Building On Existing Efforts
Below are a few examples of the innovative approaches that partners are taking under the TCSI:
The French Meadows project is addressing U.S. Forest Service staffing and funding constraints through an innovative approach for completing required environmental assessments. If this approach is successful, it could save land managers money and time. In addition, project partners are testing the hypothesis that ecologically based forest thinning increases forest resilience and water yield, with the goal of quantifying water supply benefits.
*Lake Tahoe West Restoration Partnership
Several critical elements make Lake Tahoe West distinctive: a collaboratively developed and implemented large landscape-scale approach, 10-year strategy to restore the forests, watersheds, recreational opportunities, and communities on Lake Tahoe’s western shore; a science team to inform the effort and model the tradeoffs of management actions; and the alignment and acceleration of planning permitting and implementation schedules.
Sagehen integrates scientific research with land management. It brings together a diverse group of partners to create a holistic management plan. It’s the first project to implement the new restoration prescription GTR 220, which is a dynamic methodology that manages for both fire risk and wildlife habitat.
*Caples Ecological Restoration Project
Healthy forests and watersheds depend on a healthy fire regime; reintroducing fire as a management tool will be key for increasing the pace and scale of restoration. The Caples Creek Watershed Ecological Restoration Project will complete forest restoration work on 6,800 acres of the Eldorado National Forest, and 4,400 acres of the project area will be treated using prescribed fire. This project is being completed as a partnership between the El Dorado Irrigation District, the Eldorado National Forest, and the Sierra Nevada Conservancy.
*North Yuba Forest Resilience Project
The Sierra Nevada Conservancy and U.S. Forest Service have been working in close partnership with Blue Forest Conservation to site California’s first Forest Resilience Bond pilot project in the North Yuba River watershed. This novel funding strategy would invest private capital in restoration projects that protect forest health and mitigate the risk for damage from wildfires and drought.
The Tahoe-Central Sierra landscape provides unique opportunities to increase the pace and scale of needed forest restoration by building off of innovative partnerships and new ways of doing business. When successful, lessons learned from here can be exported to other areas with similar needs and challenges.