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Sierra Nevada Watershed Improvement Program

What is the Sierra Nevada Watershed Improvement Program?

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The Sierra Nevada Watershed Improvement Program is a coordinated, integrated, collaborative program to restore the health of California’s primary watershed through increased investment and needed policy changes.

Sierra Nevada forests and watersheds are at a critical point. Ongoing drought, a century of fire suppression, widespread tree mortality due to insect attacks and disease, and a changing climate have led to an increased risk of large, damaging wildfires.

The Watershed Improvement Program (WIP) builds upon the broad consensus that more must be done to restore Sierra Nevada forests and watersheds:

The pace and scale of science-based, ecological restoration need to dramatically increase in order to stem the tide of large, uncharacteristic wildfires and further degradation of these ecosystems.

      This comprehensive effort is being organized and coordinated by the state’s Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) and the federal United States Forest Service (USFS) in close partnership with additional federal, state, and local agencies, and diverse stakeholders.

        Developing and implementing this program in a strategic, integrated, and collaborative manner will maximize the investment made and ensure that policy changes are made with a comprehensive understanding of needs.



        For more information on the
        Sierra Nevada Watershed Improvement Program, or to get involved, visit:

        Interest on a Past-Due Bill - Handout

        Tahoe-central Sierra initiative (TCSI)

        The Sierra Nevada Conservancy and the California Tahoe Conservancy, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service Region 5, Tahoe National Forest, Eldorado National Forest, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, National Forest Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, California Forestry Association, USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station, University of California-Natural Reserve System, and Sagehen Creek Field Station, have established the Tahoe-Central Sierra Initiative, a pilot effort under the WIP.  An agreement between partners (Memorandum of Understanding) to link a variety of innovative efforts across a large landscape was reached in August 2017, and the TCSI was formally launched the TCSI at the 21st annual Lake Tahoe Summit.

        The TCSI builds on the same consensus as the WIP, that more needs to be done to make the forests and watersheds of the Sierra more resilient. The primary goal of the TCSI is to accelerate implementation of ecologically-sound forest restoration at a large-landscape scale. The Initiative will seek to develop biomass utilization infrastructure, establish unique partnerships, utilize creative funding and planning approaches, address policy constraints, and test new techniques on the ground. This effort builds on the legacy of successful partnerships between local, state, federal, and private stakeholders at Lake Tahoe. To see a list of projects and find out more visit:

        TCSI Fact Sheet

        guiding documents

          The Watershed Improvement Program Regional Strategy was developed with input from a diverse group of stakeholders. This strategy identifies the process, steps, and activities needed to achieve the objectives of the WIP.

          State of the Sierra Report (Released 2014) Report Update 2015
          Report Update 2017
          CA Natural Resources Agency & U.S. Forest Service Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
          WIP Progress Report (2015/16)
          Watershed Improvement Program Fact Sheet
          Sierra Nevada Forest and Community Initiative (SNFCI) Action Plan
          SNC Governing Board Supports the Sierra Nevada Watershed Improvement Program

              Contact Information

              Mandy Vance
              Watershed Improvement Coordinator

              4988 11th Street, Suite A
              P.O. Box 372

              , CA 95338
              Office Phone: (209) 742-0482


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