Local and Regional Networks

A winter day in the Hayfork Valley. Situated in the geographic center of Trinity County, one of the most resource dependent counties in the western US, Hayfork is the Watershed Center's home-base. From this vantage point, we work to connect to others interested in the real-world issues of rural communities, forming networks of conservation practitioners.

The WRTC engages in planning and development at local, regional and national levels to facilitate healthy stewardship-based economies and policies that promote our vision of thriving communities rooted in place.

As part of our regional networking effort, The Watershed Center (a member of the Western Community Fire Management Workgroup) led the design and implementation of an assessment entitled, Living With Wildfire: The State of Practice in Western Communities. Results of the assessment will help guide the National Cohesive Wildfire Strategy.

Locally, the WRTC works with the Hayfork Community Plan Committee, whose recommendations affect land use and community policy. We work with the Trinity County Board of Supervisors offering our perspective on natural resources and economic development issues. In addition to community design and economic development, we work locally with the Fire Safe Council, volunteer fire departments and neighborhood groups on fire planning and preparedness issues.  The WRTC co-leads the emerging Trinity County Collaborative, a group formed to collaborate around natural resource management and economic development in the county.

The Watershed Center leads and participates in regional networks and partnerships working to coordinate the efforts of communities like ours throughout the Klamath-Siskiyou and the Western US. The WRTC leads the California Klamath-Siskiyou Fire Learning Network, dedicated to connecting practitioners, community members and researchers working to understand and conserve the Klamath-Siskiyous.  We also serve as an anchor community in the Dry-side Forest Investment Zone (DFIZ). The purpose of the DFIZ is to encourage sustainable forest stewardship through:

  • forest management that restores and maintains ecological integrity
  • provision of a diversity of services and products to society such as clean air and water, biodiversity, carbon storage, and fiber
  • and provision of local economic benefit through employment and local business ownership

As a DFIZ anchor community we are responsible for identifying business and development partners, building county-wide coalitions and collaborative efforts around biomass utilization, coordinating with federal agencies and existing infrastructure, businesses, and community members/groups. The DFIZ is funded by the US Endowment.