Wet meadow in the Sierra Nevada range

NFWF Announces $1.6 Million in Grants to Improve Watersheds and Resilience Throughout California

Projects will improve watershed infrastructure features in national forests and restore habitat in the Sierra Nevada meadow range

Wet meadow in the Sierra Nevada range

SAN FRANCISCO (September 2, 2020) – The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced $1.6 million in grants to support watershed infrastructure restoration projects in the Klamath, Shasta-Trinity, Six Rivers, Lassen, Los Padres, and Mendocino national forests, and implement meadow restoration projects within the Sierra Nevada meadow range that drains into the Desert Terminal Lakes basins. The grants will generate $2.5 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of $4.1 million.

The California Forests and Watersheds Infrastructure Resilience grants were awarded through the Northern California Forests and Watersheds program, a partnership between NFWF and the USDA Forest Service (USFS), Sierra Pacific Industries, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

“The selected projects have been identified by the engineering and ecosystems experts within the Pacific Southwest Region of the USDA Forest Service,” said Jonathan Birdsong, director of NFWF’s western regional office. “The projects will not only open up miles of habitat important for fish and wildlife, but also restore headwater meadows that harness critical cold water supplies late into the summer months.”

The projects supported by the nine grants announced today will address and improve watershed infrastructure features such as roads, bridges, culverts, drainage features, and other associated transportation infrastructure in order to reduce sedimentation, remove invasive species, and improve connectivity for aquatic organisms. Projects will also enhance and restore Sierra Nevada meadows by restoring hydrologic function and habitat critical for fish, wildlife, and humans.  

“The projects awarded in this round of grants help us meet our freshwater and species objectives throughout the Region,” said Regional Forester for the Pacific Southwest Region of the USDA Forest Service Randy Moore. “Our staff and NFWF worked tirelessly to help recruit interested parties with the necessary expertise to implement these important conservation objectives. We look forward to the implementation of these projects.”

The awarded projects help strengthen watershed resilience and recovery from environmental impacts from fire or flood, improve water quality and stream flow, and provide additional benefits to human health and safety through road improvements in key watersheds within California.

The 2020 grants announced today complement more than five years of conservation partnership between NFWF, the USFS and other partners in California to improve watershed health, strengthen landscape resilience, and restore and protect important habitat for California’s fish and wildlife. 

A complete list of the 2020 California Forests and Watersheds Infrastructure Resilience grants is available here.    

About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 5,000 organizations and generated a total conservation impact of $6.1 billion. Learn more at

About the USDA Forest Service
The mission of the Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency also has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.


Rob Blumenthal, 202-857-0166