Cal Fire Forest Health Program Now Open

CAL FIRE is now accepting proposals for the Forest Health Program for FY 2020-2021 and FY 2021-2022 with funding limits of $750,000 to $5 million per management activity projects.

What is the purpose of the Forest Health Program?

CAL FIRE’s Forest Health Program funds active restoration and reforestation activities aimed at providing for more resilient and sustained forests to ensure future existence of forests in California while also mitigating climate change, protecting communities from fire risk, strengthening rural economies, and improving California’s water & air.

Through grants to regionally-based partners and collaboratives, CAL FIRE seeks to significantly increase fuels management, fire reintroduction, reforestation, and conservation of forests degraded by overcrowding, drought, pest infestation, and catastrophic fire.

The Forest Health Program is part of California Climate Investments (CCI), a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing GHG emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities.

Who is eligible to apply?

Eligible applicants include:

  • Local, state, and federal agencies including federal land management agencies;
  • Universities;
  • Special districts;
  • Native American tribes;
  • Private forest landowners; and
  • Non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations (e.g., fire safe councils, land trusts.)
What types of projects are eligible?
Project activities funded by CAL FIRE's Forest Health Grant Program may include:
  • Forest fuels reduction
  • Prescribed fire
  • Pest management
  • Reforestation
  • Biomass utilization
  • Conservation easements and/or land acquisition through the Forest Legacy Program
  • Research through the Forest Health Research Program

Forest Health projects must further the regulatory goals of the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.

Applicants will be required to include a quantitative estimate of the net GHG benefit in terms of metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per the Forest Health Quantification Methodology (QM) and Calculator Tool. Some activities, such as planning, research, or education, may not have a measurable GHG emissions benefit. In this case, applicants must provide a justifiable qualitative description of how the activity will ultimately result in emissions reductions, further quantitative assessment of GHG impacts, or improve management actions or policy.

What are the funding levels for this program?
The minimum grant amount requested for management activity projects should be no less than $750,000, with a maximum allowable request of $5 million.
  •  Forest Health Research Projects: Research projects will be funded from the Research Program budget, which is independent of the larger Forest Health Program budget. The Research Program intends to award a minimum of $3,800,000 in competitively selected grants for FY 2020-21 and FY 2021-22. Additional funds may become available in Summer/Fall of 2021 after finalization of the State budget for FY 2021-22. If this is the case, additional projects may be selected for award from the pool of applications received in this solicitation. Research Program funding will be allocated to four projects types, approximately as follows (subject to change):
    • General, State Forests, and Synthesis and Tool Development: $500,000 maximum award amount.
    • Graduate Student: $100,000 maximum award amount.
Is there a match a match requirement or cost sharing?
  • Forest Legacy Program seeks to encourage projects to increase the level of matching funding by offering a scoring criterion for increased matching funding. To receive these points, the matching funds must be secured, and applications must include the award letters from other funding agencies/entities. Donated easement value also constitutes a match donation and must include a signed letter from the landowner stating the amount of donation. A total of 7 points if available to projects that meet this requirement.
    • 3 points - Projects that include a match of at least 25% of the value of the easement. This can include secured funding from outside entities, and/or landowner donation.
    • 4 points - Projects that include a match of at least 50% of the value of the easement. This can include secured funding from outside entities, and/or landowner donation. If a project meets this criterion, it will also be awarded the 3 points for the 25% match, for a total of 7 points.
What is the grant program timeline?
Projects awarded with funding from the 2020/2021 fiscal year must be able to complete grant-related work by March 31, 2025.
  • Forest Legacy Program: All project work related must be completed by March 31, 2026 unless an earlier date is specified by CAL FIRE.
  • Forest Health Research Projects: Applicants may propose projects up to four years in length, with work starting no earlier than August 15, 2021. Projects must be complete by March 31, 2026.

All proposals are due by 3pm on May 19, 2021

The notice of funding opportunity can be found here.

For more information on this grant or how to apply with Morrison’s assistance, please contact the Morrison Grants Team by email at or call us at 530-893-4764.


We’ve worked with a wide variety of clients on a broad range of projects and are happy to discuss solutions that can best fit your needs.

Get in Touch