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Our Region

The Sierra Nevada is one of the most significant natural and biologically diverse regions in the world. The Region constitutes about 25 percent of California’s land area, or 25 million acres, and is the state’s principal watershed supplying more than 60 percent of the developed water supply to residents, agriculture, and other industries across the state.

The Region

  • Supports 212 communities with more than 600,000 residents.
  • Sustains a growing tourism/recreation industry involving more than 50 million recreation visit days a year.
  • Is home to 60 percent of California’s animals (vertebrates) -about 572 distinct species. Over one-third of these animal species are listed by the Department of Fish and Wildlife as rare, threatened, or endangered species that are declining in California.
  • Provides up to 50 percent of California's annual timber yield.
All or part of 22 counties make up the Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) Region and are organized into six Subregions:

North: Modoc, Lassen, Shasta Counties
North Central: Tehama, Butte, Plumas, Sierra Counties
Central: Yuba, Nevada, Placer, El Dorado Counties
South Central: Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Mariposa Counties
South: Madera, Fresno, Tulare, Kern Counties
East: Alpine, Mono, Inyo Counties

The Sierra Nevada Conservancy has a number of map resources available for you to explore the Sierra Nevada.

Healthy Forests
Sierra Nevada forests are one of the primary foundations for California’s rich biodiversity, the source of most of California’s water and a premier recreational destination for people around the world. Large, damaging wildfires threaten this resource and put at risk the SNC Region’s many contributions to all of California.

Forest Carbon Plan
A Forest Climate Action Team (FCAT) was assembled in August 2014 to develop a Forest Carbon Plan, and the SNC is a member of this team. The Forest Carbon Plan is being developed to provide additional impetus, detail, and direction as to how forests will play a role in California’s carbon future.

Tree Mortality
A century of fire suppression, years of drought, and a warming climate have made Sierra Nevada forests more vulnerable to tree mortality from bark beetles and large, damaging wildfire.

Looking to the Source: Watersheds of the Sierra Nevada
Sierra Nevada Water Facts Booklet

Tourism and Recreation
The Sierra Nevada Region offers world-class recreational opportunities for everyone. You can challenge yourself with active physical activities such as hiking, biking, mountain climbing, river rafting or enjoy more tranquil opportunities such as sightseeing, picnicking, or visiting charming mountain communities.