The Community Wildfire Planning Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to helping communities prepare for, adapt to, and recover from wildfires. CWPC was formed in 2017 and works with communities across the United States and elsewhere.
CWPC Staff and Directors
Molly Mowery, AICP
Molly Mowery has dedicated her career to helping communities tackle the growing challenges of community planning, wildfire, and environmental resilience. With more than fifteen years of experience, Molly has developed and managed national wildfire programs in partnership with organizations, including Fire Adapted Communities, Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire, and REALFire®. She has also designed and delivered national trainings to educate land use planners and fire professionals on how community development decisions can affect wildfire outcomes. Molly co-founded and serves as the Executive Director for the Community Wildfire Planning Center. She also founded Wildfire Planning International, a land use and wildfire mitigation planning consulting firm. Molly is a member of the American Planning Association, serves on the Sustainable Development Code Advisory Council, and is lead author of Planning Advisory Service Report 594: Planning the Wildland-Urban Interface. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from Naropa University and a Master’s degree in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Katie Oran has focused her career on building a resilient future in a changing world. She is dedicated to helping communities prepare for, and adapt to climate change impacts, including the ever-growing threat of wildfires. Katie’s Master’s thesis is one of the first explorations into the use of managed retreat in wildfire hazard zones across the State of California. She previously served as a CivicSpark Fellow with the Community Corporation of Santa Monica, helping increase the sustainability of affordable housing, while researching ways to rapidly expand construction capacity. She also contributed as an author for New America’s Displaced in America Report, the first of its kind indicator of housing loss combining eviction and foreclosure data for thousands of US counties. Katie holds a Master’s Degree in Regional Planning from Cornell University, and a B.S. in Environmental Planning, Policy, and Law from the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
Donald L. Elliott, FAICP
Donald L. Elliott, FAICP, is a Director with Clarion Associates, LLC, a national land use consulting firm. Don’s practice focuses on land development regulation, fair housing, reasonable accommodation, and affordable housing. Don has assisted over 40 U.S. communities to update plans and regulations related to housing, zoning, subdivision, and land development. He is the author of A Better Way to Zone (Island Press 2008), co-author of The Rules that Shape Urban Form (APA 2012) and The Citizen’s Guide to Planning (APA 2009) and has served as the editor of Colorado Land Planning and Development Law for over 25 years. Don teaches a graduate level course on Land Use Regulation at the University of Colorado at Denver School of Architecture and Planning and is a member of the Denver Planning Board. Don has a bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning and Policy Analysis from Yale University, a law degree from Harvard Law School, and a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
Kelly Johnston, RPF, FBAN
Kelly Johnston has been involved in the field of wildland fire management since beginning his career in 1991 as a seasonal firefighter for the British Columbia Forest Service. Kelly focuses his expertise in community wildfire risk assessment, wildland urban interface mitigation solutions, fire behavior analysis, prescribed fire and fire ecology. Kelly works collaboratively with all levels of government, community stakeholders, residents and indigenous partners through key roles and projects that span from local to international levels. His current portfolio of notable projects includes: project lead/wildfire risk and forestry lead for the Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire program, developer of the first national WUI Regulations training course for FEMA, co-development of the REALFire® program and developer of the FireSmart Home Partners (Canada) national HIZ program. In addition to his role as Operations Manager, Kelly provides wildfire consulting services through his firm Wildland Professional Solutions; serves as the WUI Technical Specialist for FireSmart Canada; and sits on the National Fire Protection Association Committee on Wildland and Rural Fire Protection. Kelly also maintains his qualifications as a Registered Professional Forester, IFSAC accredited Structural Firefighter, Wildfire Mitigation Specialist, Fire Behavior Analyst and Ignition Specialist.
Mike Budd currently works as a REALTOR with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Colorado Properties, where he has been recognized as a member of the Chairman’s Gold Circle and received awards for Leading Edge Society and Top Unit Sales in Colorado. Mike’s extensive real estate and marketing career includes serving as vice president of sales and marketing for The Genie Company, a $500 million-plus corporation. Mike has more recently focused his activities in the Vail Valley, where he has served in leadership positions with the Vail Board of REALTORS and currently chairs the wildfire taskforce for the Colorado Association of REALTORS. He also engages in community activities, including his previous role as chair for local metropolitan districts and property owner associations. Mike graduated from Cornell University and has earned the following certifications: Graduate Realtor Institute, e-Pro Technology, and Resort & Second Home Property Specialist. Mike is excited to share his marketing and REALTOR perspectives to guide CWPC’s success.
Erica Kirk is the Association Executive for the Vail Board of Realtors which is a trade association for Realtors in Eagle County. Erica is a dedicated business professional that is experienced in marketing and communications. She has a demonstrated history of working with general business theory, management, and practice along with building customer relations and brand awareness. Erica has actively been part of the REALFire program and helps promote fire awareness to VBR members and homeowners. Erica has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Southwest Minnesota State University.