Tracy Katelman joined the California Fire Safe Council as Executive Director in February 2019. She is a Registered Professional Forester with a strong background in forest restoration and conservation, after receiving her master’s degree in Wildland Resource Science from UC Berkeley. Her diverse background includes being a co-founder in 1990 of the international Forest Stewardship Council to certify “good wood” products.
Tracy began working in community wildfire preparedness back in 2000, while at the Mattole Restoration Council on the Lost Coast, where she was also a volunteer firefighter. The Forest Service approached the Restoration Council with funding to write a community fire plan and start a Fire Safe Council. The plan Tracy wrote—the Lower Mattole Fire Plan—quickly became a state and national model for how a community can prepare itself for wildfire, and as such, it was included as an example in the national Community Wildfire Protection Plan—or CWPP—handbook in 2004.
She joined the California Fire Safe Council board in 2004 and helped us to launch our Grants Clearinghouse, under the direction of the California Fire Alliance. Tracy left the board in 2007, when she moved to Chile.
While in Chile, Tracy developed the national methodology for Chile’s community fire planning and Fire Safe Council model while working with CONAF, their national forest service. She also facilitated the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between CONAF and CAL FIRE to support each other in their wildfire prevention efforts.
Tracy returned to Humboldt County in 2016 and helped the County develop the ground-breaking Humboldt County Community Wildfire Protection Plan. While in Humboldt she was also a founding board member of the pioneering Humboldt County Prescribed Burn Association.