Wildfire Hazard Planning & Mitigation Assistance

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Steven J. Daus, Ph.D.

Steven J. Daus, Ph.D.
Senior Planning and Regulatory Compliance Consultant
Email: sdaus@comcast.net
Phone: (408)721-9849

Over a nearly forty-year national and international career, Dr. Daus has provided natural resource project identification, impact analysis, pre-implementation preparation, and field implementation oversight services to a broad spectrum of private and governmental clients. As a well- experienced practitioner, he offers clients the ability to design projects with the knowledge of the realities of getting them done in the field. Dr. Daus received both a Bachelor of Science in Forestry and Range Science (1970) and a Master of Science in Wildland Resource Science (1972) from the School of Forestry, University of California, Berkeley. He went on to receive a doctorate in Ecology (quantitative analysis of ecological systems) in 1979 from the Graduate Ecology Group, University of California, Davis, CA. In addition to the natural resource subject material, Dr. Daus carried a minor throughout his advanced studies in remote sensing applications. He is a retired California Registered Professional Forester and carried an associated archaeological survey certification. Over the last 20 years he has focused on fire and fuels hazard reduction projects, oak woodland assessments, and regulatory compliance, working with private clients, fire safe councils, resource conservation districts, special districts, county governments, and state agencies.

International Experience

Between 1979 and 1998, as both a short- and long-term contractor for private companies and international agencies, he participated in development and regulatory compliance projects in 12 countries throughout south-east Asia, the Indian sub-continent, and Africa. Elements common to all of these projects included, project identification and detailed scoping, regulatory compliance, project implementation assistance, and mentorship-based technology transfer. Two representative projects were:

Forestry and Land Use Mapping Project (1982 to 1988)

In the host country of the Republic of Niger, with the client being the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Dr Daus was part of a project team (in which he functioned as the national survey team lead) that 1) conducted remote sensing aided field surveys for forestry, woodland, range, and soils resources, 2) produced county-wide resource maps, 3) identified potential projects, 4) vetted the potential projects with respect to administrative capacity to carry them out, regulatory compliance, and site suitability, and 5) provided implementation assistance. All work was carried out closely with host country personnel in order to affect a transfer of the technological knowledge and experience from the USAID team members to their counterparts.

Madagascar National Parks Expansion Project

Assessment of Institutional Capability and Environmental Compliance Requirements (1998)
In the host country of the Malagasy Republic, again with the client being the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Dr Daus was part of a project team that evaluated previously identified national parks expansion projects, which would be funded through USAID, for, 1) the capability of the Malagasy Republic’s administrations and associated organizations to carry out the proposed projects, and 2) conduct impact reports in order to assure that the environmental impact compliance requirements contained in Part 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFRs) would be met.

National Experience

Fire Hazard and Fuels Reduction

Since 1990 Dr. Daus has served clients requiring the expertise of an experienced wildland fire and fuels planning and management specialist. In this time span he has provided his services to individual landowners, community groups, residential developers, federal, state, and county agencies, and non-governmental organizations. He has provided project assistance to clients that have been privately funded, California State funded, or supported through grants (various CAL FIRE programs and federal sources: USDA, FEMA, etc.). The specific services provided, along with the client(s), were as follows:

Preparing Community and Local Wildfire Protection Plans

Plans generated for the Forest Meadows residential community (Forest Meadows Owners Association, Murphys, Calaveras County) and the Big Sur community (Big Sur Land Trust/Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade (Big Sur, Monterey County);

Conducting Wildfire Hazard Assessments and Preparing Mitigation Plans

The most recent project of this type was completed for the Stanford Linear Accelerator group, Palo Alto, CA. Dr. Daus completed a hazardous fuels assessment for a high-tension transmission line under federal jurisdiction; in a situation that would also have State of California jurisdictional complications. Based on the results of the assessment a proposed mitigation plan, including hazardous fuels treatment prescriptions, stakeholder collaboration approaches, and scope of work for the contracting process, was prepared and delivered to the client;

Preparing grant applications for fuels modification projects

Assisted in the preparation of grant applications for the following clients:

  • Forest Meadows Owners Association/Murphys Fire Protection District. Result: Funded
  • South Skyline Firesafe Council. Result: Funded
  • Soquel Firesafe Council/Santa Cruz County Resource Conservation District. Result: Funded
  • Monterey Fire Safe Council/Big Sur Community Emergency Response Team. Result: Funded

Coordinating scope of work implementation for funded projects

Implemented stakeholder collaboration, prepared site-appropriate fuels treatment prescriptions, assisted with bidding and contracting processes, solicited landowner involvement (when called for), completed pre-operational field preparation, provided in-field oversight of operations, and prepared progress status reporting, for the following jobs and clients:

  • Lake Davis Shaded Fuel Break, USDA/FS, Plumas National Forest, Beckwourth Ranger District;
  • Forest Meadows Hazardous Fuels Reduction. Murphys Fire Protection District/Forest Meadows Owners Association;
  • Rams Horn/Shake Ridge Fuels Reduction. Amador Fire Safe Council;
  • Antelope Fuels Reduction. Amador Fire Safe Council;
  • Jackson Fuels Reduction. Amador Fire Safe Council;
  • Tallac Village Hazardous Fuels Reduction. South Lake Fire Department;
  • Springwood Hazardous Fuels Reduction. South Lake Fire Department;
  • Bijou Hazardous Fuels Reduction. South Lake Fire Department;
  • Skyline Blvd (SR 35) Hazardous Fuels Reduction. South Skyline Fire Safe Council;
  • Kings Creek Truck Trail Hazardous Fuels Reduction. Soquel Fire Safe Council/Santa Cruz County Resource Conservation DistrictProvided assistance to the Diablo Fire Safe Council, with funding provided by CAL FIRE’s Santa Clara Unit, regarding their identification and prioritization of projects for seeking funding. Provided a standardized approach based on a multivariable rubric.

Regulatory Compliance

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

In the mid-1990’s, as a sub-contractor to Jones & Stokes Associates (JSA), of Sacramento, CA, Dr. Daus participated in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment (EA) for a project identified by the Quincy Library Group and funded under the Healthy Forest Restoration Act. Subsequently, as a direct employee and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Program Manager at JSA, Dr. Daus participated on multi-disciplinary teams that:

  • Designed and delivered to BLM Field Office planning teams a four-day course covering the preparation of Land and Resource Management Plans (LRMP) that comply with NEPA requirements, and,
  • Produced several Field Office LRMPs and a Management Plan for a newly designated national monument.

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)

As an independent contractor, a sub-contractor to Aperio, Inc of Dorrington/San Ramon, and In five years as the Staff Forester and Project Manager for JSA, Dr. Daus has worked with project teams to prepare specific discipline sub-studies, Negative Declarations, Mitigated Negative Declarations, and Environmental Impact Reports. These documents were produced for a spectrum of project types including, 1) rural residential developments, 2) school construction (new and expansion), 3) rural water system (new and expansion), 4) rural wastewater treatment (new and expansion), and 5) rural road systems.

California Forest Practice Rules and Regulations (FPRs)

Dr. Daus held a license as a California Registered Professional Forester from 1995 until its retirement in 2018. He also held a companion CAL FIRE-issued Archaeological Certificate from 2005 to 2018. As both an independent consultant and staff forester for Jones & Stokes of Sacramento, California, he has prepared Timber Harvest Plans, Timberland Conversions, and the full array of Exemptions and Emergency Notices available under the FPRs.

In the latter part of his career as a Professional Forester his focus was on projects dealing with hazardous fuels mitigation and emergency regulatory response to wildfire incidents. For projects where CAL FIRE was Lead Agency Dr. Daus worked with CAL FIRE staff to produce environmental clearance documents, identified mitigating treatment prescriptions, and coordinated field implementation. Subsequent to the Butte Fire incident in Calaveras County he prepared twelve Emergency Notices that served individual landowners and several grouped ownerships; in total serving approximately 200 ownerships and covering approximately 1200 acres.


In the period between 1978 and 2008 Dr. Daus participated in natural resource-based projects in nine foreign countries. The projects in three countries were completed, under personal services contracts to USAID, to meet the requirements contained in Title 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations; codes that concern the requirements for conducting environmental impact assessments when federal funds are used for overseas projects. In the Casamance region of Senegal and the Republic of Guinee the projects involved impacts resulting from road system improvements and in Madagascar the project involved adding additional areas to the country’s national park and preserve system.

Oak Woodlands

Since the passage of California’s Oak Woodlands Conservation Act, and a companion CEQA section, Dr. Daus has worked with private individuals, commercial interests, and county governments to produce more than 25 oak woodland impact assessments and prepare mitigation/monitoring plans in 8 California counties.


  • Ph.D., Quantitative Analysis of Ecological Systems, University of California, Davis, 1979
  • M.S., Wildland Resource Science: Forestry, Range Sciences and Remote Sensing, University of California, Berkeley, 1974
  • B.S., Forestry and Range Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, 1972
  • Dr. Daus continues to keep his skills current through continuing professional education in programs offered by organizations such as the University of California Extension, California Licensed Foresters Association, American Planning Association, and the Society of American Foresters.

Professional Registrations & Licenses

  • California Registered Professional Forester, No. 2524 (retired)
  • CAL FIRE Archaeological Survey Certificate, Nos. 152R and 153R (retired)
  • Society of American Foresters, Certified Forester Candidate (in process)
  • Professional Affiliations (Past and Present)
  • California Chapter of the American Planning Association
  • California Licensed Foresters Association
  • California Oak Foundation
  • Northern California Chapter of the Society of American Foresters