Our Mission Statement
The Northern Mendocino Ecosystem Recovery Alliance (NM-ERA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 2021, and our mission is to foster wildfire resilience and responsible land care in our communities by acquiring and administering grants for projects that train and employ local workers and contractors to do the real work of restoring our forests, grasslands, and economy.
What We Are Doing
We are working to establish programs to train local people to do land restoration work, to educate the public on issues and opportunities in land restoration and wildfire resilience, and to research and develop methods to use forest products in sustainable ways while addressing the climate crisis and the much-needed ecological restoration of our region.
We have developed a partnership with Families and Friends United By AIDS (FAFUBA), they have offered us the use of their facility Tan Oak Park to use as our base of operations, to begin the work of repurposing the property as a Forest Community Resilience Training Center and Resource hub. Since their need for an AIDS hospice/respite center is winding down, they are planning on donating Tan Oak Park to the NM-ERA (Northern Mendocino Ecosystem Recovery Alliance) in the coming years, as their wish is for the park to remain a community resource hub and gathering place.
We are building relationships and have current and future collaboration plans with multiple community organizations such as Families and Friends United by AIDS, Eel River Recovery Project, Trees Foundation, North Coast Resource Partnership, Redwood Forest Friends Inc, Forest Reciprocity Group, The Red Way, Leggett Valley Fire Department, Bell Springs Volunteer Fire Department, Mendocino County Fire Safe Council, Southern Humboldt Firesafe Council, Westport Fire Safe Council and Elkridge Landscaping.
NM-ERA’s 5 committees, their missions, and accomplishments:
Outreach: - Encourage, train for, and implement Fire Safe and Forest Health Projects - Address Climate Change, Carbon Sequestering, and Energy Use in our region. - Encourage and implement prescribed fire and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) practices.
Education: - Inspire local schools and tribes to establish programs to train people to work on land restoration projects. - Educate the public on Fire Safe Practices and Watershed Restoration.
Work Force: - Help establish and maintain a local work force for land care projects - Advocate for hiring of the local work force on all projects. - Act as an intermediary between grant agencies, contractors, and workers.
Our Workforce committee organized a forest health hand crew that assisted with implementation of a CALFIRE Climate Change Initiative grant administered by the MCRCD on the Usal Forest owned by RFFI.
Our Workforce committee helped to establish a local forest health crew and helped Elkridge Landscaping comply with all requirements to bid on CALFIRE contract work. Our crew then went to work with Elkridge Landscaping on the shaded fuel break along HWY 1, in partnership with Redwood Forest Foundation Inc (RFFI) on the Usal forest health project. Elkridge now has two fully trained 5 person crews and 2 alternates and they are now conducting Roadside Fuel Reduction and defensive space work in the Westport area through landowner and grant funding, they have also been doing roadside fuel reduction on Dos Rios rd. outside of Laytonville in partnership with the MCFSC and they will begin working as Eel River Recovery Project (ERRP) subcontractors on the 10 mile creek forest health project later this year. They are also expecting to add a coastal based crew to their workforce, hiring from the north coast in the future.
Grants: - Find, apply for, and administer grants and become a fiscal sponsor for local projects
Our Grants Committee applied for and won a Rose Grant in August 2022.
Applied for and won a Technical Assistance Grant from the NCRP in February 2023.
Applied for and won a Community Foundation Field of Interest Grant in November 2023.
Events: -Planning and hosting educational events & workshops as well as fundraising events.
January 6, 2022 – First meeting of the board of directors
We elected our officers, adopted & approved our bylaws. We approved a motion to apply for the Trees Foundation to become our fiscal sponsor. We created five advisory committees (Grants, Education, Workforce, Outreach, and Adaptive Strategies).
April 3, 2022 – Forest Health and Fire Resilience Workshop at Tan Oak Park (TOP)
This event included a ceremony led by Wailaki Elder Ron Lincoln Sr., whose blessing served as an ancestral omen for the important work of NM-ERA. Participants explored creative ways to utilize forest material, such as hügelkultur, biochar, fir pole harvest, and mushroom logs, and gained insights into the interconnectedness of forest health and fire resilience.
April 10, 2022 – Thinning & Skinning
This event focused on the process of selecting, falling, and peeling poles for various applications. Participants learned about the potential uses of poles in furniture, tipi poles, and frame building, emphasizing the importance of responsible forest management for long-term sustainability.
April 23, 2022 – A Buddhist Perspective & Mushroom Culture Workshop at Gomde78 Monastery
Fungaia Farm presented a mushroom log presentation and workshop, highlighting the interconnectedness between the forest and the community. This event deepened the understanding of how human actions in the forest can positively impact ecosystem regeneration.
May 14, 2022 – Planning for Fire: A Community Organizing Event at Woodman
NM-ERA facilitated a community discussion on defensible space and shaded fuel breaks. The focus was on community organizing and the role individuals can play in fire prevention and forest health. This event emphasized the importance of collective action and building a forest health workforce for a regenerative future.
June 11, 2022 – Forest Health Management at Lower Ten Mile Creek
Participants witnessed the power of collaboration and the difference between managed and unmanaged forests. The event showcased the importance of having Forest Health Management Plans for setting goals, implementing strategies, and securing financial assistance. Participants learned about the strength of working as a neighborhood team to achieve long-term forest health objectives.
June 18, 2022 – Forest Health Best Practices at Harwood Hall
We brought together multiple organizations dedicated to regeneration and prompted discussions about what constitutes forest health and how to ensure that restoration efforts have a positive impact. Participants deepened their understanding of forest health and continued to work towards ecologically sound practices.
July 18,2022 – filed articles of incorporation with the SOS and received our 501©3 status from the IRS.
February 11, 2023 – Regional Regenerative Meeting at Burkey Hall
A community luncheon and call to action. We held discussions about the work that needs doing, how we plan to get it done and invited community members to join our advisory committees.
April 29, 2023 - Forest Health Community workday at TOP
Included a chainsaw safety class, biochar demonstration, pole-peeling workshop, and a fuel reduction demonstration. It was our largest crowd to date with close to 80 community members cycling through the different stations.
August 20-27, 2023 – Intensive Natural Building Workshop at TOP
A weeklong hands-on natural building workshop taught by Michael Smith and Colin Gillespie. The theme was “build a tiny house and furnish it too”. John Cunan and Vincent Brown taught furniture building. Ninety percent of the materials were sourced locally from fuel reduction projects & land.
October 6-9, 2023 – Regenerative Uprising Skill Sharing Workshop @ TOP
Workshops including Herbal First aid, Fermentation, Mushroom Gathering, Friction Fire, Archery, Spoon Carving, Basket Making, Power of Root Medicine, Earthen Plaster, Woodworking with small diameter poles, Fiber Arts, Ceramics, and Plant Dyes. Stories of Regeneration told by Ron and Jackie Lincoln.
Our Board of Directors
Will Emerson – Chair
Jessica Roemer – Secretary
Cheyenne Clarke – Treasurer