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More forest management efforts could be in the works for the Yuba River Watershed with the help of a grant approved today by Yuba Water Agency.
The $235,000 grant will provide matching funds to double the impact of a collaboration between the South Yuba River Citizens League and Camptonville Community Partnership. The groups are jointly applying for a grant from the California Department of Conservation, so they can fund a full-time watershed coordinator position.
The watershed coordinator will work with public and private landowners to plan and coordinate projects within the watershed, including a biomass facility in Camptonville and a forest health project in the north Yuba watershed. Yuba Water Agency’s grant will provide enough funding to hire an additional watershed coordinator for an estimated four years.
“The impacts of a wildfire in the Yuba Watershed would be severe,” said Yuba Water Agency Chairman Brent Hastey. “We really are serious about being the first sustainably managed watershed in California, and this is a big step in that direction.”
The watershed coordinator position will provide governance and coordination to improve watershed-scale planning efforts. Yuba Water Agency can contribute grant funds for this because of the direct impact that wildfire has on water supply and quality, one of the agency’s primary missions.
“It’s exciting to think about the added capacity that Yuba Water Agency’s matching contribution would bring to the Yuba watershed and our ability to manage forest health for the benefit of the entire region,” said Melinda Booth, executive director for SYRCL. “With this upfront investment, our projects will be more collaborative and move forward efficiently and therefore have a greater impact and reach.”
Yuba Water Agency’s grant is contingent on the grant from the DOC, which is expected to report the status of the funding by early summer.