The Watershed Center works at home, in California and with communities across the US.

At Home:

The Watershed Center has been creating local jobs, innovating land stewardship practices, supporting youth and economic development, and sharing our work with policy makers and other communities since 1996. Like other resource-dependent communities–Hayfork, and the Trinity National Forest that surrounds it–are inextricably linked; the health of one dependent on the health of the other. The Watershed Center’s programs support triple bottom line outcomes: vibrant community, healthy landscape and sustainable economy. We accomplish this through research, education, training and economic development.

Find out how we are investing in the future of our community by learning more about our local programs:

Across California

Resilient forest ecosystems are a critical component of California’s future. To effectively combat the impacts of drought, catastrophic wildfire, and the compounding effects of climate change, we need forest management solutions. The Watershed Center is a leader in advancing two of the most critical, yet underutilized, tools in forest management: biomass utilization and prescribed fire. Statewide, we are developing partnerships with natural resource managers, agency leadership and communities to advance programs that use these tools to achieve forest resilience, mitigate climate change impacts, and improve community well-being.

The Watershed Center, while based in a remote corner of northern California, has a twenty year history of working at the national level. As leaders in the community-based forestry movement following the “timber wars” of the 1990’s, the Watershed Center became a powerful voice representing rural resource-dependent communities. Our national work continues today as we engage with, and learn from, other communities working to balance the needs of people, profits and the planet.

Across the Country

We are leaders in two major national efforts:

The Watershed Center co-leads the Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network (FAC Net), a network of over 100 fire adaptation practitioners, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy and through the support of the UDSA Forest Service. Together, FAC Net members are some of the most advanced community resilience practitioners in the country, and through the FAC Net, they are spreading better ways of living with wildfire—ways that recognize the role of fire in our ecosystems, provide alternatives to costly fire suppression, and protect the lives of citizens and firefighters.

We are also a founding and leadership team member of the Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition, a group comprised of nearly 100 nonprofit, public, and private sector organizations that together are leading the development of “all-lands” stewardship strategies and advocating for inclusive policies that support the health of landscapes and rural communities.

Banner Image Credit: Photo on left and photo on right are credited to Marcus Kauffman