Collaborative efforts to promote resilience across large landscapes often struggle to develop a shared concept of resilience, slowing the pace of restoration efforts. In the Tahoe-Central Sierra, state, federal, nonprofit, and private industry stakeholders have been working together on a shared Framework for Resilience in the 2.4-million acre landscape. It is an example of the regional approach at the heart of our Watershed Improvement Program.
And it’s one that we think may prove useful beyond the borders of the Tahoe-Central Sierra.
In 2020, the Tahoe-Central Sierra Initiative partnership coalesced behind 10 pillars of resilience that represent desired landscape outcomes. This framework explicitly recognizes the interdependence of ecological and social systems: forest resilience, fire dynamics, carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation, wetland integrity, air quality, water security, fire-adapted communities, economic diversity, and social and cultural well-being. Each pillar is described by two to four elements that represent the primary features of each pillar. Metrics are measurable characteristics of each element that represent conditions associated with ecosystem resilience at relevant scales.
The pillars, elements, and metrics promise a simple yet readily identifiable set of desired and target outcomes that pertain to socio-ecological systems across forested landscapes, and can be used to describe the degree to which conditions at various organizational levels (e.g., elements, pillars, and the socio-ecological system as a whole) are likely to be resilient to disturbances like wildfire, drought, and climate change now, and into the future.
Through the Sierra Nevada Watershed Improvement Program (WIP), we bring people together to identify shared interests and novel approaches to common forest and watershed health challenges. Read more about our work through the WIP in our 2020 Annual Report.
A piece of the climate policy puzzle
The Framework for Resilience was adapted from work completed under the Tahoe-Central Sierra Landscape-level Restoration Program and is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment-particularly in disadvantaged communities. The cap-and-trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. California Climate Investment projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling and much more. At least 35 percent of these investments are made in disadvantaged and low-income communities.