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Forest, Watershed Restoration Projects Get $3.2 Million Boost


Efforts to reduce wildfire risk and improve the health of California's Sierra Nevada are getting a financial boost.

The Sierra Nevada Conservancy is awarding $3.2 million to 10 projects.

"Forest health, watershed restoration kind of work, really up and down the Sierra Nevada," says Jim Branham, the conservancy's executive officer.

He says projects in Calaveras, Mariposa and Tuolumne counties deal with taking out trees that died because of the drought or insects.

"That means going in and removing, as appropriate, the trees that are dead," Branham explains. "But also trying to continue to manage the forest to keep as much of the green forest healthy and resilient as possible."

"Sadly it's probably going to become a focus of more and more of our forest projects," says Branham, "because the problem is extremely severe in the southern sierra but it continues to creep northerly. In three of the projects there was a heavy component of addressing the tree mortality problem."

Another project in Placer County involves restoration work at the headwaters of the Middle Fork of the American River.

"It protects the water supply of folks in Placer County but also would have an affect on folks who benefit from the American River," says Branham. "So that's one that I think is a high profile project that's going to do some good work."

Money for the grants comes from a ballot measure approved in 2014.

 Sierra Nevada Conservancy

Steve Milne

Morning Edition Anchor & Reporter

Steve is the voice of Capital Public Radio News as anchor of Morning Edition and Insight. He covers stories on a wide range of topics including: business, education, real estate, agriculture and music. Steve also produced stories for CapRadio.org.   Read Full Bio