The Land Trust of Napa County, California State Coastal Conservancy, Napa County Resource Conservation District (Napa RCD) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service are pleased to announce completion of a large fuels reduction and forest health project on the Land Trust’s Linda Falls Preserve in Angwin, CA. This preserve is open to the public and many visitors come to the property to hike and see Linda Falls, a waterfall along Conn Creek.
The project involved thinning the forest across 120 acres. The thinning is aimed at both reducing the risks of wildfire along the southeast flank of the community of Angwin and increasing the resilience of the forest to fires, drought and other effects of climate change. Angwin is one of the few areas in the hills of Napa County that has not burned in the last five years so wildfire risk reduction there is a priority for CAL FIRE, Napa Communities Firewise and Napa County Fire.
The project plan was developed with the Napa County Resource Conservation District (Napa RCD) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. “We very much appreciate the agency participation in both planning and grant funding as well as the generous private donations that made this work possible,” said Palladini.
Funding for the $360,000 project came from grants through the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the California State Coastal Conservancy as well as supporters in Angwin. Locally, the project was supported by both the Angwin Fire Safe Council and the Angwin Community Council. The fundraising effort was capped by a challenge grant from Clif Family Winery & Farm that was matched by gifts from residents and businesses in Angwin.
“We are happy to do our part in wildfire prevention,” said Kit Crawford of Clif Family Winery & Farm. “As a neighbor it’s a pleasure to support Firewise and the Land Trust. We are truly stronger and safer working together.”
“We are delighted to support this critical intersection of wildfire resilience, community and tribal engagement, and practical workforce development at four locations in the County’s wildland urban interface,” said the Coastal Conservancy’s Executive Officer Amy Hutzel. “Thanks to the partnership with the Land Trust and the Resource Conservation District, both forest health and the public’s ability to safely recreate have been increased at the Linda Falls Preserve.”
“The grant received from the California State Coastal Conservancy supported a portion of this project as well as three other similar projects,” said Ali Blodorn, Principal Program Manager of Napa RCD’s Forestry Program. “This grant came to fruition following discussions amongst the Napa County Pre-Fire Coordinating Group regarding the critical need to improve forest health and fire resilience in the wildland-urban interface. This speaks to the power of bringing people together to pursue collaborative projects. It has been a pleasure working with Mike and his team at the Land Trust—the emphasis that they place not only on fuels reduction but also on biodiversity and habitat improvement is invaluable.”
“After seeing the devastation from the 2020 wildfires in many Douglas fir stands, it was inspiring to walk through the forest on the Linda Falls Preserve,” said Evelyn Denzin, District Conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Napa. “NRCS was pleased to be able to provide support through our Environmental Quality Incentives Program for this project. The proactive vegetation management the Land Trust has accomplished here prepares the forest to better withstand future challenges from fire and other forest threats.”
Last year, working with partners and neighbors, the Land Trust completed a shaded fuel break through the western and northern boundaries of the Linda Falls Preserve, connecting with Howell Mountain Road. The project succeeded in creating a 200-foot wide fuel break across the properties of eleven different landowners, including the Land Trust.