Resources to Promote and Strengthen Conservation Action

The CNPS Conservation Program has created two new resources: the Comment Letter Database and Annotated Bibliography of Wildfire Research Database. These tools are designed to help CNPS volunteers and members comment on projects being reviewed under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), or for those who are looking for general information about wildfire, CEQA, or NEPA. We are pleased to make these resources available to our members and volunteers, and hope they will help to inform, assist in the process of drafting comment and opposition letters, and provide relevant citable research to strengthen the scientific basis of comment letters.

The Comment Letter Database provides a collection of real comment letters written by CNPS staff and volunteers covering a wide range of projects. This database is sortable by multiple criteria to easily find sample letters that are relevant to a project or proposal that you are working on. We are making this repository of past comment letters available so that people who are new to conservation work can gain a better understanding of what typical comment letters look like, and to provide a library of CNPS’s past advocacy efforts for anyone to reference. We welcome you to add your own comment letters as you write them so that our collection (and collective knowledge) can grow!

The Annotated Bibliography of Wildfire Research includes peer reviewed studies relating to wildfire and strategies to make the landscape more resilient to fire. Topics include: fuel break effectiveness and placement, environmental effects of livestock grazing and other fuel reduction methods, drivers and effects of fire severity, fire’s influence on type conversion, and active fire management strategies.  These resources are sortable by vegetation type, location, and subject matter.  The output provides an outline and summary of each relevant study, with a link to a detailed annotation and the full text of each article, as well as a relevance ranking to flag articles that may have used insufficient, questionable or biased data, draws conclusions that are not strongly supported by the data, or where the author may have biases that may have influenced the study or literature review.

We are happy to be able to share these tools with our chapter members and concerned citizens in an effort to foster increased public engagement in protecting California native plants and to help guide fuel reduction efforts and restoration projects by providing access to the best available science.