CAL FIRE Demonstration State Forests
With the addition of over 15,000 acres of demonstration state forest land, CAL FIRE will be able to increase its capacity to study climate change and adaptation strategies. California’s demonstration state forests serve as a living laboratory for how to care for and manage California’s forest lands for multiple benefits—recreation, watershed protection, wood products and sustainable timber production, and habitat restoration—given a changing climate and increasingly severe and intense wildfire seasons.
The forests provide unique research and demonstration opportunities where environmental scientists, foresters, and other researchers can study the effects of various forest management and restoration techniques to help inform management practices for government, nonprofit and private forestland owners.
The addition of lands facilitated by the Stewardship Council will increase the number of Demonstration State Forests from nine to fourteen and increasing total acres from 70,000 acres to more than 85,000 acres. These include key new ecological biomes and forest types across the state.
CAL FIRE will continue to work closely and collaboratively with land trusts who hold the conservation easements on these properties to ensure that the scenic, open space, forest, wildlife habitat, recreation, and historic and cultural values are protected forever and there is no commercial or residential incursion.
Common activities on state forest lands include evaluating sustainable timber harvesting techniques that test current Forest Practice Rules, watershed restoration, a variety of university research projects to help answer pressing forest management questions, and other activities such as cone collecting for seed, and recreation such as mushroom collecting, hunting, firewood gathering, horseback riding, camping, mountain biking, and hiking.