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Collaborative Fuels Reduction Projects: Lessons Learned from the Resource Conservation District of Tehama County

Thursday, February 1st, 2024, 9:00 – 11:30am

This webinar was an opportunity to learn about collaborative fuels reduction projects from representatives at the Resource Conservation District (RCD) of Tehama County, the National Park Service, CAL FIRE, and Battle Creek Meadows Ranch. Participants increased their understanding of how lead agencies, partners, and communities collaboratively design and implement fuels reduction projects using lessons learned from the Resource Conservation District of Tehama County. 

Jon Barrett, District Manager at the RCD of Tehama County, gave an overview of what a Resource Conservation District is and does. Stephanie Dickerson, TinderSmart Tehama Community Coordinator, discussed her experience with organizing and running the TinderSmart Tehama defensible space program. Kathryn Raeder, Forestry Project Specialist at the RCD of Tehama County, described her experience as a GrizzlyCorps Rural Climate Fellow and how the workforce development funding set her up for success to help advance collaborative forest health and wildfire mitigation projects on private and public lands. Jim Richardson, Retiring Superintendent of Lassen Volcanic National Park and a leader of the Mineral and Mill Creek Firewise team, explained how to form a Firewise Community and how Lassen National Park partnered for success. Bruce Starkweather, President of Battle Creek Meadows Ranch Inc., provided a private landowner's perspective on fuel reduction projects. Nick Wallingford, Deputy Chief of the CAL FIRE Northern Region, described some of the current fuel management challenges existing in the state and describe some of the solutions CAL FIRE is deploying to tackle them.

Webinar Agenda
Time Item
9:00am Webinar begins
  Jon Barrett: What is a Resource Conservation District (RCD)?
  Stephanie Dickerson: TinderSmart Tehama: How Tehama county is leading the way in defensible space assistance for community members
  Kathryn Raeder: Investing in Emerging Natural Resource Professionals: A GrizzlyCorps Success Story
  Jim Richardson: Forming a Firewise Community & how Lassen NP partnered for success
10:20am Break
  Bruce Starkweather: Fuel Reduction Projects on Private Lands
  Nick Wallingford: CAL FIRE partnerships for Wildfire Risk Reduction
  Group Q&A

Webinar ends


Jon Barrett, District Manager, RCD of Tehama County

Jon Barrett joined the Resource Conservation District in 2017 as a Project Manager.  Jon’s projects consisted of fish passage projects on both the Sacramento River and surrounding tributaries, including planning/designs, permitting, and implementation of the projects. Jon also worked on forest health projects throughout Tehama County, to include tree removal, mastication and biomass removal.   In 2020, Jon was promoted to District Manager and oversees a district of 30 employees with a yearly budget of $19 million dollars in project work.

Stephanie Dickerson, TinderSmart Tehama Community Coordinator

Stephanie Dickerson joined the Resource Conservation District of Tehama County (RCDTC) as a Project Coordinator August 2021. Since that time, she has earned a second title: California Fire Safe Council Fire Safe Coordinator for Tehama County. Stephanie is passionate about fire mitigation as well as helping and educating the community on fire safety . At the RCDTC, Stephanie helps with administration duties as well as community education and outreach, and promoting good fire in Tehama County.

Kathryn Raeder, Forestry Project Specialist, Resource Conservation District of Tehama County

Kathryn Raeder joined the Resource Conservation District of Tehama County (RCDTC) as a GrizzlyCorps Rural Climate Fellow in September 2021. Since the end of her fellowship in July 2022, she has served as Forestry Project Specialist at the RCDTC. Kathryn holds a B.A. in Geography from McGill University, and she continues to learn on the job by attending as many prescribed fire trainings as possible. At the RCDTC, Kathryn helps with grant writing, coordinating forest health and fuel reduction projects, community education and outreach, and promoting good fire in Tehama County.

Jim Richardson, Retiring Superintendent of Lassen Volcanic National Park and a leader of the Mineral and Mill Creek Firewise team

Jim Richardson is the retiring Park Superintendent of Lassen Volcanic National Park and one of the leaders of the Mineral and Mill Creek Firewise team. Jim graduated from the University of Nebraska with majors in Parks and Recreation, and Business. He has worked for the National Park Service since 1982, first as a law enforcement Park Ranger and now as Park Superintendent. Jim has worked at 9 parks in Colorado, Nebraska, Utah, California, Arizona, the Territory of Guam, and even a stint in Washington DC. He lives in Mineral California.   

Bruce Starkweather, President, Battle Creek Meadows Ranch, Inc.

Bruce has been President of his family’s high Sierra ranch near Mt Lassen for over 25 years navigating the many challenges of sustaining the meadowlands and timberlands property for their family’s future generations.  The ranch was first acquired by his great grandfather in 1894 as summer range for cattle grazing and has been in continuous family run seasonal operations since then.  Bruce is currently a 4th generation leader and working actively in the transition to the 5th generation of family leadership.

Bruce is a graduate of the University of Oregon, School of Architecture and has been a practicing Architect in Sacramento, CA for 50 years.  He retired from active practice in 2010 after leading his firm as Chairman of the Board of Lionakis, a multi-disciplined A/E practice throughout California and Hawaii.

The ranch property located in Mineral, CA is approximately 2150 total acres of headwater meadowlands of the south fork of Battle Creek (+/-50 %) and mixed conifer non-industrial timberlands (+/-50%) managed by a NTMP in eastern Tehama County.  The ranch has been actively engaged with the numerous regulatory agencies (Fed/State/County) since the 1960’s to manage and maintain our property in a sustainable manner.  That engagement has now entered a phase of strategic collaborations and partnerships with Public and NGO entities to address broader local and regional challenges for our area of Northern California.

The Dixie Fire was the catalyst that accelerated the need to take action together now for our region to better prepare for and reduce the impact from future fires in our area and our adjacent community of Mineral.

Nick Wallingford, Deputy Chief, CAL FIRE Northern Region

Nick Wallingford serves as a Deputy of Chief of Planning and Special Operations for CAL FIRE Northern Region Redding.  He began his career with CAL FIRE in 2002 as a Firefighter in Shasta County.  Since then, Nick has worked in San Luis Obispo, Monterey, Trinity, and San Benito Counties. In addition to fire operations, Nick has held multiple fire prevention and planning positions in the department and has specialized experience in pre-fire engineering, land use planning, damage inspection (post fire), defensible space inspections (pre fire), the Vegetation Management Program, and Wildfire Prevention Grants Program.  Nick graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in Forestry and Natural Resource Management concentrating in Fire and Fuel Management with a minor in Geographic Information Systems.

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