The Healthy Forests Restoration Act (HFRA) provided communities with an opportunity to influence where and how federal agencies implement fuel reduction projects on federal lands. A Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) is the most effective way to take advantage of this opportunity. Additionally, communities with Community Wildfire Protection Plans in place will be given priority for funding of hazardous fuels reduction projects carried out under the auspices of the HFRA.
On behalf of the municipalities within the East Michigan Council of Governments (EMCOG) region, EMCOG staff will work with those municipalities that are interested in completing Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs). A CWPP is a mechanism for communities to address their wildfire risk. In 2004 a handbook titled, "Preparing a Community Wildfire Protection Plan" was developed to guide communities in developing the CWPPs. These plans promote collaboration and local action, and can work in partnership with Firewise activities as well as Hazard Mitigation Plans.
Local wildfire protection plans can take a variety of forms, based on the needs of those involved in their development. They can be as simple or complex as a community desires. The CWPPs must meet three basic criteria:
- Collaboration: A CWPP must be collaboratively developed by local and state government representatives, in consultation with federal agencies and other interested parties;
- Prioritized Fuel Reduction: A CWPP must identify and prioritize areas for hazardous fuel reduction treatments and recommend the types and methods of treatment that will protect one or more at-risk communities and essential infrastructure; and
- Treatment of Structural Ignitability: A CWPP must recommend measures that homeowners and communities can take to reduce the ignitability of structures throughout the area addressed by the plan.
Funding for completing CWPPs may be available through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Municipalities that are interested in finding our more on how to apply for funds to complete the CWPP should contact EMCOG staff.
EMCOG staff has recently completed the Roscommon County CWPP.