The United States Forest Service (USFS), Pacific Southwest Region has awarded the French Meadows Partnership (Partnership) with its 2020 Regional Forester’s Honor Award for Ecological Restoration - All Lands Watershed and Forest Health. The award recognizes the Partnership’s successful French Meadows Forest Restoration Project, an innovative public-private effort aimed at restoring forest health and reducing the risk of high-severity wildfire in the headwaters of the Middle Fork American River; it was one of only 13 awards presented by the USFS, Pacific Southwest Region, which includes all of California and Hawaii.
“On behalf of the Partnership, we are honored to receive the 2020 Regional Forester’s Honor Award,” said Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) General Manager Andy Fecko. “The Partnership took on a new approach to implementing a forest management project of this scale, and by doing so, completed the environmental work in record time and started implementing forest treatments on 22,000 acres of federal land in just over a few years’ time. Such success is only possible with a diverse partnership and a shared vision of resource stewardship.”
The French Meadows Partnership includes PCWA; the County of Placer; the USFS, American River Ranger District; The Nature Conservancy; the Sierra Nevada Conservancy; the Sierra Nevada Research Institute at the University of California, Merced; and, the American River Conservancy, which is independently raising funds and performing forest treatments on adjacent private land. The cumulative acreage of federal land treated over two seasons now stands at more than 3,100 acres.