SLO Employees Igniting a Prescribed Fire
Before and after photo of a thinning (watershed health) project
The State Land Office supports sound forest management to improve forest/watershed health, foster positive economic impact on communities, and reduce the risk of high intensity wildfire risk near communities. A diversity of forest types occur on state trust land, including ponderosa pine, mixed conifer/aspen, piñon/juniper, and riparian. Each forest type has unique management considerations with varying fire regimes, species composition, desirable tree densities, and wildlife habitat requirements.
Land Office forestry efforts include forest thinning, fuel breaks, prescribed fire, and watershed restoration. Fuels reduction and fuel break projects target state trust land in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) to reduce the risk of high intensity wildfire near communities. Forest health thinning and restoration projects target state trust lands with an unhealthy density of trees and/or undesirable species composition to improve ecological function. Benefits include increased water yield, enhanced wildlife habitat, improved range conditions, and increased forest resiliency to fire, insects, disease, and drought. In addition, the Land Office supports the use of prescribed fire to reintroduce the historic role of fire in fire adapted ecosystems and meet fuels reduction objectives. The Land Office works in close cooperation with diverse partners including local, state, federal, and tribal agencies as well as non-profit organizations to achieve forest management objectives.