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The FAC CIRCULAR

Offering you Fire Adaptation Ideas Outside the Box

Community fire adaptation practitioners are some of the most dedicated, resourceful and innovative people we know. You are also some of the most in demand! That’s why our monthly newsletter has been reimagined and streamlined. Each month we’ll focus on one of the topics in the recently updated Fire Adapted Communities Graphic. Access thematic content created by practitioners like you, resources and tools to support your work and inspiration to keep going--all in a compact, easy to read format. 

This month's focus is on Regulations/Policy/Plans. Policies and regulations can enable the changes we are working toward or constrict our decision space. As we work to co-manage fire, policy, regulation and joint planning provide foundational opportunities to redistribute power and change the “rules of the game.” Policy, regulation and planning efforts can help us practice, reform and reimagine shared governance. We can’t change our future with fire without tackling the rules which govern and guide the process! Read on to learn about one community’s journey to adopt a wildfire ordinance; review a four-state comparison report; get inspired by practitioner efforts to change prescribed fire liability laws; explore how people are using PODs to clarify and expand decision-space and more!

Our communications team has been working overtime. In addition to the return of this newsletter, we’ve revamped our website. Visit www.fireadaptednetwork.org for intuitive access to fire adaptation stories, resources by practitioners for practitioners and to get connected to other community fire leaders.

There are plenty of places to read the news or doomscroll. When you’re ready to get to work, get inspired and get connected, open the latest edition of The FAC Circular. 

With Gratitude, 

FAC Net Staff

Want to share a story or resource with FAC Net? Have feedback on this newsletter or our weekly blog? We’d love to hear from you.

The Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition are committed to finding and promoting solutions through collaborative, place-based work that recognizes the inextricable link between the long-term health of the land and the well-being of rural communities.

Learn more about this FAC Net Member in this blog post from October, 2019. 
Brett Holt is a Mitigation Planner in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 10. Brett has worked with FEMA since 1999 and currently represents FEMA on the Western Regional Strategy Committee and represents FEMA Region 10 on the Washington Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network Steering Committee. Learn more about Brett in this interview from the blog.
"Applying fire through a planned event supported by sufficient resources allows agencies, partners and landowners to familiarize themselves with fire behavior, observe fire effects and improve coordination of fire management resources."
"Ten years later, and we’ve finally redefined our wildfire hazard zones, and what should happen in them. But getting that policy passed required thinking about more than policy.  It took working with new partners (have you ever invited a beekeeper to a wildfire-resilience meeting?), and an emphasis on residential outreach. Here’s how we did it."
"Smart and forward thinking land use planning strategies can directly affect wildfire outcomes by 1) determining if development is allowed in wildfire-prone areas; and 2) specifying the type of mitigation measures that must be followed to address wildfire threats."
"A gross negligence standard is critical because it brings the risk profile of prescribed fire back into balance. By reducing the uncertainty that comes with a simple negligence standard, gross negligence lowers the perceived risk...Changing the liability standard is the most direct route to changing the comfort and culture around prescribed fire."
The Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) has been a long held standard for any community looking to prioritize wildfire planning. In 2003, Congress passed the Healthy Forest Restoration Act (HFRA) and Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs) were born. HFRA requires CWPPs to be collaborative, include prioritization of fuel treatments, and recommend measures to reduce structure ignitions in a community. In May of 2020, FAC Net convened participants across the country in a CWPP-focused learning group to help connect practitioners to each other and current research. Known as CWPP 2.0, this learning group met monthly from May until December 2020.  A summary of the themes and takeaways can be downloaded below.
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A Better Fire Future

"Every important social movement reconfigures the world in the imagination. What was obscured comes forward, lies are revealed, memory shaken, new delineations drawn over the old maps: it is from this new way of seeing the present that hope emerges for the future... Let us begin to imagine the worlds we would like to inhabit, the long lives we will share, and the many futures in our hands.”- Susan Griffin

Close your eyes. Imagine you’ve been transported 15, 75, or 125 years into the future. Imagine yourself in a place where you’ve been working to change the relationship with fire. Maybe it’s your neighborhood. Or, imagine your favorite trail, a meadow, the greenbelt around your city, or the backcountry. In this future, the work, learning and energy that you and your partners, and countless others have contributed to, has changed your community’s relationship with fire. You sit down, observing: what does this place feel like, look like, sound like? Who is here? When was fire last here? How is this place and time different from the present? How are people, fire and place connected in this future?

In an effort to expand the boundary of the possible, every month we’ll bring you visions of a better fire future. Want to share your vision? Contact us! 

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