California Headwaters Partnership

Map of California showing that the Headwaters region encompases most of the Western facing Sierra Nevada Mountain Range as well as some of the Northern East facing Coastal Range.

The California Headwaters Partnership has been designated one of seven Resilient Lands and Waters regions in the United States, in accordance with the President’s Priority Agenda for Enhancing the Climate Resilience of America’s Natural Resources. The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and California Natural Resources Agency (via the Sierra Nevada Conservancy) are leading this effort together to:

  • Identify and map priority areas for conservation, restoration, or other investments
  • Build resilience and enhance carbon storage capacity
  • Develop landscape-scale strategies to assist in planning and management activities
  • Knit together existing collaboratives and efforts already underway for large landscape restoration

The process used to identify and quantify forest and watershed restoration will be organized through the Sierra Nevada Watershed Improvement Program (WIP), with the goal of making California’s forests and watersheds more resilient to wildfire, climate change, and invasive species.   

Final Report Released   

The Sierra Nevada Conservancy and the USFS have completed a final report that summarizes the challenges, lessons learned, and best practices of the CA Headwaters Partnership. The report also sets forth next steps for the partnership.

In addition, the U.S. Department of the Interior has released a Resilient Lands and Waters Initiative report and debuted a companion website highlighting the efforts of seven partnerships building the resilience of natural resources in the U.S. These partnerships demonstrate the benefits of using collaborative, landscape-scale conservation approaches to address climate change and other resource management challenges.   

Story Map Available    

In conjunction with the USFS, the Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) has developed a story map to provide information about the Partnership in visual form.

Informational Webinar   

Earlier this year, the SNC and USFS Pacific Southwest Region co-hosted a one-hour informational webinar about the CA Headwaters Partnership. The purpose of the webinar was to give attendees an opportunity to learn more about the Resilient Lands and Waters Initiative, CA Headwaters Partnership, WIP and associated watershed assessments, and other existing collaborative efforts in the California Headwaters region.   

Webinar Speakers:   

  • Barnie Gyant, Deputy Regional Forester, USFS, Pacific Southwest Region
  • Jim Branham, Executive Officer, SNC
  • Leslie Jones, Chief of Staff, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Secretary, Natural Resources and Environment
  • Jennifer Montgomery, County Supervisor, Placer County, District 5
  • Eli Ilano, Forest Supervisor, USFS, Tahoe National Forest


A recording of the webinar is available for viewing.  

For more information, visit the USFS Pacific Southwest Region web site.