The Forest Conservation Program (Program) was created on November 7, 2006 with the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006 (Proposition 84). That Act charged the Board to develop a grant program and “…promote the ecological integrity and economic stability of California’s diverse native forests for all their public benefits through forest conservation, preservation, and restoration of productive managed forest lands, forest reserve areas, redwood forests and other forest types, including the conservation of water resources and natural habitat for native fish and wildlife and plants found on these lands” (PRC section 75055a).
Additional funding for the Forest Conservation Program was provided by the California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access For All Act of 2018 (Proposition 68) which authorized the Board to advance “…protection, restoration, and improvement of upper watershed lands in the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains, including forest lands, meadows, wetlands, chaparral, and riparian habitat, in order to protect and improve water supply and water quality, improve forest health, reduce wildfire danger, mitigate the effects of wildfires on water quality and supply, increase flood protection, or to protect or restore riparian or aquatic resources” (PRC section 80132d).
The Program supports planning, acquisition, and restoration projects throughout California’s forests, consistent with the Board's Strategic Plan.
Project examples include, but are not limited to:
- Meadow restoration
- Forest thinning (hazard fuel reduction)
- Post-fire restoration
- Aspen stand enhancement