To educate and mobilize the people of the Ben Lomond Mountain to protect their community, homes and environment from wildfire.
Who We Are
The Bonny Doon Fire Safe Council is a grass roots organization centered on Bonny Doon and the surrounding communities of Ben Lomond Mountain. Membership is open to all who live or work on Ben Lomond Mountain. To be a member in good standing for a calendar year, eligible to run or vote for our board, you must, during the period from the prior November through the current November, either donate $20, volunteer on one of our projects, or participate in one of our quarterly public events.
How We work
While the distinction between education and mobilization is not sharp, it does provide a useful way to think about what we do.
We educate our community through four public events per year, this website, and our monthly columns in the Battle Mountain News. Our public events range from workshops on best practices for homeowner fire preparedness, to tours of our projects, to talks about fire history, fire science, and other topics related to protecting our community homes, and environment.
We mobilize our community through projects at three scales. For example, at the landscape scale we build and maintain fuel breaks and work on evacuation planning. On the neighborhood scale, we do assist neighbors with chipping and securing their shared private roads. On the property level, we provide home ignition zone consulting to help property owners harden their homes against wildfire and prepare their property for defense in a wildfire. Of course these examples aren't exhaustive and we continually look to the community for ideas of ways to carry out our mission.
Our board is composed of community members who volunteer their time, we have no staff and consequently extremely low overhead - basically insurance and space rental for some our public events. All of our projects, even those funded by Federal and State Grants rely on substantial amounts of donated time from community volunteers. Indeed our success in obtaining grants is due in no small part to the abundant work our community does in support of the grants and to our low overhead.
The Bonny Doon Fire Safe Council was founded in March 2010, and incorporated in June of that year. Even before we were officially organized, local community members contributed to the San Mateo - Santa Cruz County Community Wildfire Prevention Plan and began writing grants. In April 2011, in partnership with the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County, the South Skyline Fire Safe Council, and the Soquel Fire Safe Council, we were awarded a grant which enabled us to construct 2.25 miles of shaded fuel breaks along the middle and lower parts of Empire Grade. In July of that year, in partnership with the South Skyline Fire Safe Council, and the Soquel Fire Safe Council, we were awarded a second grant to construct a further 2 mile shaded fuel breaks along the upper part of Empire Grade.
Our history is described in much greater detail in the early posts to our News feed, which dates all the way back to March 2010. Those early posts, which originally appeared in the Battle Mountain News, also contain much information about wildfire preparedness, behavior and ecology.
Our Current Work
In addition to the services we offer, we are working on a 9.5 mile shaded fuel break along the Warrenella Truck Trail between Empire Grade and the coastal terraces above Davenport.
As a grass roots organization, that's really up to the greater Bonny Doon Community, so let us know what you think we should be doing.
We are proud to have worked with Bonny Doon Volunteer Fire/Rescue, Bonny Doon CERT, the Ben Lomond Camp, and CAL FIRE; the California, Santa Clara, Soquel, and South Skyline Fire Safe Councils; California State Parks; and the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County.