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To increase wildfire resilience and maintain habitat quality in the Southern California Wildland Urban interface (WUI) it is necessary to:

  • reduce human ignitions and the frequency of large fires
  • manage the WUI to maintain or re-establish native vegetation.

This project focuses on the second objective offering solutions to improve resource conservation values and resistance of structures to wildfire loss for developed properties in the SMMNRA by improving management by homeowners of their defensible space zone.

Focus on the first 100’ of defensible space provides the most significant contribution for firefighter safety and structure survival. At the same time, the landscaping choices in defensible space zone provide the greatest opportunity to provide for improved habitat conservation with its associated ecosystem benefits such as increased carbon storage, biodiversity, slope stability and water conservation.

Project Lead – Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains (RCDSMM)

The mission of the RCDSMM is to promote land stewardship and resource conservation through ecological research, conservation planning and design, habitat restoration and environmental education, while adhering to the highest standards of transparency and accountability as a public agency. Learn more at

Logo of the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains

Funding Sources

Funding for Guidance for Sustainable Defensible Space Landscaping in the SMMNRA and Southern California was provided by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection as part of the California Climate Investments Program – a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment, particularly in disadvantaged communities.

Logo of the California Climate Investments

Technical Advisory Committee

Logo of the California Native Plant Society
Logo of California State Parks
Logo of the County of Los Angeles Fire Department
Logo of the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning
Logo of the North Topanga Canyon Fire Safe Council
Logo of the nonprofit TreePeople
Logo of the United States Geological Survey
Logo of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.

Website Design and Production

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