California Forest Watershed Alliance (CAFWA)
An alliance of urban and rural organizations dedicated to the restoration and improvement of California’s watersheds and forests.
Rural County Representatives of California
Justin Caporusso, CAFWA Chair
Staci Heaton (Alternate)
California Farm Bureau Federation
Robert Spiegel, Director
Erin Huston (Alternate)
Association of California Water Agencies
Dave Eggerton, Director
Cindy Tuck (Alternate)
California Forestry Association
Rich Gordon, Director
Kirstin Kolpitcke (Alternate)
The Nature Conservancy, California Chapter
David Edelson, Director
Elizabeth Forsburg (Alternate)
California forests, and other forests across the western United States, are at serious risk of large, high-severity wildfires that threaten lives, communities, water resources, wildlife habitat, and recreation. Although forest thinning and controlled burning are proven methods of reducing the risk of destructive megafires, the current pace and scale of forest management activities are inadequate given the scope of the problem. Our fire season is starting earlier and lasting longer with fires burning hotter than ever before. There is an urgent need to restore our forests to a more resilient condition to protect our water resources, communities, and ecological values.
Statement of Purpose
Healthy forests matter, not just to those living in and around those forests, but to all Californians who rely on clean water, clean air and recreational opportunities. The impacts of forest wildfires on our water, energy, environment and economy are felt by Californians throughout the state. It is imperative that we significantly increase efforts to improve forest health and resilience. The diverse members of CAFWA are working together to seek new ways to promote proactive, science-based, and ecologically sound forest management practices that will reduce the risk of destructive megafires. Our goal is to protect our forests, our natural resources, and our local economies by accelerating the pace and scale of forest restoration.
Build a diverse, urban-rural coalition to advocate for increasing the pace and scale of ecologically based active management in California’s forests and watersheds.
Communicate the importance of California’s healthy forests by emphasizing the multiple values that they provide, especially with respect to water resources.
Pursue increased funding and new funding sources for forest management from federal, state, and private sources.
Advocate for policy and legislative reforms that will promote ecologically sound forest restoration.
Develop and promote on-the-ground projects to improve forest health and resilience, prioritizing landscape-scale restoration.
Advance monitoring and research to improve the state of scientific knowledge to better direct future land management decisions.
Note: CAFWA related actions and decisions are arrived at via consensus of all CAFWA members. Absent consensus, individual members will not use the CAFWA name or brand in advocacy efforts.