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 in 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.
Three of our most important national-scale efforts include:
- The Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network (FAC Net), a network of over 100 fire adaptation practitioners that we co-lead in partnership with The Nature Conservancy and through the support of the USDA 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 residents 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.
- The Watershed Center is also a long-time participant in FAC Net’s sister network, the Fire Learning Network. Among the projects our participation in FLN has cultivated is the Northern California TREX training exchange for national and international fire managers, local workforce development with our Volunteer Fire Departments, the development and implementation of a burn plan for our municipal watershed, and hundreds of acres of broadcast and pile burning on public and private land.