MOUNTAIN COMMUNITIES — CAL FIRE today announced the availability of up to $24 million in grants for projects that support the creation of a robust and diversified wood products market to help meet California’s forest resilience goals. CAL FIRE’s Wood Products and Bioenergy Program, which seeks to maintain and enhance the forestry sector of California to promote healthy resilient forests throughout the State, is accepting applications for Business and Workforce Development projects on a continuous basis as dictated by funding availability.
Project proposals will be formally reviewed and awarded quarterly, with awards being issued the following quarter (applicants that apply by March 31 will be notified on or before June 30). Applicants must submit proposals by March 31, 2022, to be considered for the first round of funded projects.
The Program supports a diverse set of business and workforce development projects that align with the goals of California’s 2021 Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan. Up to $24 million is available for wood products and workforce development projects that fit the eligibility criteria and score competitively against the selection criteria. Additional funding up to $4 million is available from the Wildfire Resilience Program for tree nursery operations. These funds were allocated as part of the 2021-2022 final budget package.
“This is the first grant solicitation targeted to business and workforce development in the forestry sector,” said Tim Robards, Staff Chief, CAL FIRE. “Forest management capacity has been identified as a key constraint in reaching the state’s annual goal for treating forests and this program was developed to address that need.”
Eligible businesses include facilities, operations, and professional services that support the restoration of healthy, resilient forests. Some grants are available specifically for nurseries to grow native California tree seedlings. Entities eligible for workforce development project grants include universities, colleges, government and community organizations. Also included are businesses that aim to increase workforce capacity in the fields of fuels treatment, logging, transportation, prescribed fire, manufacturing and other support services.