Ecosystems - Biology - Animals

Watershed panel draws large audience to City Hall during Wild and Scenic Film Festival

Photo: Panelists (l to r) General Manager of Yuba Water Agency Willie Whittlesey, Tahoe National Forest Supervisor Eli Ilano, California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot, Professor of Engineering and Management at UC Merced Roger Bales, Professor Emerita of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Merced Dr. Martha Conklin and SYRCL Executive Director Dr. Aaron Zettler-Mann as moderator.

Attendees of the 22nd Annual Wild and Scenic Film Festival (SYRCL) packed Nevada City’s City Hall on Sunday morning to hear from an all-star panel of federal, state and regional watershed managers, scientists and policy makers from across the state.

The well-attended panel discussion moderated by SYRCL Executive Director Dr. Aaron Zettler-Mann took place after the screening of the 2024 official selection, “California’s Watershed Healing” by filmmaker in attendance James Thebaut.

The film addresses threats to the Sierra Nevada’s forested ecosystems from drought to wildfire and how the need for restoration and sustainable management is needed to avoid environmental, economic and national security threats to California’s most precious resource – water.

Even when we don’t have big fires, our forests are dying. In some ways, our forests are speaking to us and saying…

Eli Ilano
Forest Supervisor, Tahoe National Forest

The panel discussed a new paradigm to managing forests as a “multi-benefit asset” that will require enlisting partnerships to find sustainable solutions as the crucial link to California’s future water supply and ultimately human populations in the face of a ticking time bomb – extreme climate chaos.

Panelists included California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot, Forest Supervisor for the Tahoe National Forest Eli Ilano, General Manager of Yuba Water Agency Willie Whittlesey, Professor Emerita of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Merced Dr. Martha Conklin and Professor of Engineering and Management at UC Merced Roger Bales.

“Even when we don’t have big wildfire years, our forests are still changing. In 2023, last year, just on the Tahoe National Forest, 6.5 million trees died and the year before, that number was 3.5 million. That’s a result of climate change, drought and all those stressors. Even when we don’t have big fires, our forests are dying. In some ways, our forests are speaking to us and saying […]

Full article: yubanet.com

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