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About the Lassen Fire Safe Council

In late 2001 Captain John Crites, CDF, held a town meeting to present the concept of Lassen County Fire Safe Council (LCFSC). Tom Gauthier was “recruited” to initiate the effort and agreed to write bylaws, articles of incorporation and obtain Federal 501(c)(3 “non-profit” tax status. Tom requested and received $500 from the Board of Supervisors for initial operating funds. With the pro-bono help of local Susanville accounting firm, Hawes, Theobald and Auman, local Susanville Attorney, Frank Cady for the corporate filings, and Plumas Bank for checking and notary services. On July 29, 2002 the Lassen County Fire Safe Council was officially formed and in business. Tom spoke to the Board of Supervisors and asked for financial help. He was successful in obtaining an initial grant of $30,000. The Council began to work with the Lassen National Forest, in particular Heidi Perry, on grant opportunities and local projects.

The first members of the Board of Directors were Tom Gauthier, Chairman, Janiska Muthert, Vice-Chair, and Cathy (Hilts) Dirden, Secretary/Treasurer. Other Early members were Larry Rogers, Dorine (Beckman) Blankenship, Marlene Gauthier, Norv Pulliam, Robert Semon, Ken and Em Wollington. In 2003 the Lassen County Fire Safe Council received a phone call from Tom Esgate (our future Managing Director), introducing himself and asking that the LCFSC be his sponsor for a grant on his South Knob Ranch juniper reduction project. An agreement was reached and our partnership and friendship with Tom was launched. Since this relationship with Tom Esgate the LFSC has been very active with regard to developing our relationships with all our local and regional partners such as the USFS, BLM, CalFire, etc.

Among one of the first projects initiated was the first interagency cooperation, information-sharing initiative (under Ms. Perry’s guidance). The first actual project entailing “on-the-ground” work was the Paiute Creek/Inspiration Point project on the ridge at the west end of Susanville by the then California Department of Forestry or CDF Lassen-Plumas-Modoc Unit facility. The project ran along the edge of the Susanville Ranch Park.

Since initial formation of the Lassen County Board of Supervisors has charged the LFSC with the responsibility of the development of the Community Wildfire Protection Plan. The initial development of the CWPP was developed with the assistance of the Lassen County Department of Community Development. The Board operates on a Fiscal Year basis.

This corporation is a nonprofit public benefit corporation and is not organized for the gain of any person. It is organized under the Federal Non-Profit Public Benefit Corporation Law for public and charitable purposes.

The specific purpose of this corporation is to preserve California’s natural and manmade resources by mobilizing all Californians to make their homes, neighborhoods and communities fire safe by utilizing combined expertise, resources and distribution channels of its members; to unite its diverse membership to speak with one voice about fire safety; to interact, inform and work with agencies and our constituents; to evaluate legislation pertaining to fire safety; and to empower grassroots organizations to spearhead fire safety programs locally.