HELPING CALIFORNIA’S FORESTS ADAPT TO CLIMATE CHANGE
California’s forests are among the most carbon-rich forests in the world, supply greater than 65 percent of the state’s drinking water and contain some of America’s most treasured landscapes including Yosemite National Park.
Yet, these forests are facing unprecedented threats from a changing climate, increased and prolonged drought, and more severe wildfire activity. The combined effects of these changes and extreme events are severely stressing the region’s iconic forests and diminishing the natural benefits that California forests provide people every day. Since just 2010, 130 million trees have died in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
In many places there is potential for forests to permanently convert to grasslands and shrublands. Science indicates that there is a narrow window, perhaps only a decade, to lead innovative best management practices that will help these forests adapt to climate change.
To meet these challenges, American Forests is building partnerships and using science to develop climate-informed restoration strategies to improve forest health across the state. This work builds on American Forests’ long standing history of collaborative conservation throughout the State of California. Starting in 1991, we have partnered with a dozen organizations including local, state and federal agencies as well as local non-profits to support over 135 forest restoration projects. This work has led to the planting of over 7.5 million trees.