History of the California Wildfire Restoration Initiative
In June 2008, TreePeople received a $1-million grant from The Boeing Company to launch a comprehensive California Wildfire Restoration Initiative in response to the wildfires that have ravaged areas of Los Angeles and other parts of Southern California in recent years. This generous donation was supplemented a short time later with a $1.5-million grant from The Walt Disney Company. Since then, other generous donors have stepped forward, including the Sempra Energy Foundation and actress/activist/entrepreneur Victoria Principal.
The Initiative is built around public/private partnerships and provides innovative approaches to forest restoration. Priorities include:
Developing strategic partnerships with local, state and federal agencies
The expansion of environmental education and fire safety programs for students and families
Engaging the community in on-the-ground restoration
Over the next several years, the Initiative will train and support at least 7,500 volunteers to restore over 10,000 strategic acres, targeting forest and woodland areas that burned so intensely, they are unlikely to recover on their own and need human assistance.
Going beyond just planting trees, the Initiative seeks to restore the many functions of our mountain forests. These functions include capturing rainwater, providing habitats for wildlife, cleaning the air and flood and pollution prevention.
Thus far, TreePeople has worked in partnership with the San Bernardino National Forest Association (SBNFA), Mountains Restoration Trust and United States Forest Service on Southern California public lands impacted by past wildfires. These lands have included two national forests – the San Bernardino National Forest and the Angeles National Forest – along with the Santa Monica Mountains