Published September 23, 2022

The 2022 Wildfire Leadership Summit in Sonoma, hosted by After The Fire USA, wrapped up Thursday with panel discussions focused on reimagining resilience in our wildfire-prone communities, from new 3-D printed homebuilding techniques, to ecological fuels reduction and leveraging existing programs and projects for maximum community benefit.

In the afternoon, Jessica Morse, Deputy Secretary for Forest and Wildland Resilience with the California Natural Resources Agency, delivered a keynote on the myriad of forest health and wildfire issues across the state, and how increasing the pace and scale of proactive management presents an effective, science-based path forward.
On the panel that followed, Lomakatsi Founder & Executive Director Marko Bey, who also serves on the After the Fire Board of Directors, presented on how ecological forestry and restoration can improve ecosystem and community resilience in the face of the next major fire, sharing Lomakatsi’s three-sided ecological, economic, and social approach.
“We are thinking about our communities and our wildlands at a landscape scale,” Bey said. “We’re thinking about where to invest these limited dollars – even though it’s a watershed of funding right now – because the landscape is broad and the ecological departure is great, so we have to be very tactical and invest in the right locations for the greatest benefit.”

The panel was moderated by Lisa Micheli, PhD, President & CEO of Pepperwood and also included Jessica Morse; Che Casul, CEO, Circuit Rider Community Services; and Molly Curley O’Brien, Director of Grants and Government Programs, After the Fire USA.

The 3-day Summit brought together community members and leaders at various phases of their journeys recovering from destructive wildfire to heal, network, and chart a path forward, reflecting on increasingly challenging wildfire events since 2015. Fires continue to burn across the West and impact communities today, necessitating a collective investment into collaborations that fuel impactful change.
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