Forest Restoration Protects Water Supply, Reduces Wildfire Risk

Forest Restoration Protects Water Supply, Reduces Wildfire Risk

To reduce the risk of catastrophic fire and protect the source of Amador County’s water supply, AWA is partnering with other agencies in the Pumpkin Hollow Restoration Project.

Pumpkin Hollow is a 972-acre project near the headwaters of the Mokelumne River in the Stanislaus National Forest, a
high-priority risk area due to dense vegetation growth prone to wildfire and disease.

Thinning brush and removing small trees creates space between healthy, mature trees and reduces the spread of
fire, improves water saturation of the soil, and slows evaporation of the winter snowpack.

Severe wildfires degrade downstream water quality by causing tons of topsoil to erode into streams and rivers, muddying the water and clogging water supply infrastructure and river habitat.

AWA partnered with three counties and four other water districts to secure a $500,000 grant from the Sierra
Nevada Conservancy Prop. 1 Healthy Watersheds program, matched by funds from the U.S. Forest Service, to pay for the work at Pumpkin Hollow.

By restoring and protecting the health of Sierra forests, streams and meadows through this and future projects,
the partner agencies are working to preserve the important benefits the
watershed provides.

Photo: Fire suppression and the lack of forest thinning have led to dense, overgrown forests throughout the Sierra Nevada.   Photo courtesy University of California.

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