Stories about people, places, and innovation in the movement to restore healthy ecosystems and climate resilience. 


North Yuba Watershed Story

A Model for Multi-Jurisdictional Landscape Fire Resilience

The North Yuba Watershed in the Tahoe National Forest is a special and ecologically important place. Unfortunately, like much of the planet, this landscape is facing increasing threats to the community, biodiversity, and ecosystem services. 

But, this is the story of collaborative success in a complex area and how a group of nine organizations — the North Yuba Forest Partnership — effectively increased the pace and scale of the watershed’s resilience. Together, the partners worked on an unprecedented scale to collaboratively plan, analyze, finance (raising over $150M so far!), and implement forest restoration across 275,000 acres of the watershed. Being part of this collaborative planning process informed the creation of Vibrant Planet’s platform.

Watch the below video series to learn how the North Yuba Watershed team achieved multi-jurisdictional planning success and how your organization and partners can too.


North Yuba Watershed #1

Intro — Using collaborative planning for resilience funding

The North Yuba Watershed is a spectacular landscape with welcoming communities, biodiversity, freshwater, and recreation — and it also faces high wildfire risk. In this video series, we’ll learn how the North Yuba Forest Partnership developed a wildfire resilience plan and secured millions in federal funding for this vital watershed.

In our upcoming episodes, we’ll use the North Yuba Watershed as an example to understand the complexities of wildfire and forest resilience planning.

Next episode ↓ 
Learn about two keys to the Partnership’s success.

North Yuba Watershed #2

Two secrets to expediting the wildfire resilience planning process

Meet the people and organizations that make up the North Yuba Forest Partnership who developed a plan to restore resilience to the forested watershed while also protecting local communities from high wildfire risk. Learn about their effort and two techniques this inspiring group has utilized to plan for resilience.

Next episode ↓
See how to accelerate unbiased prioritization in large forests with limited resources and time.

North Yuba Watershed #3

Efficiently assessing large areas for wildfire risk and treatment

There are simply not enough resources or time to treat every square inch of a large at-risk area. See how the Partnership efficiently assessed the large, North Yuba landscape for wildfire risk and potential mitigation treatment.

Next episode ↓ 
Learn how the Partnership assessed the resources and assets in the large and diverse watershed.

North Yuba Watershed #4

Equitable appraisal of assets & resources in the watershed

All forested landscapes are full of ‘features’ that have societal value: homes, streams, recreational trails, and utility infrastructure. Learn how the North Yuba Forest Partnership organized and appraised these ‘features’ also known as Strategic Areas, Resources, and Assets.

Next episode ↓ 
See how the partnership was able to predict the response of resources and assets to a modeled fire hazard and to likely treatments.

North Yuba Watershed #5

Determining wildfire risk to a watershed & mitigations options

How do we determine wildfire risk to a watershed? How is this risk mitigated? See how the Partnership used a fire hazard model to determine risk…and the likely impact of treatment options to prioritize the best treatment options to mitigate that risk.

Next episode ↓ 
Learn how the Partnership analyzed potential treatment consequences to make the best decisions.

North Yuba Watershed #6

Evaluating the potential treatment across the watershed

Planning forest resilience treatments like prescribed fire or ecological thinning helps predict the avoided loss of resources and assets to a wildfire. But, these treatments can have ecological benefits as well. Learn how the Partnership prioritized treatment options by balancing avoided loss and ecological benefit.

Next episode ↓
Find out about the RROI model for complex tradeoffs and prioritization decisions.

North Yuba Watershed #7

The RROI method for evaluating tradeoffs

When it comes to wildlife and forest resilience planning, assessing tradeoffs can be a real challenge. The Partnership leveraged the Restorative Return of Investment (RROI) model, which helps quantify avoided loss and ecological consequences of treatment. This tool can identify the highest priority areas for treatments.

Next episode ↓ 
Find out about the ForSys model which builds off the RROI results to make even more efficient and effective decisions.

North Yuba Watershed #8

How to prioritize the areas of the highest return

For large landscapes with diverse partners and priorities, like the North Yuba Watershed, one more tool helped the Partnership with the immense project area. Learn about the ForSys Model developed by the USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station which groups together areas of high RROI to build a robust treatment plan.

Final episode ↓
See the cumulation of the Partnership’s hard work and how they created a replicable model for other at-risk landscapes.

North Yuba Watershed #9

A successful wildfire resilience model for communities globally

The Partnership’s collaboration in developing a high-quality science-based plan which allowed them to quantify and communicate benefits helped to raise over $150 million in investment implementation! And they’ve launched a replicable model for communities globally.

Learn more about how your organization and partners can leverage a collaborative science-based model for wildfire resilience.

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