The partnership facilitate investment in large landscape-level protection of the Sierra foothills in the Bear and Yuba River watersheds. We are working to identify areas of conservation that encompass intact habitats (for example, not broken up with man-made infrastructure such as roads and subdivisions) and areas that will be especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change. In particular, there is a focus on oak woodlands and grasslands, to establish connectivity for wildlife migration between lower-elevation communities and the high Sierra, and riverine corridors that convey vital water from Sierra Nevada snowmelt to the people and agricultural lands of California.
The foothills of the iconic Sierra Nevada—the “gold fields”—are linked to California’s way of life and sense of place as well as tied to the history of our nation. To many Californians, the natural resources of the Sierran foothills are emblematic of our state: grasslands golden in the summer sun mingling with rolling oak woodlands.
The foothills of the Yuba River watershed provide significant opportunities for conservation within the relatively intact northern third of the Northern Sierra Nevada Foothills subregion. These opportunities include protecting intact landscapes supporting important resources, such as blue oak woodlands.