AUBURN, Calif. – At its August 18 meeting, the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors received a presentation from Jim Branham, Executive Director of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, on the Sierra Nevada Watershed Improvement Program. The program aims to restore the health of the watershed through increased investment in infrastructure and restoration projects, and changes in public policy.
“More than 60 percent of California’s water originates from the Sierra Nevada watershed, including facilities owned and operated by PCWA,” General Manager Einar Maisch said. “Recent increases in the size and severity of wildfires have put the watershed at risk, and PCWA is actively engaged in efforts to protect our investments. We appreciate the partnership the Agency has with the Sierra Nevada Conservancy to advance active watershed management.”
Since the year 2000, nearly 40 percent of PCWA’s watershed has burned. PCWA continues to deal with the adverse effects the King Fire from 2014, which burned more 97,000 acres in total. Adding to the wildfire risk is a spate of tree mortality in the Sierra Nevada. 66 million trees have died in the Sierra Nevada in the last three years due to the combination of drought, over-stocked forests, and bark beetle infestation.
In other news, Board Directors:
* Adopted the 2016 Placer County Local Hazard Mitigation Plan update. PCWA was a participating jurisdiction in addition to the Cities of Colfax, Auburn, Lincoln, and Rocklin; the Town of Loomis; and, participating fire districts and special districts within the county. The Placer County Office of Emergency Services coordinated the effort.