North Yuba Forest Partnership
The North Yuba Forest Partnership is a diverse group of nine organizations passionate about forest health and the resilience of the North Yuba River watershed. Together, the partners are working on an unprecedented scale to collaboratively plan, analyze, finance, and implement forest restoration across 275,000 acres of the watershed.
The partnership includes: Yuba Water Agency, the U.S. Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy, South Yuba River Citizens League, Camptonville Community Partnership, Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe, National Forest Foundation, Sierra County, and Blue Forest Conservation.
Through ecologically-based thinning and prescribed fire, the partnership seeks to protect North Yuba communities from the threat of catastrophic wildfire and restore the watershed to a healthier, more resilient state. Restoration efforts are expected to take many years, if not decades to complete, with the most critical project areas targeted first, i.e. at-risk communities, emergency response, evacuation access routes, and treatments to areas that have the potential to stop a wildfire from spreading.
The North Yuba watershed runs through multiple Northern California counties and two National Forests, from Yuba Pass to New Bullards Bar Reservoir. The area includes thousands of acres of forest habitat, is an important source of water to downstream users, supports high biodiversity, is home to many communities, and offers excellent opportunities for recreation.
Many forests in the North Yuba watershed are unhealthy. They are overstocked with small trees and brush, and at risk of high-severity wildfire due to fire suppression and historic timber harvesting practices, exacerbated by climate change. As a result, communities and infrastructure within the watershed are at significant risk.
Forests once characterized by large, widely-spaced trees and beneficial, low-to-moderate severity fire are now dominated by non-fire resilient stands of vegetation ranging from dense thickets of small trees and brush to overstocked forests with significant ladder fuels. This greatly increases the likelihood of destructive wildfire causing significant damage to communities and watershed health. In addition, many homes and communities have been built within and near the forests, making it challenging in some locations to protect lives and property from high-severity wildfire and to allow the use of prescribed fire or managed wildfire as a management tool.
- Improve and restore forest health and resilience
- Reduce the risk of high-severity wildfire
- Protect and secure water supplies
- Support the development of a local restoration economy that can create sustainable jobs working to protect our forests