The Sierra to California All-Lands Enhancement (SCALE) Project is a peer learning network of collaborative groups working on US Forest Service lands. The project allows for collaborative groups working across California to share lessons learned from project successes (and failures) and address challenges that are shared between groups working towards similar goals in different forests. One of the major focuses of the SCALE project, as identified by the collaboratives involved, is to support local economic opportunities through restoration work.
What is a forest collaborative anyway?
Forest collaboratives are organized groups of stakeholders with an interest in forest management. Collaboratives are often formalized through charters and governance structures. They meet regularly to agree upon strategies for land management in the hopes that collaborating during the project planning phase will increase the pace and scale of restoration on public and private lands. Members of collaborative groups include landowners (both public and private), environmental organizations, local governments, recreation groups, tribes, timber industries, community members and other groups that have an interest in participating.
Collaboratives can work across public and private lands, and the SCALE project is focused on this all-lands approach. The boundaries of collaborative groups are determined by the groups themselves and can follow existing county, watershed, or land ownership boundaries. Collaboratives involved with SCALE all work closely with a National Forest(s).
Who is involved in SCALE?
The SCALE project began in 2013 working with the three Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration (CFLR) groups in California. The CFLR program is a federally funded program to support collaboration on USFS lands, but it’s not the only program that supports collaboration. Other collaboratives are part of Joint Chiefs Landscape Restoration Program or the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy. Many collaboratives in California have a focus on wildfire risk reduction and general forest health, but some collaboratives have a more specific focus, such as wildlife, watersheds or recreation.
The next bi-annual SCALE meeting will take place later this month in Sacramento. Among the expected attendees are over a dozen collaboratives from all over California- from the Modoc to San Bernardino. Some of them are newly formed collaboratives, and others will be coming to the SCALE meeting for the first time. There they will have an opportunity to meet in person to share their projects and learn new tools for successful collaboration.
Join us throughout May for Project Spotlight SCALE.
Written by Lauren Burton for Project Spotlight.