South Lassen Watersheds Group

South Lassen Watersheds Group


The South Lassen Watersheds Group (SLWG) began meeting in 2017 and includes a powerfully diverse mix of local partners interested pursuing high priority, large-scale, multi-jurisdictional projects to improve forest and watershed health, reduce wildfire risk, protect critical habitat, and support local contractors and industry. Born from Lake Almanor Watershed Group strategic planning meetings, the group also adopted a number of guiding principles from the Upper Feather River Integrated Regional Watershed Management (IRWM) Plan, a cohesive strategy for planning and implementing water management programs throughout the Upper Feather River Watershed. SLWG participants include IRWM planners as well as representatives from local, state, and federal agencies; nonprofits; and community groups.


The Sierra Institute is excited to announce the award of $3 million from the Cal Fire California Climate Investments Forest Health grant program to support important forest and watershed restoration work in the North Fork Feather River and Deer Creek watersheds. This award is a tremendous step forward for the SLWG and toward truly landscape scale outcomes. This project will advance outcomes on-the-ground and complete planning for future projects while creating natural resource jobs locally.

    • Almost 1,000 acres of privately owned lands in the Wildland Urban Interface will receive much needed fuels reduction
    • Meadow restoration on the Collins Almanor Forest will improve water quantity and unique habitat; associated research will improve our understanding of the connections between forest and watershed health
    • The Sierra Institute and local contractors will assist the Lassen National Forest in their first effort to cooperatively complete NEPA planning for fuels reduction, meadow restoration, and prescribed fire activities for more than 7,000 acres

These projects included the highest rated priority on the entire Lassen National Forest, and will reduce fire risk in Westwood and communities along the west shore of Lake Almanor. The Sierra Institute looks forward to developing these projects and partnerships in an effort to advance the important work of the SLWG.

Additional Resources

Much of the SLWG's first year success was made possible by the support of Pacific Gas & Electric, which in 2017 awarded Sierra Institute $100,000 through their Better Together Resilient Communities Grant Program to support collaborative efforts. For more information on the outcomes facilitated by this funding, please see the "Grant Funded Activities" tab below.


What is Landscape Scale? 

The scale and complexity of forest and watershed health issues in California, in addition to the time and resources involved in project planning, necessitate that projects occur at a large-scale and across jurisdictions. While "landscape scale" does not translate to a certain number of acres, the aim is to begin to address problems at the scale at which they occur.

Erik Bergen, Placer County

What is NEPA? 

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), signed into law in 1970, requires the Federal government to solicit input from the public for any action with the likelihood to have a "significant" impact on natural resources. Government agencies must also analyze the nature and extent of these impacts. Numerous Federal agencies, and increasingly the USFS, utilize contractors and partners to help complete NEPA requirements.

Sierra Nevada Conservancy Proposition 1 funding supports 2,000 acres of fuels reduction in Lassen Volcanic National Park to create conditions for the beneficial use of fire. The majority of these acres are in designated wilderness. Fuels reduction activities in wilderness will be completed with crosscut saws.

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's Cooperative Watershed Management Program will support SLWG strategic planning efforts, including geospatial analysis, to increase the group's decision making capacity. Stakeholder outreach will improve the group's ability to represent diverse viewpoints.

The SLWG All Projects Map

Explore projects underway in the South Lassen Watersheds Group