Support Swanton Pacific Ranch

To provide Cal Poly students, faculty, staff and the public with a unique interdisciplinary environment in which to foster the Learn by Doing philosophy by providing educational experiences on a working ranch, supporting diversified agriculture and forest resources while maintaining the integrity of ranch operations.

  —Our Mission

Forest Health Management in the WUI: Lessons Being Learned at Jackson Demonstration State Forest

August 8, 2024, 10:00am – 3:00pm

This field workshop is an opportunity to learn about forest health management at CALFIRE's Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF). Participants will increase their understanding of how using different management options and tools can affect forest health in a wildland urban intermix (WUI) with examples from multiple sites in the Forest. 

Jason Serna, Timber Sale Program Manager at JDSF, will provide an introduction to the Forest and discuss the treatments used for fire safety and overall forest health. At the first site, Tori Norville, Fire Science Advisor for UCCE, will cover the research-related aspects of forest health at JDSF. Micheal Jones, Forestry Advisor for UCCE, will highlight the role of active stewardship, particularly controlled burning, in restoring pygmy habitats. He will also speak to how disturbance-dependent ecosystems require intervention. Teresa Sholars, a pygmy forest ecology expert, will offer insights into the unique forest ecosystem at the site and its historical relationship with fire. Kyle Farmer will focus on fire concerns and fuels management strategies tailored to that environment. At the second site, logged in 2015 under a Timber Harvest Plan, Jason Serna and Julie Rhoads, Vegetation Management Program Forester at CALFIRE, will discuss the site history and the considerations taken due to its proximity to residential properties. Fey Egan, a Research and Demonstration Forester at JDSF, will discuss past interventions including manual treatment, mechanical treatment, and prescribed burning. Lastly, Clarice Sargenti, Air Quality Technician for Mendocino Air Quality Management District, will address air quality management for prescribed burns, emphasizing the importance of protecting both environmental and human health.

Workshop Agenda
Time Item
10:00am Field workshop begins 

Jason Serna: Introduction to Jackson Demonstration State Forest  


Site 1: Pygmy Forest Site

Mike Jones: Overview of Forest Health 

Teresa Sholars: Ecosystem Background, Fire History, and Forest Health

Kyle Farmer: Fire Concerns and Fuels  




Site 2: Fairbanks Site

Julie Rhoads: Overview of Treatment Site

Fey Egan & Jason Serna: Treatments and Forest Health

Mike Jones: Research Project Context and Statewide Comparisons

Clarice Sargenti: Air Quality Overview

Kyle Farmer: Smoke Management


Field workshop ends

Link to presentation abstracts


Julie Rhoads, Vegetation Management Program Forester, Mendocino Unit, CALFIRE 

Julie has over two decades of forestry experience in timberland and fire fuels management on the Mendocino Coast. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a BS in Resource Management, Julie landed her first seasonal job at Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF) as a Forestry Aide and hasn’t left the coastal metropolis of Fort Bragg ever since! Her forestry career was cultivated working at Mendocino Redwood Company between the South Coast of Mendocino to Northern Sonoma Counties preparing timber harvests projects. After several great years and many poison oak-related hospital trips, Julie came back over to JDSF to work in timber sales program. The last three years she has been working for the Mendocino Unit on fuel reduction projects ranging from roadside mastication to largescale prescribed burns. Julie enjoys working with landowners, neighborhood groups, Wildfire Prevention and Forest Health grantees, and agency partners around the county to plan and prepare for more resilient and healthy ecosystems.

Jason Serna, Timber Sale Program Manager, Jackson Demonstration State Forest, CALFIRE

Mr. Serna is graduate of Humboldt State University with a B.S. in Forestry. He has worked at JDSF for over 17 years. Very little is known about him prior to JDSF. He enjoys accurate maps, well-engineered stream crossings, and moderate EHRs.

Fey Egan, Research and Demonstration Forester, Jackson Demonstration State Forest, CALFIRE 

Fey Egan, Forest Engineering and Hydrology MF, Oregon State University, first worked at JDSF as a hydrologic technician for the Forest Service.  She then worked in botany, soils, land surveying, and forest practice in private industry and governmental agencies before coming back to JDSF as their research and demonstration forester.

Kyle Farmer, Land Manager and Educator

Kyle Farmer is a land manager and community educator based in Mendocino County.  While he is most comfortable in the entrepreneurial world of private land management, his perspective is informed by time spent working for the University of California Cooperative Extension and the World Health Organization. Kyle helped start the Mendocino Prescribed Burn Association in 2018, and became a California State-Certified Prescribed Fire Burn Boss (CARX) last year. He has experience planning and implementing burns targeted at deer and elk habitat restoration, fuel load reduction, post-harvest site prep, perennial grassland maintenance, and wetland and riparian stewardship. He raises cattle and sheep with his wife Grace and children, June and Walter, who are the 6th generation to call their ranch home.

Micheal Jones, RPF #3241, Forest Advisor, Mendocino, Lake, and Sonoma Counties, University of California Cooperative Extension 

I completed a Ph.D. in Entomology from State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry and a B.S. in Environmental Biology and Management from UC Davis. I specialize in forest entomology and disturbance ecology with a focus on forest health and managing for disturbance in forest ecosystems, including redwoods and oak woodlands. I am helping to build capacity around the use of prescribed burning as a management tool, including research and establishing prescribed burn associations. My extension program focuses on efforts to keep oak and conifer forests and the habitat they provide healthy and productive. Through research, education, and advise the program encourages biodiversity and sustainable management of these forestlands.

Tori Norville, RPF #3096, Fire Science Advisor, Sonoma, Napa and Marin Counties, University of California Cooperative Extension 

Tori Norville is part of the UC ANR Fire Network Team and focuses on the effects of vegetation management treatments and prescribed fire.  She works to educate landowners on land stewardship practices.  Tori is also a Registered Professional Forester.

Clarice Sargenti, Air Quality Technician, Mendocino Air Quality Management District

I am a lifelong California resident, raised in Santa Cruz County. My work with air quality and prescribed burning in our county allows me to experience firsthand the interconnectedness of the health of our communities and the health of our ecosystems. I enjoy the opportunity to interact with and learn from many different types of stakeholders in our community in regards to prescribed burning and air quality management.

Teresa Sholars, Pygmy Forest Ecology Expert, Retired Botanical and Ecological Consultant, Professor Emeritus of Biology & Sustainable Agriculture, College of the Redwood  

Teacher of Ecology, Botany, and Biology for 50 years. Professor Emeritus of Biology and Sustainable Agriculture; College of the Redwoods. Currently am an Adjunct Professor at Mendocino College and curator of the Herbarium at the Mendocino College Coast Campus. Teaches in the Jepson workshops series at UC Berkeley and volunteers for the California Native Plant Society as vegetation coordinator for DKY chapter, leading vegetation surveys. Board member for the CNPS Journal, Artemisia and Northern California Botanists. Author for the genus Lupinus in the Jepson Manual, all of the efloras and coauthor of Lupinus in Flora North America. Author of articles and various chapters in books on California vegetation. Botanical consultant from 1975 -2014. Owns 40 acres of TPZ redwoods and sold timber from 1975 to 1988; during that time was the LTO and choker setter for family timber business. Author of chapters in various publications on redwood forest ecology and north coast vegetation.

Related Content

Support SPR

Al Smithsupport the ranch

How You Can Help

Swanton Research Resources on Digital Commons

For a link to the many resources held by Cal Poly's library on Digital Commons, click here.