Tahoe-Central Sierra Initiative (TCSI)
Roadmap to Resilience

« Tahoe-Central Sierra Initiative

Sierra Nevada Watershed Improvement Program

The TCSI is piloting a first of its kind Roadmap to Resilience which explores a consistent science-based approach to restoration that can be applied across the entire Sierra Nevada. At the same time, the Roadmap to Resilience is flexible enough to tailor projects to local conditions and geographies.

The Roadmap to Resilience is based on four distinct stages of work, all of which inform project design and implementation:

  1. Framework for Defining Landscape Resilience
  2. Resource Assessment
  3. Blueprint for Restoration
  4. Resilience Dashboard

Framework for Defining Landscape Resilience

The Framework is a foundational set of science-based definitions, guiding principles, and resilience values that inform the restoration of social and ecological resilience. The TCSI worked with leading forest scientists and land managers at a two-day workshop to develop a conceptual framework for landscape resilience that is both place-based and values-driven.

Recognizing that people are part of landscapes, the Framework includes eight social and ecological values that are relevant to ecosystems throughout the Sierra Nevada. The values illustrate the desired outcomes of restoration work in the TCSI landscape. Through these resilience values, managers can assess landscape conditions and verify that actions meet resilience objectives.

Resilience Values

  • Environmental quality
    • Forest resilience
    • Fire dynamics
    • Biodiversity conservation
    • Water reliability
    • Carbon sequestration
    • Air quality
  • Community well-being
    • Fire-adapted communities
    • Economic diversity and social well-being

Resource Assessment

The Resource Assessment uses the best-available science to describe current resource conditions which can be compared with desired conditions to identify changes that need to be made on the landscape. The assessment integrates fire risk analyses, projections of climate impacts, carbon stocks, wood supply, wildlife habitat, drought tolerance, water balances, and modeling of current and future conditions and climate change under six management scenarios. All the scenarios prioritize community protection and each scenario also evaluates combinations of the following management variables:

  • Pace at which the landscape is restored
  • Scale at which the landscape is restored
  • Primary type of restoration treatments applied

The modeling for the Resource Assessment provides insight into how well alternative forest restoration strategies can improve resilience.

Blueprint for Restoration

Using state-of-the-art science and technology, the Blueprint combines the assessment data and modeling with real constraints (e.g., limited access and funding) and values (e.g., critical wildlife habitat) to map out a vision for a resilient landscape in a changing environment. The Blueprint also identifies the smaller-scale opportunities for restoration that will have the greatest effect.

Resilience Dashboard

The TCSI is pioneering the development of a Resilience Dashboard that will track progress towards restoring forest health and resilience across the TCSI landscape. The Dashboard will provide a platform by which partners, policy-makers, and funders can monitor progress at a glance, and track how actions are meeting resilience objectives over time.