Truckee River Watershed Forest Restoration
The requested funding will support TNC staff time spent working with the Forest Service to expend a portion of a $1.3 million federal grant to implement forest restoration projects in the Truckee River watershed. It will also support part of a contract with a marketing consultant to aid in developing messaging and outreach strategies regarding TNC’s watershed science and regional risks associated with wildfires, which will serve as fundraising tools. Therefore, the requested TRF funding will support TNC staff time to work with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to evaluate projects, draft agreements and contracts, oversee contractors, etc. as necessary to expend the Desert Terminal Lakes (DTL) funds to implement at forest restoration projects that will benefit the Truckee River watershed.
This proposal meets multiple grant priorities for the Truckee River Fund. The Truckee River headwaters forest is overstocked with trees from a century of fire suppression, and many trees are dead or dying from drought stress, making the forest more susceptible to unnaturally large and intense wildfires. The projects that would be developed and implemented under this proposed grant would help reduce the risk of wildfires and associated risks to the water supply, meeting grant priority IV: Re-Forestation and Re-Vegetation Projects. While the proposed projects do not necessarily involve reforestation of fire damaged areas through re-vegetation, they do address damages from historical logging and other land management practices (fire suppression) that created the current fire-prone conditions, reducing the risk of wildfires and post-fire impacts, including those to water quality, and improving watershed resiliency in drought situations.
The activities included in this grant proposal also meet grant priority VIII: Leverage Stakeholder Assets and Participation in multiple ways. First, the requested TRF funding to support TNC staff time in developing and implementing forest restoration projects with the USFS will be greatly leveraged in helping ensure the utilization of $1.3 million of DTL funds on projects that will benefit river water quality, watershed protection, source water protection and habitat enhancement. Second, the requested TRF funding to help TNC develop messaging and outreach strategies is intended to benefit efforts to raise funds that will support more of the same types of projects, further into the future.