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  • Julie Curtis

Spring 2024 Forestry Newsletter

As spring unfolds and the days grow longer, it’s a timely reminder to prepare for wildfire season. In this newsletter, read about:

  • Wildfire Ready Neighbors program launch in collaboration with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and local partners.

  • House and property Spring Cleaning tips for wildfire resiliency.

  • New Forestry Financial Assistance programs.

  • Coached Planning Course in review.

  • Workshop: Thinning Your Forest for Climate Resilience.

Read on to learn more about how these programs can benefit you, your property, and your neighborhood. Let's work together to create a fire-resilient San Juan County! 


Are you a Wildfire Ready Neighbor?  

Along with the Washington Department of Natural Resources, we are working with local fire districts, outer island fire brigades, and San Juan County to recruit as many residents as possible to create a wildfire resilient county.  

Protect your home and community: Starting 5/8/2024 San Juan County residents can enroll online to receive a FREE Wildfire Ready Plan for their home and property! Not only will you be taking a step towards protecting your home, if you signed up before June 19, you’ll be entered to win a $300 gift card to a local hardware store!  

We are sharing wildfire preparedness tips and resources throughout May (Wildfire Awareness Month) on our Instagram (@sanjuanislandscd) and Facebook (@sjicd). Make sure you’re following along, and share with friends, family, and neighbors!   


Spring Cleaning 

Spring is the perfect time to perform some annual maintenance work in your forest and around your home. Here are three things you should do each spring: 

  1. Check for Hazard Trees. Look for dead, diseased, or otherwise weakened trees that, if they fell, could hit buildings or places where people gather. If you identify a tree that needs to be removed, or just aren’t sure, contact a certified arborist to assess the situation. See here for more information. 

  1. Clear Flammable Materials from the Immediate Zone Around Your Home. Remove needles and leaves from your roof and gutters, and move any flammable material away from wall exteriors-this includes mulch, flammable plants, leaves, needles, and firewood. Our new Wildfire Preparedness page is packed with other tips and resources to get you started. 

  1. Be on the Lookout for Invasive Species. Now is the time to remove them before they flower and spread. Visit here to learn more. 


Forestry Technical and Financial Assistance 

Great news, San Juan County! We just launched a limited Forestry Financial Assistance program. If you live in a 2012 Community Wildfire Protection Plan priority area, your project may rank higher for assistance. Along with the financial assistance program comes a boost in technical assistance services. Technical assistance is the term we use to describe the important work of providing landowners with the knowledge and tools they need to conserve, maintain, and restore the natural resources on their lands and improve the health of their forest for the future. This assistance is offered at no cost, with the goal of providing personalized advice and information, based on the latest science and research, to help make informed decisions.  

Here’s what we’re offering to our community: 

  • Wildfire Ready Home Visits: We will visit your property and assess your home and the surrounding vegetation and landscaping to identify areas that could increase your wildfire risk.  

  • Forest Health Assessments: We will visit your forest to assess overall forest health and help identify potential fire hazards and mitigation strategies.  

  • Management Options & Funding Connections: We’ll guide you through management options for reaching your conservation goals and connect you with potential funding options to help you implement best practices.  


There has never been a better time to think about forest health and safeguarding your property and community from a potentially devastating wildfire. Check out our website to learn more about getting a FREE Wildfire Ready Home Visit, Forest Health Assessment, and to explore financial assistance options.  


Speaking of Financial Assistance... 

Our friends at Northwest Natural Resource Group recently announced a new cost share opportunity for western Washington landowners to promote forest health, climate resilience, and carbon storage. For more information check out their webpage and fill out an interest form. 


Coached Planning Course Was a Success!  

In partnership with our friends at NNRG and Rainshadow Consulting, SJICD’s very own Kai Hoffman-Krull will be presenting as one of the speakers at an upcoming event on Orcas Island: Thinning Your Forest for Climate Resilience. Sign up for this free event taking place on Friday, May 31, from 9:30 to 3:30 at the Helsell Family Forest. 


The San Juan Islands Conservation District Forest Stewardship Program is supported with funding from Washington’s Climate Commitment Act. The CCA puts cap-and-invest dollars to work reducing climate pollution, creating jobs, and improving public health. Information about the CCA is available at 



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