National Disaster Resilience Competition

What is the National Disaster Resilience Competition?

The National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC) is a $1 billion program being administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The NDRC is designed to provide grants to communities to rebuild in a more resilient way following a major disaster.

California applied to fund a forest restoration and community engagement effort known as the Community and Watershed Resilience Program (CWRP). This $70 million project is a collaborative effort made up of local, state, and federal partners including Tuolumne County, California Department of Housing and Community Development, Sierra Nevada Conservancy, California Environmental Protection Agency, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, U.S. Forest Service, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

A Community in Peril

The 2013 Rim Fire burned more than 257,000 acres which devastated the landscape and local communities. It resulted in significant impacts to the local ranching community, threatened access to clean and drinkable water, disrupted the lives of thousands of people, and damaged air quality. Initial estimates indicate that the Rim Fire released 11 million metric tons of greenhouse gasses (GHGs), or roughly equivalent to the annual GHG emissions from 2.3 million cars.

The Rim Fire emitted in a matter of weeks more than San Francisco emitted in an entire year.

The CWRP is designed to address unmet recovery needs in the Rim Fire footprint, while also supporting community protection and resilience.

What does community protection and resilience look like?

The CWRP consists of three separate, but integrated pillars.

Forest and Watershed Health Program (FWHP)

Project Lead: Sierra Nevada Conservancy
Approximate funding: $28 million

The Forest and Watershed Health Program, a collaborative effort between the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, the U.S. Forest Service, and CAL FIRE, will restore and protect the health of one of California’s most vital watersheds by:

  • Removing dead material from forests that act as fuel for the next fire on up to 4,600 acres
  • Controlling and minimizing the spread of noxious weeds on 3,500 acres
  • Rebuilding rangeland infrastructure such as fencing and wildlife-friendly troughs
  • Facilitating reforestation and preventing forest-to-shrubland conversion on 4,500 acres
  • Creating and enhancing strategic fuel breaks to reduce future fire risk on up to 1,995 acres

In 2018, the U.S. Forest Service intends to award fuel reduction and reforestation site preparation contracts on up to approximately 4,780 acres in the Rim Fire footprint using FWHP funds. Other 2018 projects include constructing nearly 15 miles of range fences and controlling the spread of noxious weeds through prescribed fire on approximately 1,400 acres.

Biomass Utilization Facility (BUF)

Project Lead: Sierra Nevada Conservancy
Approximate funding: $22 million

This effort led by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy will utilize woody biomass from forest restoration activities and complement existing wood processing infrastructure in Tuolumne County.

SNC is completing a feasibility study to inform the design and location of the facility. Building on community input, SNC will help identify options for the development and construction of the biomass utilization facility.

Community Resilience Center(s) (CRC)

Project Lead: Tuolumne County
Approximate funding: $20 million

The CRC, led by Tuolumne County, will provide shelter and necessary resources in the event of a disaster and will support community services, educational programs, and job training. The center will be located within the Rim Fire footprint.

Extensive stakeholder outreach is currently underway to solicit public input on the design, services, and location of the CRC.

A New Model for Forest and Community Resilience

CWRP logo showing the three pillars of the CWPD and a fourth element: the local community; all four pieces are connected to and depend on one another in the CWPD model

The CWRP will serve as a model for communities to proactively plan and think about resilience in preparation for a future with increasingly severe wildfires.

Additional Information

NDRC Project Contact

Elliott Vander Kolk
Community and Watershed Resilience Program Coordinator
11521 Blocker Drive, Suite 205
Auburn, CA 95603
Direct Line: (530) 823-4692
Toll Free: (877) 257-1212

CRC Partner Contact

Maureen Frank
Deputy County Administrator
County of Tuolumne
Direct Line: (209) 533-5511

NDRC Grant Administration Contact

Susan Naramore
NDR Project Manager
Housing & Community Development
Direct Line: (916) 263-0371


Community and Watershed Resilience Program Overview
Biomass Utilization Facility Feedstock Supply Study
Biomass Utilization Facility Feasibility Study
2019 Forest and Watershed Health Work Plan Map
NDRC Grant Administration
Tuolumne County CRC Updates
NDRC Board Memo

NDRC Partners

Housing and Community Development

Tuolumne County

U.S. Forest Service

Governor's Office of Planning and Research

California Environmental Protection Agency