The Sierra Institute’s Sierra to California All-Lands Enhancement (SCALE) project is the mechanism for collaboration between collaborative groups working on landscape-scale forest restoration and community improvement across California. This project developed out of Sierra Institute’s broader work at the intersection of forest management and rural community well-being. By promoting successful collaboration at the community-level, the SCALE project promotes work on the ground that restores forest resilience, supports local economies, and builds strong communities.
Through the SCALE project, the Sierra Institute facilitates a peer-learning network among forest collaboratives by convening bi-annual meetings designed to share key lessons learned by each of the collaboratives, building the capacity of collaboratives by promoting awareness of key state and federal policies, funding, and authorities, and collectively identifying strategies to achieve landscape-scale, cross-boundary restoration of healthy, resilient forests.
The Sierra Institute also works with the USFS Pacific Southwest Region, individual collaboratives, and other partners to address key barriers through the development of systematic solutions, such as work to identify and promote contracting mechanisms that enable restoration work to benefit local economies.
As collaboration continues to gain traction across the West, the SCALE project provides support for collaboratives as they navigate social, political, and environmental changes. For example, although in many cases collaboratives are supported through federal programs, such as the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration (CFLR) or the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy, uncertainty over the future of these programs necessitates an adaptive approach to ensure ecological and community benefits over the long-term. We work with groups to navigate social and political challenges such as these, while at the same time helping groups identify strategies to accelerate the pace and scale of restoration.