What is NBFIP?
The North Bay Forest Improvement Program (NBFIP) is an innovative incentives program funded through CAL FIRE. Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs) in Sonoma, Mendocino and Napa Counties the Clear Lake Environmental Research Center (CLERC) have partnered with Rebuild North Bay Foundation to form the North Bay Forest Improvement Program (NBFIP) to help private non-industrial small forestland owners/managers (between 5 and 500 acres) implement non-commercial forest improvement activities such as thinning, planting, pruning, and fuel hazard reduction.
The North Bay Forest Improvement Program is an incentives program, similar to the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the California Forest Improvements Program (CFIP), providing public funds to support private investment in forest health and resilience projects; reducing vegetative fuel loads and risks of wildfire, insect infestation, and disease epidemics on private properties in the North Bay’s diverse and valuable forestlands. This program is intended to blend the best parts of CAL FIRE’s California Forest Improvement Program (CFIP) and NRCS’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) within the confines of the NBFIP grant guidelines.
In total, the partnership will support forest stewardship activities across at least 100 projects in the four counties, treating over 1,500 acres of land. Possible treatments include:
- Planting site preparation
- Tree planting and protection
- Forest thinning
- Woody fuels reduction.
Additionally, the program will support the creation of 40 Forest Management Plans (FMPs). If a forestland owner or manager is in need of an FMP, they may apply through our program (your RCD contact will have more information about that opportunity). Projects and plans funded by NBFIP must occur on forestland consisting of oak woodland, redwood forests, mixed evergreen and ponderosa pine.
In 2020, the North Bay Forest Improvement Program was awarded $1.5 million from a CAL FIRE Proposition 68 Wildfire Resilience and Forestry Assistance grant, which provided three years of funding to develop and manage an incentives program to mitigate wildfire risk and improve forest health in this highly fire-prone region. In 2022, NBFIP received additional financial support through a block grant from the CAL FIRE’s Wildfire & Forest Resilience Task Force’s Small Private Landowner Working Group to facilitate further expansion and impact of the program in the same four county geography.
"We view it as a pilot project, and we’re excited to build and refine a regional strategy for identifying and funding forest health and fire resiliency projects in partnership with CAL FIRE."
Lucas Patzek, project steering committee member and Napa County RCD District Manager