Skip to Content
County Administrator's Office

For Immediate Release

Board of Supervisors approves $1 million in vegetation management grants to reduce wildfire risk

SANTA ROSA, CA | May 21, 2024

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors today approved $1 million in grants for nine projects that will protect residents from wildfires by creating fuel breaks and removing vegetation along evacuation routes in fire-prone landscapes.

Recipients of the grants will provide $1 million in matching funds to implement the projects. When completed, the projects will reduce vegetation on nearly 50,000 acres of land in the Mayacamas Mountains and the Russian River corridor while creating more than 13 miles of shaded fuel breaks and roadside treatments.

“We can achieve more by working together instead of working alone,” said Supervisor David Rabbitt, chair of the Board of Supervisors. “Today’s investment, and the partnerships we are forming through this program, will make our county safer.”

The nine projects received the highest scores from an evaluation committee composed of representatives from Permit Sonoma, Cal Fire, Sonoma Water, Sonoma County Ag + Open Space and Sonoma County Regional Parks. The panel reviewed 22 applications that were submitted to Ag + Open Space, which operates the vegetation management grant program.

The winning applicants will have 18 months to complete their projects. They include:

  • Coast Ridge Forest Council: $142,790 for a shaded fuel break and roadside treatment on Brain Ridge along Fort Ross Road.
  • Conservation Corps North Bay: $100,000 for a shaded fuel break and roadside treatment along St. Helena Road.
  • North Sonoma County COPE (Communities Organized to Prepare for Emergencies): $100,000 for a shaded fuel break and roadside treatment along Wohler and Chalk Hill roads.
  • Sonoma Ecology Center: $100,000 for fuels reduction in the Sonoma Valley.
  • Northern Sonoma County Fire Protection District: $150,000 to fund environmental compliance for 43,000 acres of fuel treatments east of Geyserville.
  • WiConduit and Hacienda Improvement Association: $91,384 to fund environmental compliance for a shaded fuel break along Mount Jackson Road.
  • Occidental Community Services District: $90,000 for a roadside treatment near Camp Meeker.
  • Fire Safe Sonoma: $75,826 for a countywide program that will engage and educate landowners about vegetation management.
  • Gold Ridge and Sonoma Resource Conservation Districts: $150,000 to support a countywide grazing program that reduces fuels and promotes grazers to work with landowners.

In the fall, the Board of Supervisors plans to award another $1 million in grants to projects that will be identified through a series of workshops that began in June 2023 and will continue through June 2025. The workshops allow landowners to develop vegetation management projects with help from technical advisors from local resource conservation districts, Cal Fire, local fire districts and other partner organizations. Community groups interested in attending an upcoming workshop should contact Kim Batchelder, vegetation management coordinator and program manager for the County of Sonoma, by emailing

The Board of Supervisors created the Vegetation Management Grant Program in 2020, devoting $25 million from the county’s settlement with PG&E over damage caused by the 2017 wildfires. These funds have been applied to support the Resilient Forests and Watersheds workshops and coordination of the County’s multi-faceted approach to improving wildfire resilience.

Since its inception, the program has provided $11.3 million in grants to 65 projects that have reduced fuel loads on 5,600 acres by using prescribed burns, grazing, hand crews and equipment to remove vegetation.

The grant funding has helped to create defensible space around 630 homes, construct 82 miles of shaded fuel breaks and reduce fuels along 64 miles of roads that serve as critical evacuation routes. The County has also approved five projects that will reduce fire risks on 45,621 acres under the state’s Vegetation Treatment Program, which provides for streamlined environmental review to expedite projects that protect the public from wildfires.

Media Contact:
Ted Appel, Communications Specialist
(707) 565-3040
575 Administration Drive, Suite 104A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403