trees with some dead stumps and underbrush

NBFIP: Frequently Asked Questions

The North Bay Forest Improvement Program was created to provide public funds to support private investment in forest health and resilience projects to reduce vegetative fuel loads and risks of wildfire, insect infestation, and disease epidemics on private properties in the North Bay’s diverse and valuable forestlands. The intent of the program is to increase the pace, scale and effectiveness of forest treatments in the North Bay Area by incentivizing and supporting private non-industrial forestland owners and managers to implement beneficial forest improvements where they would not otherwise be possible because of financial hardship. 

The North Bay Forest Improvement Program (NBFIP) was originally funded through CAL FIRE’s Proposition 68 Wildfire Resilience and Forestry Assistance Grant in 2020. NBFIP received additional financial support in 2022 through a block grant from CAL FIRE’s Wildfire & Forest Resilience Task Force’s Small Private Landowner Working Group to facilitate further expansion of the program.

Please see the Am I eligible to participate?” page for more information.

In the North Bay Forest Improvement Program, incentive dollars are cash payments to forestland owners/managers for beneficial forest management activities performed on-the-ground, such as tree thinning or planting. Incentive payment rates are specific to treatment activities and are listed in the Prescriptions and Cap Rates document. Actual costs of treatments are based on market research and may not match your contractor’s cost estimate. For a participant to receive incentive dollars, they must first have their on-the-ground activities verified. After payment has been disbursed to the forestland owner/manager, the owner/manager must retain proof of payment in the form of a paid vendor receipt. Owners/managers who choose to fulfill NBFIP contracts by conducting work themselves must keep track of the time they spent implementing treatments. Rebuild North Bay Foundation, as the official contract holder with CAL FIRE, retains the right to audit these records up to five years from the payment date. For more on program incentive payments and project costs, please see our Resources page.

NBFIP pays fixed rates for beneficial forest practices. The payment rates available in this program were developed by establishing “cap-rates” or the rate at which similar projects can generally be assumed to cost, through consultation with local foresters and contractors in the four county project area. If the applicant’s property is located in a census-designated disadvantaged community, approximately 80% of treatment costs will be paid by incentive dollars, leaving an estimated 20% of project costs to be funded by the applicant. If the applicant’s property is located outside of a disadvantaged community, approximately 60% of treatment costs will be paid by incentive dollars, leaving an estimated 40% of project costs to be funded by the applicant. The final cost will vary depending on how closely your contractor’s costs match the program’s determined cap rates. If you are working with a forester, the forester may charge for their time applying to the program on your behalf or assisting in other ways. For more on program incentive payments and project costs, please see our Prescriptions and Cap Rates document.

Yes, NBFIP supports forestland owners or managers doing the work themselves. The reimbursement program is based on completed practices.

Please visit How Do I Apply page for more information.

If you have an EQIP contract, past or present, you will not be disqualified. Please provide your current verified EQIP agreements with NRCS in your application as an additional attachment. You must agree that you will not accept incentive dollars above the full cost of implementing your project.

Please note: Applicants that can treat additional acres by combining incentive dollars from multiple incentives programs will earn higher points in the application review process. Express that this is your plan in your application.

Yes, projects are required to comply with CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act). The RCD in your county will act as the lead agency. Projects will be required to avoid impacts to cultural and biological resources. In order to comply with this requirement, an assessment of impacts to sensitive species (query of the California Natural Diversity Database) and archaeological/cultural resources (archaeological records request from the Northwest Information Center) will be required prior to project implementation. The responsibility of fulfilling the CNDDB search is on your county’s RCD.  Costs associated with necessary archaeological records requests and/or surveys will be covered by the program, if applicant is awarded. Projects will also be required to follow general avoidance guidelines that are outlined in the prescriptions document.

The following two resources can be utilized for locating disadvantaged and severely disadvantaged communities:

Community FactFinder from Parks for California (Be sure to check the layer “Disadvantaged Community” on the map)
DAC Mapping Tool from CA State Water Board (Be sure to check the layer “Disadvantaged Communities -Block Groups (2018)”)

The North Bay Forest Improvement Program has two applications: the Project Implementation application and the Forest Management Plan (FMP) application. The NBFIP Project Implementation application will be open for two application cycles each year, with applications being reviewed in September/October and March/April. Applicants will be notified of their program status within a month of the application closing. 


FMP applications are accepted on a rolling basis. 

Projects must be completed 365 days after both 1) contracts between the forestland owner/manager, Rebuild NorthBay Foundation, and the RCD or CLERC have been signed and 2) CEQA’s Notice of Exemption 30-day waiting period has lapsed without issue and the NOE has been filed.

Rebuild North Bay Foundation will pay forestland owners/managers soon after on-the-ground work has been verified. We estimate payments will be received within 60 days of notification of completion by owner/manager, as long as completed work meets the standard agreed upon prior to implementation. At this stage of the program, NBFIP cannot reimburse projects in stages.

Reference NBFIP Project Ranking to learn more about project ranking.

Yes! Check out this YouTube video for further information and resources.