replacements still underway – wraps up at the end of March 2020.
High-Speed Rail – CIRCLE 3.0 – this wraps up at the end of March 2020.
Cool Parks Program – All plantings are complete for the Fall and another round of plantings will take place in Spring 2020 though postponements are stacking up due to the CoronaVirus.
City Forest Renewal – Meetings are underway and MOU’s are being signed. I submitted a request for an advance to CALFIRE to support us in paying bills for rapidly.
2020 Conference – the conference has been postponed till this Fall due to the Corona Virus and its far-reaching effects. We will most likely reschedule for September or October and hold our annual award then too.
We held a webinar to support Cal Fire grant applicants on how to calculate the required carbon sequestration and other co-benefits for their project. Kelaine Ravid did a very thorough presentation. Here’s a link
I have attached a copy of our 2018 Financial Audit in the Board Packet. Please feel free to reach out with any questions.
We are installing a VPN (Virtual Private Network) next week for our computer systems and laptops here at the office, it will make it possible for us to work from home if need be, which it appears likely.