CSAA's California Wildfire Innovation Fund investment - one year on

Several initiatives for climate resilience already underway

CSAA's California Wildfire Innovation Fund investment - one year on


By Kenneth Araullo

One year on from its significant investment in the California Wildfire Innovation Fund, CSAA Insurance Group has highlighted several initiatives already in the pipeline.

The insurance group’s $25 million investment has gone towards achieving climate resilience and fostering economic growth through innovative projects.

A collaborative effort with Blue Forest, the organization behind Forest Resilience Bonds, the initiatives are aimed at reducing the severity and frequency of catastrophic wildfires in California by promoting economic development related to forest restoration.

Among the projects benefiting from the fund is Heartwood Biomass in Tuolumne County, which seeks to transform forest restoration byproducts – a potential cause for wildfires – into usable products like firewood bundles, wood chips, and agricultural posts.

Another noteworthy initiative is Tahoe Forest Products (TFP), which marks a significant development in the Sierra Nevada with the launch of the first major sawmill in the region for several decades. TFP aims to support regional hazardous fuels reduction goals by providing a sustainable outlet for timber from local restoration efforts and areas affected by wildfires.

A “sustainable business approach”

Jeff Huebner, chief risk officer at CSAA, highlighted the fund’s role in advancing forest resiliency, emphasizing the environmental, social, and economic benefits of these sustainable business practices.

“We are pleased that our investment in the California Wildfire Innovation Fund is significantly advancing our commitment to forest resiliency,” Huebner said. “This sustainable business approach to tackling important environmental, social and economic challenges helps communities and the environment while delivering a positive financial impact on our business.”

The California Wildfire Innovation Fund focuses on emerging investment opportunities in forest restoration, wood utilization, and wildfire mitigation. The fund prioritizes projects that enhance system capacity, create value from forest restoration byproducts, and achieve better carbon outcomes.

Zach Knight, CEO of Blue Forest, expressed enthusiasm for the fund’s initial portfolio of forest restoration investments, noting their potential to drive sustainable business growth and expedite forest restoration efforts.

“We are excited about the California Wildfire Innovation Fund’s initial portfolio of high-impact forest restoration investments," Knight said. “These companies demonstrate the potential for sustainable business growth to accelerate the pace and scale of forest restoration.”

What are your thoughts on this story? Please feel free to share your comments below.

Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!