Forests, both urban and rural, present our communities with immense benefits, but can also pose a threat for those living in the rural urban interface as humans begin to move into forested landscapes. 

Development in and near our forests is coveted, yet it can present an increased risk of danger for communities.


Rural forests make up about 33 million acres of California’s landscape and includes private industrial and non-industrial timberland, State Parks, U.S Forest Service, National Parks, Bureau of Land Management and Tribal lands. Although each jurisdiction has its own land management objectives, natural disasters such as drought, wildfires, flooding and erosion, know no boundaries.

For those forested communities in the urban rural interface, safety is a particular concern.

  •  Learn how to build defensible space around your home to keep it safe from wildfire.

  • Communities work with local Fire Safe Councils on a variety of projects that defend against wildfire and protect local watersheds. Learn what your local Fire Safe Council is doing and get involved.

  • View map of California’s forests.



Urban forestry brings the forest and trees into communities to cool the city, clean the air, save energy, provide jobs, reduce crime and improve public health and property values. Check out our friends at the California Urban Forests Council to learn more about trees and your community.

  • Drought has a particular impact on our landscapes. Learn how to protect your trees so you can reap their benefits for years to come.

  • Studies continually show that trees improve communities.
    See the research here.