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Shaded Fuel Break: Lessons Learned Post Wildfire in the San Vicente Redwoods

Thursday, May 4, 2023 10:00am - 12:30pm

This was an opportunity to learn more about how four land trusts implement land conservation and fire resiliency.

We were joined by a variety of practitioners who came together to manage fuels on private conservation land critically located adjacent to high-fire risk communities in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Susie Petrie, Senior Stewardship Project Manager at Peninsula Open Space Trust, gave an overview of the San Vicente Redwoods Partnership. Nadia Hamey, registered professional forester and property manager, gave an overview of the vision and context of the San Vicente Redwoods property and prioritization of fuel reduction based on the landscape: topography, fuel types, and infrastructure. She highlighted the ongoing work at San Vicente Redwoods and collaborative research opportunities. Nadia also discussed fuel management permitting, funding, and project design/logistics such as prescription and biomass processing options. Joe Christy, the President of the Bonny Doon Fire Safe Council, spoke to the history of the shaded fuel break project, how the fuels management contracts have changed post-fire from a project implementer's perspective and he shared strategies to think regionally. Sebastian Holmes, President of Holmes Logging Inc. and independent forestry contractor who has implemented several forest health projects on this and other properties, shared from a contractors perspective current trends in workforce development and contracting guidelines. Together, these individuals work with representatives of four land trusts to effectively demonstrate that land conservation, fire resiliency, and public access can successfully co-exist.

Nadia Hamey's Presentation Slides

Joe Christy's Presentation Slides

Webinar Agenda
Time Item
10:00am Webinar begins
  Susie Petrie: San Vicente Redwoods Partnership
  Nadia Hamey: San Vicente Redwoods Vision and Context
  Nadia Hamey: Fuels Management Compliance and Funding from the Project Managers (RPF's) Prospective
10:45 Break

Joe Christy: Project Implementer's Perspective on Fuels Management Contracts & How things Changed Post-Fire


Sebastian Holmes: Contractors Perspective on Fuels Management Contracts

  Sebastian Holmes: Contractors Perspective on Workforce Development Needs
12:30pm Webinar ends


Susie Petrie, Senior Stewardship Project Manager, Peninsula Open Space Trust

Susie's background is in public land management, invasive species management, endangered species monitoring, habitat restoration, and managing sustainable public access with the National Park Service.  At Peninsula Open Space Trust, she supports the collaborative efforts of four land trusts to protect and enhance San Vicente Redwoods.  When off the clock, Susie's busy bringing her toddler and puppy to fun places and trying out new recipes.


Nadia Hamey, Registered Professional Forester RPF # 2788, Hamey Woods  

Nadia Hamey is a Registered Professional Forester with 19 years of experience practicing forestry in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Nadia is the property manager for San Vicente Redwoods, a 9,000-acre property managed by multiple partners to uphold conservation values. Her specialties include forest management, fuel hazard reduction, restoration, and writing environmental compliance documents, including Timber Harvest Plans. Prior to starting her own consulting firm, Nadia worked for Big Creek Lumber Company and UC Berkeley’s Research Forests. Nadia holds a BS in Forestry from UC Berkeley. She was a Founding Member and Vice-President of the Bonny Doon Fire Safe Council from 2009-2021.

Joe Christy, President, Bonny Doon Fire Safe Council 

In 2010, Joe Christy was lucky enough to join a truly extraordinary group of Bonny Doon residents in forming the Bonny Doon Fire Safe Council, whose mission is to "educate & mobilize people of Bonny Doon to protect our community, homes & environment from wildfire". He has served as BDFSC President since that time. Bonny Doon Fire Safe Council (BDFSC) has secured nearly $3 million in grant funding and in-kind contributions from community members in order to carry out a variety of fuel mitigation projects on the landscape to scale. BDFSC has active programs helping landowners secure their homes and neighborhoods against wildfire. He was the founding president of Fire Safe Santa Cruz in 2014 and returned to that position in 2022to scale up BDFSC's success to the County level. In prior lives he worked in mathematical research, ascending to the management of an international research institute; when that involved too much management and too little research, he went on to join the founding teams of three Internet startups during the bubble years and into the aftermath when the money dried up; in 2000 he put down his roots in Bonny Doon, getting to know the landscape and its fire ecology.  

Sebastian Holmes, President, Holmes Logging Inc.

Sebastian Holmes is the 3rd generation of timber management in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Sebastian brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in commercial harvesting operations for Big Creek Lumber, Redwood Empire, Cal Poly, Holmes Lumber Co, Estrada Ranch, Burton Tree Farm, Madera Roja along with many other private landowners. Provided fuel breaks/reductions and or mechanical timber stand improvement for all of the above and including Cal Fire, Bonny Doon Fire Safe, Santa Cruz Land Trust, Star Hill Ranch, Kings Grove, Filoli Gardens, Santa Cruz Biotechnology, along with many others. Holmes Logging was one of the 3 different contractors to implement the first large scale mechanical fuel breaks in the Santa Cruz Mountains for Cal Fire.




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