Dear friends and supporters of the Yuba Watershed Institute (YWI),
We hope this message finds you and your family safe and well. This year has brought one disturbance after the next, between the pandemic, ongoing economic shutdowns, widespread social unrest, and another record-breaking fire season, including the Jones Fire, which deeply affected members of our community and could have been much, much worse.
In the face of these challenges, the YWI is doubling-down on building resiliency in our forest-dwelling communities. In order to increase and accelerate our impact, we’re building new partnerships, expanding the scope of our work, and implementing our ‘Inimim Forest Restoration Plan.
For the past few years we have been laying the groundwork to restore the health of the ‘Inimim Forest, comprised of multiple Bureau of Land Management (BLM) parcels on the San Juan Ridge. This year with the help of our contractors we completed the following treatments as part of the ‘Inimim Forest Restoration Plan:
- Implemented a 200-feet wide shaded fuel break on 55 acres along key roads necessary for ingress and egress in the case of wildfire;
- Felled 15 acres of hazard trees at risk of falling on roads;
- Hand cut and piled understory fuels on 4 acres to improve forest health;
- Covered 87 acres of piles to be burned this spring.
As a result of our successful history of collaboration with the BLM, this year we received three new Sierra Nevada Conservancy grants to:
- Implement 314 acres of additional forest health treatments on the ‘Inimim Forest; and
- Develop plans to improve forest health on additional BLM parcels and neighboring lands under conservation easement, including 260 acres in the Little Deer Creek watershed near Gracie and Banner Lava Cap Roads and 1,230 acres in the Round Mountain area between Purdon and North Bloomfield Roads.
We are partnering with the Bear Yuba Land Trust, Sierra Streams Institute, and Firewise Communities on these new planning projects. We are also participating in the new Yuba Forest Network to increase cooperation and coordination across the watershed. We’ll be hosting a prescribed fire training workshop this spring and we’ve been working with Sierra Forest Legacy and others to build capacity to reintroduce beneficial fire into our local landscapes. These partnerships enable us to build on, share, and expand our expertise and help us to advance ecological forestry in our region. The YWI was founded 30 years ago to facilitate collaborative forest stewardship and this work is more important now than ever.
We need your help to expand our capacity to meet the tremendous needs and opportunities of this time. There is so much work to do to restore our forests and our collaborative approach can help us to achieve collectively what no one individual or organization can do alone.
Please consider supporting this important work by starting or renewing your YWI membership today!
Your generous support will also help us provide other programs the community has grown to love, including:
- The annual Yuba Watershed Fungus Foray and Wild Mushroom Exposition;
- Our publication Tree Rings: The Journal of the Yuba Watershed Institute, where we bring you essays, artwork, and poetry on current watershed-related themes; and
- Unique educational field programs, volunteer events, and evening and weekend workshops.
We are grateful for your past support and hope that you will be inspired to help the YWI by contributing at an increased level. Thank you for your dedication to preserving the biodiversity of the Yuba River watershed and beyond!