Currently the Council is working on a variety of projects an programs (approx 15) that focus on many local concerns. Our projects are geared towards; Economic Developmnet, Community Education, Ag/Nature Tourism, Watershed Health, Tribal and Refugee Outreach, Fire Hazard Reduction and Biomass Utilization.
This project was launched in the Winter of 2003 in Mariposa County. The intention was to create a network of farmers, ranchers, artisans, and bed & breakfast owners throughout the county. In the Spring of 2003, the Council received a grant from the US Forest Service, in conjunction with the Central Sacramento RC&D Council to further its efforts.
We are currently working to extend this project throughout the four counties we serve to create a network of opportunities for tourists by and will be developing a mini-workshop series for interested buisness as well as assist with small business planning
The Yosemite/Sequoia RC&D actively promotes utilization of both agricultural and forest biomass materials to produce value added products and energy to support our communities. Examples include:
- Hosting the Biomass for Energy and a Better Environment Conference.
- Seeking economically feasible uses for biomass materials through our MC2 Feasibility Study . In this study we are identifying what materials may be available through fire hazard reduction projects, identifying potential markets for the materials, and determining the feasibility of collecting and utilizing the materials.
- Working with agencies, and other partners to assess the economic and social values of biomass utilization including: improved air quality and reduced health care costs associated with poor air quality, reduced saturation of landfills,improved watershed health and increased water quality and quantity, reduced risks to our communities and lower fire suppression costs, improved fish and wildlife habitat, improved forest health, and others.
- Educating local citizens and representatives about biomass utilization issues.
We are striving to increase awareness of biomass related issues amongst resource management agencies, legislators, special interest groups and local citizens. We hope to increase business opportunities that provide economic stability for our struggling communities, as well as support environmental health.
Community Housing Improvement Program - CHIP
CHIP is a free service for disabled, those on assistance, seniors and Tribal members, this program chips hazardous fuels on properties that have already brushed and piled their debris. In 2010 CHIP conquered more than 200 acres with the assistance of local non-profit Mono Nation. The program is once again underway with a will be expanding to all the foothill communities within Fresno, Madera, Mariposa and Tulare counties. In order to effectively reach all four counties, the Council has partnered with four Fire Safe Councils that will help take on the load. Furthermore, local non-profit The Foundation for Resource Conservation has taken the lead on all day-to-day chipping activities. This round CHIP has created six jobs and chipped over 100 acres.