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Planning for Fire Resilience in Coastal Marin County

Friday, January 19th, 10:00am - 12:30pm

This webinar was an opportunity to learn about wildfire resilience in coastal Marin County. Participants increased their understanding of related topics including wildfire risk, natural resource management, project planning, and regulatory processes. Presenters from the Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority (MWPA), Sonoma Technology, the County of Marin, Panorama Environmental, and Sequoia Ecological Consulting covered the processes of planning and implementing fuels reduction projects and activities in coastal Marin County. 

Mark Brown and Anne Crealock from the MWPA discussed their actions aimed at protecting both residents and the unique natural communities of Marin County from wildfire. They also addressed the evolving wildfire landscape, highlighting the need for collaborative action to combat climate change and its effects. Tami Lavezzo, Vice President/Senior Scientist, and Samantha Kramer, Air Quality Data Scientist, from Sonoma Technology discussed their collaboration with the MWPA to address wildfire mitigation in Marin County and gave background about fire history in the area. They discussed risk modeling around wildfire and evacuation, some of which applies more broadly to all natural disasters. They also discussed the heightened susceptibility of regions to hazards and current climate change uncertainties in the coastal regions. Jeremy Tejirian, the Deputy Director of Planning Services for Marin County, covered implementing vegetation management projects in alignment with Coastal Commission Local Coastal Program mandates. Tania Treis, the President of Panorama Environmental, gave insight to the regulatory intricacies of public agency-led fuels management projects. She shared the MWPA's approach to compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and additional considerations within the Coastal Zone. Contracted with Panorama, Julie Woodruff, Senior Biologist for Sequoia Ecological Consulting, discussed addressing the county's endemic and rare plant species and special-status wildlife for fuel abatement activities, including collaboration with the MWPA to address project-specific biological concerns. 

Webinar Agenda
Time Item
10:00am Webinar begins
  Mark Brown: How do we adapt to today’s wildfire environment? 
  Anne Crealock: What is the MWPA doing for Marin?
  Tami Lavezzo: Pre-fire Planning for Marin County
  Samantha Kramer: Climate Change Compounding Impact and Uncertainty in Wildfire Resilience 
  Jeremy Tejirian: Local Regulations for Vegetation Management in Marin County’s Coastal Zone
11:00am 10-minute break
  Tania Treis: Environmental Compliance Processes for Fuels Management, Constraints and Approaches in the Coastal Zone
  Julie Woodruff: Biological Resources Considerations for MWPA Projects
  Q & A
12:30pm Webinar ends


Mark Brown, Executive Director, Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority 

Chief Brown started his career as a volunteer firefighter in 1986 in Sonoma County. He was hired by the Marin County Fire Department as a Firefighter/Paramedic in 1991 and retired as the Deputy Fire Chief. He served as a Flight Paramedic on the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department Helicopter, 10-Henry-1. He was a founding member of the Marin County Urban Search and Rescue Team, California Regional Task Force 1 and has functioned as a Rescue Squad Leader, Rescue Manager, Water Rescue Team Manager, Task Force Leader and Sponsoring Agency Chief.

After serving for nearly 30 years with the Marin County Fire Department, Mark retired in order to assume the position as Executive Officer for the Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority, a joint powers agency charged with increasing the safety of Marin’s residents through vegetation management projects, evacuation route clearing, evacuation system improvements, public education and defensible space evaluations. 

Chief Brown served on a CAL FIRE Incident Management Team for 15 years as a Type I Operations Section Chief and was qualified as a Type II Incident Commander. He was a founding member of the North Bay Incident Management Team, a Type III All-Hazards IMT in the San Francisco Bay Area and was the Program Manager and one of the Incident Commanders. 

Anne Crealock, Planning and Program Manager, Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority

For the last two decades, Anne has worked in environmental planning, natural resources, water resources, climate adaptation, and fire resilience. While working for a water district in Sonoma County, Anne helped create and lead a collaborative effort to improve fire resilience to improve forest health, watershed health, public safety and protect water resources. A case study describing her work in the Lake Sonoma watershed is featured by the Governor’s Office of Planning & Research as part of the Integrated Climate Adaptation & Resiliency Program’s Adaptation Clearinghouse. After the devastating fires of 2017, Anne trained to become a wildland fire fighter to help conduct prescribed burns across the North Bay and continues to serve on the steering committee of a prescribed burn association. Anne also led Sonoma County’s team for natural resources recovery after the Glass and Walbridge fires of 2020. Anne’s passion for fire resilience and climate adaptation brought her to the Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority (MWPA) in 2021 as the Planning & Program Manager where she has been working with consultants, stakeholders, and Member Agencies to build an environmental compliance program to address wildfire risk reduction projects efficiently while also incorporating ecological stewardship. To date, well over 30 vegetation management projects have gone through environmental compliance and are currently being implemented. Anne holds a Bachelor of Science in Biological Studies and a Master of Science in Environmental Studies.

Tami Lavezzo, Vice President/Senior Scientist, Sonoma Technology

Ms. Lavezzo helps lead and coordinate Sonoma Technology’s fire and smoke sciences program. She serves as the technical lead for wildland fire pre-planning and mitigation services and supports multi-disciplinary fire and smoke-related projects across the state. She also oversees the design and development of modeling, analysis, and outreach software tools for diverse types of fire science, air quality, and environmental data. She is a member of the Pyregence Consortium that is developing next generation wildfire and fire weather models.  

Samantha Kramer, Air Quality Data Scientist/Project Manager, Sonoma Technology 

Dr. Kramer supports Sonoma Technology’s fire and smoke science program with expertise in analyzing, and modeling aerosol transport, regional climatology, and sub-seasonal atmospheric prediction. She has worked on a broad range of topics including greenhouse gas (GHG) and carbon quantification of forest management activities, PM2.5 smoke dispersion modeling of wildfire and prescribed fire records for past and future scenarios, high-resolution health impact analysis, and identification and verification of aerosol transport patterns for extended forecast periods. 

Jeremy Tejirian, Deputy Director, Planning Services, County of Marin

Jeremy Tejirian is the Deputy Director of Planning Services for the County of Marin. In this role, he is responsible for managing the Planning Division, which is comprised of long range planning, environmental planning, current planning, and code enforcement programs. He has decades of experience working on complex environmental and regulatory issues in Marin County’s coastal zone. 

Tania Treis, President/Principal, Panorama Environmental

Tania Treis is the founder and President of Panorama Environmental. Tania has over 20 years of experience managing the CEQA/NEPA and permitting processes for a wide range of projects across California and the West. She has particular expertise in leading program definition, policy analysis, and environmental review for wildland fuels reduction projects. She has led fuels management projects with numerous local, private, and federal entities including the Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, UC San Francisco, Stanford University, Santa Clara Valley Water District, San Lorenzo Valley Water District, Marin Municipal Water District, and the US Forest Service. 

Julie Woodruff, Senior Biologist, Sequoia Ecological Consulting 

Ms. Woodruff is a biologist and project manager with over 14 years of experience working in a variety of habitats for special-status species in the bay area, central valley, and Sierra Nevada mountains. As a Senior Biologist and Project Manager at Sequoia Ecological Consulting, Inc., for over 6 years, Julie currently manages several fuels reduction environmental support contracts including for the MWPA (with Panorama) as well as parks and open space agencies and Resource Conservation Districts; routine maintenance agreement work with various County parks, and infrastructure improvement biological compliance and survey support. Ms. Woodruff also authors and contributes to a range of technical documents including project-specific analyses, biological resource reports, and regulatory permits to keep wildfire mitigation and compliance work moving forward smoothly.  

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