CWSF Newsletter | March 2023

Organizational Highlights

CWSF/WFLC Executive Director

The Council of Western State Foresters (CWSF) and Western Forestry Leadership Coalition (WFLC) is pleased to announce Danielle Okst as the new Executive Director.

Most recently, Danielle served as the Director of Policy and previously served as the Associate Policy and Grants Director. As Director of Policy, Danielle played an integral role in facilitating the region’s competitive grant processes and worked closely with members and partners to advance forestry issues across the West.

Laura Schweitzer’s last day with CWSF and WFLC was on March 2. The staff and members wish Laura well on her next steps as Deputy Regional Forester with the USDA Forest Service Region Pacific Northwest Region.

View the press release.

2023 CWSF/WFLC Spring Meeting

The 2023 CWSF and WFLC Spring Meeting will take place in Boise, Idaho, from Tuesday, May 16, at 8:00 a.m. to Thursday, May 18, at 5:00 p.m.

We are nearing our registration deadline of April 15. To secure your spot, all attendees are encouraged to register by Friday, April 15. Please contact the Riverside Hotel to make your room reservations before our room block ends on April 7. After that date, you cannot book at the per diem rate.

Photo: Boise CVB

Please contact Patricia Payne if you have any questions.

Competitive Grants Timeline Update

Community Wildfire Defense Grant (CWDG) Program

The White House and USDA Forest Service have announced the fiscal year (FY) 2022 CWDG program list of successful projects that will be funded from the first round. View the USDA Press Release and the full project list for more information.

For a deeper look at the western process, read our blog post “$197 Million Invested in State, Private, and Tribal Lands Through Community Wildfire Defense Grants”. 

The FY 2023 timeline for the second cycle of applications has yet to be determined and will be announced once finalized. For more information, visit the CWSF CWDG webpage or the USDA Forest Service CWDG webpage

If you have any CWDG questions, please contact Halie Miyazawa.

Landscape Scale Restoration (LSR) Competitive Grant Program

The FY 2023 LSR Competitive Grant Program is officially closed. Recommendations have been reviewed and approved by the WFLC Executive Board. The recommendation letter is publicly available to view on our website. For more information, visit the WFLC LSR webpage.

Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Grant Program

The FY 2023 WUI Grant Program is officially closed. Recommendations have been reviewed and approved by the CWSF Executive Committee. The recommendation letter is publicly available to view on our website. For more information, visit the CWSF WUI webpage.

If you have any LSR or WUI questions, please email

Good Neighbor Authority Spotlight

Utilizing the Good Neighbor Authority, an agreement in Colorado created a Community Protection Zone on federal lands adjacent to communities in the wildland-urban interface.

Read more about the White Cloud Fuels Reduction Project.

Photo: Colorado State Forest Service

Forest Legacy in Arizona

The WFLC Forest Legacy Publication has been updated to include a feature on Arizona’s San Pedro River Ecosystem Forest Legacy Project, permanently protected through USDA Forest Service Forest Legacy Program. 

Learn more on the WFLC Forest Legacy webpage

Photo: Matthew Jewell

Policy Update

This month's policy update highlights the release of the President’s budget proposal for FY 2024 and the year one project award list for the CWDG program.

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News and Notes from Our Members and Partners

Member and Partner Transitions

  • Montana: The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation has reorganized to combine Forestry and Trust Lands Divisions to be under a single Division. Shawn Thomas will serve as the Division Administrator and State Forester for Montana.  
  • USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region: Elizabeth “Liz” Berger has been selected to serve as acting regional forester for the Pacific Northwest Region (R6) starting in early April, following the retirement of Glenn Casamassa. Berger is currently a deputy regional forester for the Pacific Southwest Region (R5) in Vallejo, California.

Job Opportunities

Looking for a job opportunity in forestry? Find your next position in western forestry on the CWSF job blog.

If you would like to submit a job posting, please email Patricia Payne

Meetings Calendar

See the calendar of meetings and events hosted by CWSF/WFLC and partner organizations.

2023 Wildfire Mitigation Awardees

The Wildfire Mitigation Awards committee has named one individual and one organization to receive 2023 Wildfire Mitigation Awards. This year’s recipients both come from Eagle County, Colorado, where their coordinated efforts have earned them the highest commendation for innovation and leadership in wildfire mitigation.  

Learn more on the NASF website.

Report from The Pew Charitable Trusts

Wildfires in the United States have been getting bigger and more frequent for decades. As more frequent and severe fires drive up public spending, policymakers at all levels of government are faced with decisions about how to pay for the diverse array of interventions required to deal with them.

In a recent report published by The Pew Charitable Trusts, “Wildfires: Burning Through State Budgets,” experts examine how governments can budget better for rising risks and offer recommendations for addressing fiscal issues related to wildfire management.

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