Impact: To date, TTCF has raised $5.4 million to fund Forest Futures and granted nearly $2 million to local organizations to support three impact areas: Protect Communities, Build a Forest Economy and Accelerate Market Solutions.
Forest Futures Phase 2:
Ambitious Programs Just Announced
The Phase 2 awards will enable us to hire a coordinator to drive and support Firewise community efforts, accelerate and streamline funding and technical resource programs, and facilitate coordination with local fire districts. This money will also allow us to:
• Provide direct grants to local fire districts to support defensible space and fuel reduction efforts, fill gaps in funding, and pay for community wildfire resilience coordination
• Encourage workforce development by providing field equipment and scholarships for students in Community College Forestry and Fire Programs
• Build infrastructure by funding green waste wood fuel processing programs
• Accelerate market solutions through a business strategy prize to help entrepreneurs scale small businesses
experts engaged in and helped inform FF impact strategy
Forest Futures Progress:
Projects Now Underway
“Each new phase of Forest Futures prioritizes relationships with organizations that are on-the-ground. We’re applying lessons learned from community partnerships and grantmaking during COVID to create a sense of urgency and use trust-based philanthropy to quickly deploy dollars where they are most needed.”
Stacy Caldwell, CEO, Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation.
Our community is already at work:
• Accelerating planning for hazardous tree removal for critical evacuation routes
• Working with local community organizations in recovery efforts
• Increasing community engagement, education, and public awareness
• Introducing urban and rural youth to forest management
Protecting and Building Communities
Forest Futures’ Phase 2 funding also addresses economic inequities among area residents with a workforce development grant. This funding will help solve persistent labor shortages by training people in firefighting as well as planning and implementing forest health projects.
Finally, Phase 2 grants also address the issue of green waste by funding disposal and processing efforts, and by offering a cash award to help entrepreneurs tackling these problems scale their businesses.
“Providing funding that expands capacity for wildfire resilience program work and projects in our communities has been instrumental in increasing the pace and scale of regional forest health efforts. We have been collaborating with these organizations to stay up to date on the projects with funding gaps so that as soon as we get the dollars in, we can support the top priority needs.”
Nicole Lutkemuller, Forest Futures Program Director
- Terri Russell from KOLO News 8 joined the Forest Futures team and Truckee Fire District on a walk to see firsthand the difference between a healthy and unhealthy forest. The segment, “Forest Futures Campaign Tackles Fuel Reduction,” received national attention and was picked up over 60 times in major markets such as Boston, Portland, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Santa Barbara and more.
- The proactive nature of Forest Futures work was highlighted in the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s article “Living With Fire: Donors Want to Focus on Reducing Risk, Not on Disaster”
- The Sierra Sun shared “Local foundation launches 2nd phase of $30M Forest Futures Campaign”
- Read the press release on the first phase of Forest Futures grants, totaling $1M to nine local institutions
In partnership with local fire districts and organizations, TTCF was awarded $1.9M from the CAL FIRE Wildfire Resilience Block Grant Program. With these committed funds, this pilot program assists nonindustrial timberland owners with wildfire resilience efforts by providing technical and financial assistance for their forest management needs. TTCF will form a committee of stakeholders to help inform the distribution of these funds that will help fill the gaps of funding coming from different local tax measures. The program focuses on providing resources to private properties that are three acres or larger in size.
Pro Sports and Forest Health
In mid-July, the Barracuda Championship – the PGA TOUR tournament contested at Old Greenwood – partnered with TTCF’s Forest Futures Campaign to highlight our efforts to minimize the risk of extreme wildfires through better preparation, investment in forest health and infrastructure, and diversification of local economies.
PGA TOUR players Joshua Creel and Jonas Blixt got a birds eye view of the region’s environmental challenges. The golfers hiked the Sawtooth/06 trail along with Tahoe National Forest Truckee District Ranger Jonathan Cook-Fisher and TTCF CEO Stacy Caldwell and viewed the Five Creeks project along the Highway 89 corridor between Olympic Valley and Truckee – a key evacuation route still in need of clearing and discussed efforts to clear this route with funding from Forest Futures.
(L-R: Mark Luster- Community Relations Manager at Sierra Pacific Industries, Jessica Morse- Deputy Secretary for Forest and Wildfire Resilience at California Natural Resources Agency, Brenda Davis- The California Forest Foundation Board of Directors, Stacy Caldwell- CEO of Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, Matt Dias- President of California Forestry Association, Noah Zuniga- Executive Director of The California Forest Foundation)
FOREST FUTURES AT THE CALIFORNIA STATE FAIR
As California faces an ongoing threat of wildfires, the California Forest Foundation, the California Forestry Association and the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation joined forces to promote forest and fire-related careers to ensure the availability of workers throughout the state to advance the pace and scale of forest management and fire mitigation. The initiative was announced at the California State Fair, where the Forest Futures: Careers Among the Trees exhibit highlighted a wide range of career opportunities in forest management and fire mitigation available to people of all ages, interests and backgrounds.
If you are interested in learning more about careers among the trees, visit here.
Throughout the summer, we hosted small forest walks in partnership with a forester to keep our community engaged in conversations around forest health and wildfire mitigation. Our Forest Futures Salons will be on pause until Sept. 22 (Register Here), but be sure to follow us on social media to stay informed on wildfire preparedness tips and facts from Bobby Bear.