In the aftermath of the 2013 Rim Fire, what was then the largest fire in the history of the Sierra Nevada, the state of California received a National Disaster Resilience Competition grant from the federal government to help Tuolumne County rebuild in a more resilient manner, including the creation of stronger local markets for forest restoration byproducts.
In 2020, the SNC partnered with the Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) to establish a $17-million Biomass Utilization Fund (BUF). Interest in the new low-interest loan program has been strong. The RCAC is currently processing applications from numerous applicants looking to create new or expand existing wood-utilization businesses in Tuolumne County. Successful applicants will provide economically viable alternatives to pile-burning the small diameter trees, brush, and slash created by ecological forest health projects and create permanent employment opportunities in a small rural economy.
Projects financed by these loans are expected to boost Tuolumne County’s restoration economy by 2022.
Through the Sierra Nevada Watershed Improvement Program (WIP), we bring people together to identify shared interests and novel approaches to common forest and watershed health challenges. Read more about our work through the WIP in our 2020 Annual Report.