Greenbelts & Wildfire Research

California has a serious problem: extreme wildfire events are growing more frequent every year under a changing climate. Such a complex problem requires significant, bold changes.

In order to protect people and preserve open spaces and natural resources, we must implement innovative land-use policies and collaborate at the state, regional, and local levels to change our relationship to wildfire. So we are documenting the critical role that different types of open spaces can play in wildfire prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery.

Greenbelt Alliance is doing this by…

Conducting original research on how the natural environment around us can play a significant role as nature-based solutions to climate risks like wildfire. Specifically, protected greenbelts and open spaces are growing in importance as a wildfire resiliency tool with multiple benefits and applications in fire-prone areas across the US. Such research is particularly relevant now after the devastating human and ecological impacts from wildfires over the past few years across the Bay Area and will serve to generate lessons learned for California as well as other states. Click here to get this breakthrough research today

Putting our findings and recommendations into action in ongoing regional planning—making the case and directive for what is needed to use greenbelts as land-use policy tools in wildfire planning, prevention, and long-term resilience planning.

outcomes of this work

Raise awareness and understanding around the actions required to build a resilient Bay Area.



We will achieve this by sharing "The Critical Role of Greenbelts in Wildfire Resilience" with policymakers, planners, and key stakeholders. This original research provides detailed recommendations for concerned residents, leaders, and advocates to leverage greenbelts that will reduce wildfire risk.

We will then promote the findings and policy recommendations and best practices through thought-leadership blogs, educational events, external campaigns, and topical webinars.

Communities, policy makers, and land owners collaborate to heighten understanding of wildfire risk and ways to improve resilience.



We will work to build a network—across sectors and breaking down silos—to collaborate on implementing land-use policy that reduces wildfire risks.

We will also advocate for actions in ongoing regional planning efforts: promoting what is needed to use greenbelts as land-use policy tools in wildfire planning, prevention, and resilience.

RESOURCES & REPORTS

4 Greenbelt Types that Improve our Response to Wildfires

Wildfire season has arrived earlier than ever this year and is already showing promise to surpass the destruction of 2020. Between January 1 and July 4, there were 4,599 fires that burned 114.8 square miles, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, which represents a spike of 136% in terms of area

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Supporters Gather to Celebrate Sonoma and the Work of Greenbelt Alliance

On June 26, Greenbelt Alliance supporters gathered at the beautiful McEvoy Ranch in Petaluma for our very first in-person gathering since COVID-19. Situated under the Japanese Pagoda, guests were treated to a special olive oil tasting while they sipped on wine sourced directly from the ranch. Guests also enjoyed a delicious sustainable farm-to-table lunch from

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Book Review: Managing Fire in the Urban Wildland Interface

I wish I’d had this book in hand in the aftermath of the 2017 wildfires in Sonoma County. At that point, like many of us outside the firefighting profession, I had never even heard the term “WUI” (Wildland Urban Interface) until a reporter asked me about it. Since then, I’ve faced a steep learning curve

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Joint Statement of Wildfire & Land-Use Principles to Reduce Risk & Increase Housing

In the wake of incredible losses and the record-breaking wildfire season California had in 2020, along with increasingly severe drought conditions, our state, regional, and local governments must urgently do more to keep communities safe from wildfires while also addressing the acute housing crisis Californians are facing.  Planning where and how new development is built,

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WUI: Three Letters at the Core of Wildfire, Housing, and Land Use

The “rainy” season in the Bay Area is nearly finished, and we’ve had very little rainfall. That means that most of the region, and the entire Golden State, is back in a drought—among the top 10 driest years. San Francisco’s rainy season alone is ranking as seventh driest in more than a century. Some experts

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