The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and U.S. Forest Service announced $1.7 million in grants to restore forests and watersheds impacted by wildfires within the Lassen National Forest and advance meadow restoration in the West Carson River watershed in Northern California. The grants will generate more than $890,000 in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of $2.6 million.
The grants were awarded through the Northern California Forests and Watersheds program, a partnership between NFWF and the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Reclamation.
â€œOur partnerships in the northern California headwaters reflect our strategy for landscape-scale restoration,â€ said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. â€œThese projects will help prepare and restore areas impacted by catastrophic fire by restoring meadows in the Sierra Nevada. This work is also critical for fish and wildlife, and provides essential technical assistance for environmental compliance requirements.â€
The projects supported by the grants announced today will improve forest resilience through watershed and meadows restoration, fuels management and the preparation of necessary environmental compliance materials. The projects will restore hydrology across 290 acres within priority meadows, perform fuels management across 175 acres, remove invasive vegetation from watersheds, and complete monitoring and management plans to inform future management strategies.
â€œThe ongoing partnership we have with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is helping us achieve many of our objectives on National Forest lands,â€ said Randy Moore, regional forester for the Pacific Southwestern region of the U.S. Forest Service. â€œThese projects help protect our headwaters and build resilience which protects natural systems and communities.â€
The projects that support meadow restoration efforts will increase habitat for species such as the Cascades frog, California Spotted Owl, willow flycatcher and Bi-State sage grouse.
Launched in 2018, the Northern California Forests and Watersheds program is a competitive grant program that supports restoration of forests and watersheds impacted by wildfires. The 2004 Power Fire on Eldorado National Forest burned 14,000 acres in the Mokelumne River watershed. The 2000 Storrie Fire on Lassen National Forest burned 27,000 acres in the North Fork Feather River watershed and the Butte Creek watershed, and also burned 25,000 acres on Plumas National Forest. Combined, these two fires burned more than 65,000 acres of National Forest lands and left a significant impact on the landscapes, watersheds, and ecosystems of the region. The program has funded over $5.6 million to 23 conservation projects.
A complete list of the 2020 grants made through the Northern California Forests and Watersheds program is available here.