Community & Watershed Resilience Program
In 2013, the Rim Fire in California decimated large tracts of drought-stressed forests, leading to erosion and sedimentation into streams and reservoirs in Tuolumne County. This compromised water quality and reservoir capacity which ultimately affected local communities and downstream users. The Rim Fire is one event in a long history of wildfires throughout the Sierra Nevada mountain range made more intense by extreme drought conditions intensified by climate change and overstocked forests.
The State of California hired APTIM to provide technical assistance and program implementation services for the Community and Watershed Resilience Program. The goals of the program included:
- Support forest and watershed health through restoration, reforestation, strategic forest thinning, biomass removal, and other science-based investments to ensure ecosystem health
- Develop an appropriately-scaled bioenergy and wood products facility that reuses biomass from forest thining to develop wood products and produce electricity
- Develop community resilience centers to serve the needs of rural communities during emergencies
Our team provided project management, policy and program development, training and capacity building, regulatory compliance data management and reporting, and outreach services.
Our efforts helped the State of California demonstrate a long-term commitment to resilience. Our strategies will help the State:
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) per the State’s 2030 GHG reduction target and multi-part resilience program
- Contribute to the Integrated Climate Adaptation & Resilience Program
- Increase procurement of electricity from renewable resources from 33% to 50%