Webinar | Fire & Flood: How High-risk Communities are Becoming More Resilient

October 10, 2018 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm America/New York Timezone

Communities across the U.S. have always had to contend with wildfires, floods and other natural disasters — but the combined factors of climate change, rapid population growth and increased residential development have dramatically increased the frequency and impact of these disasters.

How are communities grappling with changes in climate, wildfire, floods, and other threats? How are communities addressing the needs of their most vulnerable populations? What is the role of philanthropy beyond the relief and recovery efforts post-disasters?

Join us at 2 p.m. ET Oct. 10 for our TFN Learning Network Webinar, Fire & Flood: How High-risk Communities are Becoming More Resilient, organized by TFN’s Intermountain West Funder Network and moderated by John Nordgren of the Climate Resilience Fund.

In this webinar, we will hear from Headwaters Economics, a leading expert on wildfire in the American West, about the latest research on the impacts of wildfire on communities and how communities are working to resolve the increasing risk from wildfire. Established in 2015 by Headwaters Economics, Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire works with communities to reduce wildfire risks through improved land use planning. They work with and learn from communities at all scales and sizes across the U.S. – from San Diego, Calif. to Taos County, N.M. to Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Ray Rasker will share case studies on how communities are becoming fire adapted, including the assessment of wildfire and populations at risk.

We will also hear about how the Colorado Resiliency Office and a rural-urban county in Northern Colorado have leveraged a large recovery effort from devastating wildfires and floods in 2012 and 2013 into an opportunity to rebuild better, stronger, and more resilient. The state of Colorado was awarded a Gold 2017 National Planning Achievement Award for Environmental Planning from the American Planning Association for the state’s Resiliency Framework, established to help communities rebound after suffering disasters. The collaborative, comprehensive and holistic approach has built lasting partnerships, which are the foundation of the Framework’s ongoing positive impact. In Larimer County of Northern Colorado, the Office of Emergency Management also went beyond the relief and recovery efforts to develop their Resiliency Framework. These community efforts have worked to create a more connected and collaborative region that works together to strengthen systems and to resolve complex issues in the face of known and unknown threats.


John Nordgren (moderator) is the Managing Director of the Climate Resilience Fund, focused on mobilizing resources to support resilience and sustainability outcomes in communities across the U.S. and for the natural systems on which they depend. Nordgren previously served as Senior Advisor, Climate Change (2015) for the Kresge Foundation and as Senior Program Officer (2009-2014) for Kresge’s Environment Program, where he developed and led Kresge’s strategies for advancing the field of climate change adaptation.



Ray Rasker is the Executive Director of the Headwaters Economics, an independent, nonprofit research group, with a mission to improve community development and land management decisions. Rasker has written widely on rural development and the role of environmental quality in economic prosperity, and he is well known in policy circles in the U.S. and Canada. He has a Ph.D. from the College of Forestry, Oregon State University, M.Ag. from Colorado State University, and B.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Washington.



Rob Pressly is the Resiliency Program Manager for the Colorado Department of Local Affairs’ Colorado Resiliency Office (CRO),  responsible for advancing the State of Colorado’s resiliency to thrive amid ever-changing climate, social, and economic conditions. Since joining the CRO in November 2015, he has worked with local communities to develop and implement regional resiliency frameworks; developed the COResiliency Resource Center, Colorado’s online, interactive hub for resiliency knowledge and resources; and manages the Colorado Resiliency Working Group, the coordinating and steering committee for the State’s resiliency efforts. Prior to his work in Colorado, he worked in Washington, D.C., at the National Association of Counties and the U.S. Green Building Council. Rob has a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond.



Lori Hodges is the Director of the Office of Emergency Management for Larimer County in Northern Colorado. Past experience includes eight years as a paramedic for Summit County, five years as a volunteer structural firefighter for Snake River Fire Rescue and five years as a local emergency manager in Park County. Hodges also worked at the state level for the Colorado Division of Emergency Management as a Field Manager, assisting local emergency managers with their plans and programs. Hodges was recently honored by Congressman Jared Polis with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for outstanding and invaluable service to the community and a U.S. Flag flown over the U.S. Capitol.


Top photo: Courtesy of Headwater Economics


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