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Prescribed Burning in Soquel Demonstration State Forest: How good fire can improve forest health and community safety. 

Tuesday, October 25th, 2022, 6:00pm - 7:30pm


This webinar was an opportunity to learn more about the safety and efficacy of prescribed fire in the Soquel Demonstration State Forest.
The local CAL FIRE Demonstration Forest was implementing a burn plan for forest health and community safety. The team responsible for implementing this project helped participants improve their knowledge about the safety and efficacy of prescribed fire in the Soquel Demonstration State Forest.
Angela Bernheisel, Division Chief/Forest Manager at Soquel Demonstration State Forest (SDSF), provided background on the fire history of the Soquel Demonstration State Forest and an overview of their goals for the prescribed burn program. Brett Agler, the Vegetation Management Program Forester, CAL FIRE San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit, focused on the planning and logistics for prescribed burn implementation. Matthew Mosher, Environmental Scientist, CAL FIRE San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit, explored how to analyze and mitigate potential environmental impacts and how to plan for positive impacts for biological resources from prescribed burns. Joe Restaino, Prescribed Fire Specialist and Senior Environmental Scientist, CAL FIRE, highlighted the pre- and post- fire scientific analysis done by Richard Cobb and how the SDSF work relates to the region and state. 

Prescribed Burning in the Soquel Demonstration State Forest

Webinar Agenda

Time Item
6:00pm Webinar began, presenter introductions
  Angela Bernheisel: Soquel Demonstration State Forest, Fuel Management and Wildfire Resilience  
  Brett Agler: Prescribed Burn Implementation
  Matthew Mosher: Environmental Impact Analysis and Positive Environmental Benefits of Prescribed Fire 
  Joe Restaino: Prescribed Fire Research and Monitoring at Soquel Demonstration State Forest  
  Audience Q&A
7:30pm Webinar closed


Angela Bernheisel, Division Chief/Forest Manager, CAL FIRE Soquel Demonstration State Forest 

Angela Bernheisel has been the Forest Manager at the Soquel Demonstration State Forest (SDSF) since 2011.  She has 28 years of experience working in forestry and fire in the Central Coast Region.  She graduated from UC Berkeley in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry and became a Registered Professional Forester in 1998.  Previously Angela served as the Vegetation Management Program Coordinator and Forest Practice Inspector in the CAL FIRE San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit and worked in private consulting forestry with Edward A. Tunheim. 

Angela has a love for forestry and the fire service that began long ago when she served as a firefighter for two seasons on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest right after high school.  Managing SDSF is her dream job where she once worked as a Forestry Aide for a season and where she has a deep connection to the Santa Cruz Mountains and community.  She has extensive experience in managing State Forest timber sales and projects for stream habitat enhancement, fuel treatments, road improvements and public recreation.  She has worked at SDSF to build the infrastructure for conducting prescribed burns at this forest and has been increasing the pace and scale of wildfire resilience projects along with top notch researchers and collaborators.  

Brett Agler, Vegetation Management Program Forester, CAL FIRE San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit

Brett Agler, graduated Humboldt State University in 2012 and started with CAL FIRE in 2015, working in the Demonstration State Forest Program at Boggs Mountain Demonstration State Forest. During his time at BMDSF the entire property burned in the 2015 Valley Fire. Brett assisted with salvage logging and replanting the entire 3,500-acre property. After that he transferred to CAL FIRE’s Forest Health Program out of Sacramento assisting with project monitoring and grant administration statewide for Forest Health Projects. Brett started as the VMP Forester in Santa Cruz County in August of 2022. 

Matthew Mosher, Environmental Scientist, CAL FIRE San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit

Matthew Mosher is the Environmental Scientist for CAL FIRE’s San Mateo – Santa Cruz Unit. Matthew’s background is in biology with an emphasis on plant ecology and environmental regulations. His duties with CAL FIRE include providing expertise in biological resources, environmental regulations, and monitoring of fuel reduction projects. Prior to starting with CAL FIRE in 2019, Matthew worked as a botanist for numerous public and private organizations including the National Park Service, US Forest Service, University of Nevada Las Vegas, and H.T. Harvey and Associates on a wide range of projects including rare plant management, invasive species management, forest health, ecological restoration, and environmental permitting. He has a BS in ecology and evolution from UC Santa Cruz.  

Joe Restiano, Prescribed Fire Specialist & Senior Environmental Scientist CAL FIRE

Joe Restaino is a Senior Environmental Scientist at CAL FIRE and works as part of the Fire and Resource Assessment Program. He is a Prescribed Fire Specialist and leads the California Prescribed Fire Monitoring Program. In that role, he coordinates pre- and post-fire data collection to characterize treatment effects to forest fuels, tree mortality, species diversity, smoke production/dispersal, and carbon storage. He also coordinates field and analytical support for prescribed fire research across the state. 

Prior to joining CAL FIRE, Joe was a Research Scientist at the University of Washington where he managed a nationwide network of research projects across a range of topics within fire ecology, including; fuels characterization, fire weather, carbon assessments, fuel treatment effectiveness, pile burning, combustion physics, ecosystem restoration, and fire behavior model evaluation. He has conducted research on hundreds of prescribed fires and has 20 years of experience conducting forest inventory. He received his Master’s degree from the University of Washington in Forest Resources examining the carbon dynamics of fuels treatments and wildfire. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from UC Berkeley and has worked extensively with the University of California: Center for Forestry. 

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