More Help For Your Dead Tree Problem

Notes from a CFIP Presentation by Guy Anderson


CFIP (California Forest Improvement Plan) is a branch of CalFire that offers grants to homeowners who need help in removing dead trees among other things.  In the past the money has come from harvesting timber.  Now it comes from a one cent sales tax on any lumber sold in California, and greenhouse gas mitigation from high speed rail.  They have four million dollars this year to offer in grant money.  Because of the tree mortality problem, much of it is to be used in Fresno County.


What is required of homeowners is a management plan approved by the NRCS (Natural Resource Conservation Services) or the Forest Service.  If the NRCS give approval to the plan, CFIP gives automatic approval.  The plan needs to be created and supervised by a registered forester and can include felling and removal of large dead trees, brushing, thinning trees, disposing of slash, general improvement projects, pruning, and more.  Landowners can have grants concurrently from CFIP and EQIP (Environmental Quality Improvement Plan), but can’t use both on the same piece of land.  Management plans can cost from $1,700 to $5,000 depending on whether the plan is one time only (mini-management plan) or for reuse multiple times with both CFIP and EQIP.


The grant program is a reimbursement plan.  Homeowners can be reimbursed up to 75% of their costs and in Fresno County, again because of the tree mortality problem, up to 90%.  These grants are specific to Oak/woodland areas and tree mortality in the timberlands.  Final out of pocket expense can be as little as $500.  If the proposed project is viable and the paperwork is done, there is a high probability that it will be funded.  To be eligible the project needs to have a minimum of 20 acres and a maximum of 5000.  Neighbors can collaborate.  The acreage needs to be contiguous and at least 10% impacted.  


There are some limitations.  It needs to be Oak/woodland zoned TPZ (Timber Protection Zone or Williamson).  There can be no easement that restricts forest management.  The money can’t be used to mitigate on land intended for subdividing, or for land that clear cut for replanting.


Plans can cover many problems.  They can be for planting, fishery improvement, reforestation, site press release, pruning, conservation practices, fencing to protect creeks, fuel breaks, non-commercial removal of dead trees.  Projects typically take four to six weeks for approval and once begun takes a year to a year and a half to complete.  


For more information, visit the CFIP home page using this link: