Many forests in the Yuba watershed are unhealthy. They are over stocked with small trees and brush. And they are now susceptible to high-severity wildfire due to fire suppression and historic timber harvesting practices. On top of that, climate change is exacerbating these threats.
Prior to the gold rush, Yuba forests had large, widely spaced trees intermixed with patches of denser vegetation that served as habitat for our diverse animal community and were more resilient to fire. Today, many Yuba forests are overrun with dense vegetation that is not fire-resilient, and this has increased the threat of catastrophic wildfire.
Even though the Yuba watershed evolved with fire in the past, it’s not prepared for the catastrophic fires raging in California today. To address this concern, SYRCL is partnering with the United States Forest Service (USFS), private land owners, and other nonprofits to plan and implement forest health projects across the Yuba watershed. Restoring forest health through thinning and prescribed fire will improve forest habitat, protect water supply, and decrease the risk of high severity fire.
SYRCL is working with partners to:
- Improve and restore forest health and resilience watershed-wide
- Design forest thinning projects to improve forest resiliency in the face of climate change.
- Improve habitat for wildlife and native plant species
- Protect and secure water supplies
- Support the development of a local restoration economy that can create sustainable jobs working to protect our forests