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<< Wednesday, September 25, 2013 >>

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Northern Sierra Nevada Water Fund

Colloquium | September 25 | 1-2 p.m. | 315A Wurster Hall

Kristen Podolak, Sierra Nevada Project Associate, The Nature Conservancy

Dept. of Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning

Much of the northern Sierra Nevada provides water supply to California and Nevada. Climate change predictions in this region call for less snow and more rain, and increased catastrophic wildfires. In addition, US Forest Service lands contain many overly dense forests at risk of high intensity fire, but without funding to match the forest restoration need. Currently, public land managers and environmentalists promote actions, such as meadow restoration, to improve both surface and groundwater flow and ecological function. There is a gap in understanding how various restoration and conservation actions compare in terms of their water benefits, and which watersheds across the region provide the best opportunity for these actions. What are the impacts of forest thinning, meadow restoration, and land conservation on water quantity, quality, and timing in the Northern Sierra region? Using GIS, we evaluated three conservation actions and estimated the water benefits. A cost-benefit analysis helps us understand the most promising to secure water for people and nature., 510-848-8315