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

Planning for Fire Resilience in the Coastal Zone: A case study of Marin County

May 20, 2024, 9:30am - 2:45pm

This field workshop is an opportunity to learn about coastal wildfire resilience. Participants will increase their knowledge of planning for fire resilience in coastal California through a case study of Marin County. 

Mark Brown, Executive Director of the Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority (MWPA), will discuss the factors that shape the coastal fire landscape in Marin County and the shared responsibility of residents, fire agencies, and regulatory bodies in creating fire-safe communities. Anne Crealock, Planning and Program Manager at MWPA, along with Caitlin Gilleran, Senior Project Manager/Senior Planner at Panorama Environmental, will showcase practical approaches of environmental compliance within the Coastal zone, emphasizing resource constraints and adaptive management. Additionally, they will share about the worker training programs within MWPA's compliance program. Gavin Albertoli, Project Manager for the Marin County Fire Department's Vegetation and Fuels Management Program, will provide an overview of the evacuation route clearance planning and implementation. Greg Jones, Fire Management Officer at Point Reyes National Seashore, will focus on the area's fire history and fuels treatments, and will discuss the importance of diverse biomass disposal methods, including pile burning in hard-to-reach locations. Chief Jessi Peri of the Stinson Beach Fire Protection District will share his perspective on wildfire planning in a tourist-heavy area, focusing on efficient evacuation planning. Belle Cole, Chair of the Ecologically Sound Practices Partnership, will highlight the importance of collaboration in addressing these multifaceted challenges. 

Join us at this workshop to learn, collaborate, and help build resilient coastal communities.

Workshop Agenda
Time Item
9:30am Field workshop begins 
 

Site 1: Bear Valley Visitor Center

Fire Conditions for Coastal Wildfire Hazards

Fire History

Tourism and Planning for Wildfire

 

Site 2: Evacuation Route 

Evacuation Route Overview

Environmental Compliance

Surrounding Ecosystem

 

Site 3: Inverness Ridge Trail*

Fuels Treatments

Fire Behavior

Sensitive Species/Environmental Resource Constraints

1:00pm

Lunch

 

Site 3: Inverness Ridge Trail* 

Geology and Soils

Collaboration Efforts

  Closing
2:45pm

Field workshop ends

*This workshop involves a steep 0.3-mile hike with multiple stops for presentations along the trail. One vehicle will be available for individuals with mobility challenges, providing transportation to meet up with the group at the top of the trail.

Link to presentation abstracts

Trainers:

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.

Gavin Albertoli, Project Manager, Vegetation and Fuels Management Program, Marin County Fire Department 

Gavin Albertoli is a Project Manager for Marin County Fire Department's Vegetation and Fuels Management Program. Gavin has a background in consulting arborist and forestry services, environmental compliance, and project management and holds a bachelors degree in Forestry and Natural Resource Management from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. His work at the Marin County Fire Department includes project development, funding, mapping, implementation and environmental compliance for vegetation management projects throughout the county.

Caitlin Gilleran, Senior Project Manager/Senior Planner, Panorama Environmental 

Caitlin is an experienced environmental consultant who has been conducting research, preparing compliance documents, and ultimately managing complex projects since 2010. During the most recent half of her career, she has focused on ecological restoration, wildfire resilience, and fuel management projects and programs. She was integral to the finalization of several programs including but not limited to the Marin Municipal Water District’s Biodiversity, Fire, and Fuels Integrated Plan, the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District’s Wildland Fire Resiliency Program and refined Prescribed Fire Plan, and University of California’s Vegetation Management Plan for the Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve. Most recently she is managing the development and implementation of the environmental program for the Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority (MWPA) alongside the MWPA Planning and Program Manager. As part of this program, Caitlin prepared a detailed Wildfire Hazard Mitigation Project Processing Manual; conducts extensive coordination with the MWPA member agencies to assist them in refining fuel and vegetation management projects; coordinates with environmental stakeholders, the public, agencies, and land managers; led the preparation and filing of over 30 environmental compliance documents and continues to lead ongoing compliance efforts; and designed training and implementation compliance oversight programs. Caitlin acquired a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management and Protection, which has served as the foundation of her career.

Greg Jones, Fire Management Officer, Point Reyes National Seashore

Greg Jones is the Fire Management Officer for the San Francisco Bay Area Network of National Parks:  Point Reyes National Seashore, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, John Muir National Historic Site, and Pinnacles National Park.  These park units, which together comprise approximately 180,000 acres, have varying fuel types and land management objectives.  They include both designated wilderness areas and areas at the wildland-urban interface and present unique fire management challenges. Greg has worked for the National Park Service for over 20 years and has served on a federal interagency hotshot crew, engines, helicopter crews, and fuels planning and management teams.  He holds an M.S. in Environmental Studies from San José State University and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Colorado, Boulder.  Greg and his wife are long-time residents of the Marin Headlands.

Jesse Peri, Fire Chief, Stinson Beach Fire Protection District  

Chief Peri, a lifelong resident of Stinson Beach, brings extensive public safety experience and community involvement to his role as Fire Chief of the Stinson Beach Fire Protection District (SBFPD). Chief Peri serves as the SBFPD's representative on the MWPA operations committee and has collaborated with the NPS to successfully complete vegetation management projects in the coastal zone. He is committed to ongoing vegetation management efforts in West Marin to help residents reduce wildfire risk, ensure safe evacuation routes for the area's many visitors, and promote forest health for a thriving ecosystem that preserves West Marin's beauty.

Belle Cole, Chair, Ecologically Sound Practices Partnership 

Belle is a resident of San Rafael since 2006 and has had a long career as a public policy specialist bringing workable and lasting solutions to complex issues. She took on new challenges in Marin county- organizing for climate change and other progressive causes (OFA Marin): forming a coalition of leading environmental and climate action groups (Lead on Climate); advocating for Measure C and helping establish the Ecologically Sound Practices Partnership (ESP) and winning endorsement and funding for the Marin Biomass Project. Belle joined the Marin Conservation League Board in 2022. Previously, Belle was Director of Research and Public Policy at the University of California and, together with her late husband, Professor David Wilson, founded and led the Planning Management and Research Group Inc, a science policy consulting firm. She has studied with leading economists and worked on economic development abroad and in Washington DC. She has a BA from Mount Holyoke College and a MA degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

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.