The Human Health Benefits of Improving Forest Health in California

Author(s): Feo, Teresa; Seipp, Kimberly Quesnel; Stroming, Signe

Release Date: September 12, 2023 | Last Updated Date: September 12, 2023


The public health impacts of wildfire smoke are a severely under-represented and under-quantified impact of recent catastrophic wildfires. The economic impacts of wildfire smoke to public and private health systems cost billions of dollars and disproportionately impact disadvantaged communities. This study from CCST and Blue Forest shows that improving the health of California’s forests can not only reduce the risk of wildfire, it can also benefit people’s health. There may even be an opportunity for the health sector to be part of the forest restoration solution. In a future where smoke is inevitable, better collaboration among federal, state, and local agencies with interested healthcare partners is a pathway to building healthier forests and communities.

The study, in partnership with Blue Forest, was supported by a grant from the Innovative Finance for National Forests (IFNF) program, which is co-managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, and U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities.