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September 27, 2019

Read our coalition comments on the Sierra and Sequoia National Forests' revised draft land management plans and revised draft environmental impact statement

Read additional comment letters, and learn more here.


September 17, 2019

Read the latest newsletter, The Sierra Voice.


September 10, 2019

Take Action! Your comments needed on new forest management plans for the Sierra and Sequoia National Forests

Comments are due by September 26, 2019


August 27, 2019

NEPA regulations revision:

Read comments from citizens, organizations, scientists, and public officials from throughout the United States


July 26, 2019

Take Action! Protect your National Forests from major new attack on environmental policy


June 28, 2019 New draft forest plan revisions and EIS for the Sequoia and Sierra National Forests.


April 30, 2019

Fire scientist Scott Stephens: Wildfires in California--Friend or Foe

TEDx Talk at Berkeley


April 26, 2019

National Geographic: Tree planting programs can do more harm than good


January 8, 2019

Governor Newsom announces plan to strengthen state's response to the increase in destructive fires: new Executive Order issued


December 20, 2018

LA Times: Here's how California can use fire to solve its wildfire problem


October 3, 2018

Read the coalition's Objection Letter to the Inyo National Forest plan revision


September 28, 2018

Forest Service Research and Development Newsletter: the Fire Issue.

Read it here.


September 27, 2008

NPR: Fire ecologists say more fires should be left to burn. So why aren't they?


September 21, 2018

Pacific fisher wins a victory in federal court today

Federal court ruled today that the US Fish and Wildlife Service acted arbitrarily in its denial of threatened species listing status for the imperiled Pacific fisher


September 21, 2018

Reforestation for Resilience: Shifting the paradigm for reforestation


September 19, 2018

In-depth science reporting from the Fort Bragg Advocate News:

Is California's firefighting strategy making future fires worse?


September 9, 2018

Megafires: Controlled burns could reduce destructive, out of control blazes

State considers strategies to reduce “megafires”


September 7, 2018

Governor Brown establishes September 7 as California Biodiversity Day


September 5, 2018

Fighting Fire with Fire: California Turns to Prescribed Burning

Jane Braxton Little in Yale Environment360: Read it here.


August 10, 2018

This started out as the best air-quality summer in the Valley. Then wildfires ignited.

Read more from the Fresno Bee here.


August 4, 2018

The Inyo National Forest has released the Final Environmental Impact Statement and draft Record of Decision for the new forest plan. Review the plan and learn more, here.


Some news items you won't want to miss:

August 7, 2018

Sacramento Bee, Capitol Alert: Trump wants to clear more trees to halt fires. The feds need to spend more, experts say.

Listen to KQED Forum discussion this morning: Can more logging help prevent California wildfires?

August 6, 2018

Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB):

When it comes to wildfire, politics lags behind science

July 28, 2018

OPB: Efforts to reduce wildfire risk fall short, buck science

July 16, 2018

Why California's Best Strategy Against Wildfire is Hardly Ever Used

Read the report or listen to the broadcast on KQED


July 11, 2018

Prescribed Fire Policy Barriers and Opportunities--A Diversity of Challenges and Strategies Across the West

A new report from University of Oregon and Colorado State University


July 6, 2018

Lions Fire--Coming to terms with fire, smoke, and cultural change in California fire policy:

Read Craig Thomas' Op-Ed in the Mammoth Times


June 16, 2018

Living with Fire: Read the Op-Ed in Fresno Bee


June 12, 2018

Read the latest Sierra Voice newsletter


May 10, 2018

Governor Brown announces executive order to save our forests; budget increases for forest protection and prescribed fire; and release of long-awaited California Forest Carbon Plan. Read more...


April 23, 2018

Read the SFL coalition letter in support of Recommended Wilderness Areas and Backcountry Management Areas for the Sequoia and SIerra National Forests


April 20, 2018

Take Action: Ask Congress to oppose the radical and unnecessary forest provisions inserted into 2018 Farm Bill


February 16, 2018

U.S. Forest Service releases Draft Conservation Strategy for California Spotted Owl

Comments due by March 16, 2018


February 7, 2018

Support Wild and Scenic River Designation for the Mokelumne River: Take Action Now


December 11, 2017

High Country News: What fire researchers learned from Northern California blazes


November 1, 2017

Prescribed Burning Begins in the Caples Creek Ecological Restoration Project area


August 9, 2017

Read support letters for the Giant Sequoia National Monument from our coalition and Senators Feinstein and Harris; California Attorney General Becerra, and others


Rally for the Giant Sequoia National Monument! August 22, 2017

Details here.


July 21, 2017

Preview is available for some elements of the new forest plan for the Inyo National Forest, including Species of Conservation Concern and Wild and Scenic Rivers.


June 9, 2017

Action Alert: Tell the White House not to eliminate our public land agencies

Comments due by 11:59 pm EST, June 12


May 22, 2017

Forest Planning: Read SFL's coalition letter today to Inyo National Forest


Forest Service releases timelines for the forest plan revision process for the Eldorado and Stanislaus National Forests


May 8, 2017

Wildfire Awareness Week

Listen in at 9 AM today on Insight at Capitol Public Radio: Interview with CALFIRE Director Ken Pimlott; Rob Griffith, U.S. Forest Service; and Craig Thomas, Sierra Forest Legacy

Click here for more information


April 27, 2017

From Water Deeply:

100 Million Dead Trees: A Danger That Persists Long After the Drought


March 28, 2017

SFL and CSERC file lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service for allowing livestock to pollute streams and damage mountain meadows

Read more here.


January 20, 2017

California Forest Climate Action Team releases draft Forest Carbon Plan


November 28, 2016

New study shows humans, since 1600, have had more impact on fire behavior than climate

(Click here to read the paper that this news story is based on).


October 19, 2016

SFL and coalition partners file lawsuit over Federal denial of endangered species protection for Pacific fishers


September 8, 2016

PSW scientists have released the latest California spotted owl assessment. Read more here, and download the (draft) new GTR, California Spotted Owl: Current State of Knowledge


August 25, 2016

Read our coalition comments on the Draft EIS and Draft Forest Plan Revisions for the Sequoia, Sierra, and Inyo National Forests


July 26, 2016

In Memorium: Jack Ward Thomas, 1934 - 2016


June 21, 2016

Forest Plan Revisions: New tools for activists


June 13, 2016

SFL and groups challenge US FWS decision to deny Endangered Species Protection for Pacific fisher


May 19, 2016

Forest Service releases draft forest plan revisions and draft EIS for the Inyo, Sequoia, and Sierra National Forests

Go to Forest Plan revision page


May 10, 2016

Craig Thomas talks about fire and fire ecology with Alan Stahler on "Soundings," KVMR radio in Nevada City

Listen to the MP3 here.


May 4, 2016

Wildfire Awareness Week: Interview with Craig Thomas and Jim Branham on Capitol Radio

Read more here.


April 6, 2016

California's Forest Carbon Plan in development: read our comments on the "concept paper"

Learn more about climate change and California's forests here.


April 4, 2016

Read our comments on a proposal to grant SPI an exemption from the Endangered Species Act for Pacific fisher across 1.5 million acres

February 12, 2016

Interim Recommendations for Management for California Spotted Owl


February 3, 2016

Federal EPA Exceptional Events Rule: Read SFL's comments here.


February 2, 2016

Fire MOU Partnership


February 1, 2016

Read SFL and coalition comments on proposed Species of Conservation Concern, Wilderness Evaluation, and Wild and Scenic River Evaluation


January 11, 2016

Read our coalition's response to the Stanislaus National Forest proposal for activities and DEIS for the Rim Fire area


September 18, 2015

USFWS Issues 90-day Ruling on California Spotted Owl Listing Petition


September 17, 2015

Capital Public Radio: US Forest Service Prevents its Own Scientist from Talking About Study

More news from Vox

Go straight to the paper


August 19, 2015

Sierra Forest Legacy and Defenders of Wildlife file petition to list the California Spotted Owl under the Endangered Species Act


July 8, 2015

Aljazeera America: Fighting fire with fire may reduce risk of major wildfires during drought


June 22, 2015

Read our comments on the King Fire Draft Environmental Impact Statement

Read more about the King Fire here.


June 6, 2015

Forest Plan Revisions: New documents uploaded


May 22, 2015

King Fire Draft Environmental Impact Statement available

Comments accepted until June 22, 2015

Read more about the King Fire here.


May 1, 2015

Caples Creek Ecological Restoration Project:

Prescribed Burn Planned for Eldorado National Forest


April 13, 2015

Read our comments on the Rim Fire Reforestation proposal - Download here

Learn more about the Rim Fire here


April 6, 2015

Planning for Diversity

A Guide to National Forest Planning - Download here


New Ozone Rule: Need to preserve prescribed burning options

Comments due March 17, 2015


February 6, 2015

Final Planning Rule Directives announced


January 23, 2015

King Fire

Read SFL and coalition comments for the scoping phase of the King Fire EIS


January 21, 2015

Download and read the Southern Sierra Fisher Conservation Assessment  here.


Upcoming Conference on Fire: December 2-3, 2014 Details here.


October 23, 2014

Resolution of the Framework lawsuit: Settlement Agreement for Sierra Framework Lawsuit Signed


October 6, 2014

Fisher is proposed for listing as threatened species under the Endangered Species Act

Read more about fisher here at the Fish and Wildlife Service website, and here on our website.


September 29, 2014

Read Sierra Forest Legacy coalition's scoping comments on the forest plan revisions


August 29, 2014

It's here:

Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement

Forest plan revisions for the Inyo, Sequoia, and Sierra National Forests

More details here.


August 28, 2014

Record of Decision for Rim Fire Logging released


June 30, 2014

Forest Plan Revisions: Read our comments on the revised and supplemental Need for Change document


June 27, 2013

Read our scoping comments on the Power Fire Reforestation DEIS


June 16, 2014

Rim Fire Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement -- Read our comments here


May 28, 2014

Read our comments on the Aspen Fire Salvage Logging and Reforestation EA


April 29, 2014

Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Final Rule: Endangered Species Status for Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog


Threatened Species Status for Yosemite Toad


March 26, 2013

California Spotted Owl in Peril


December 30, 2013

Forest Plan Revisions:

Final Forest Assessments completed for Inyo, Sequoia, and Sierra National Forests

Forest Service releases "Preliminary Need for Change" statement, and public meetings are scheduled


December 6, 2013

Stanislaus National Forest issues Notice of Intent to salvage log 29,648 acres within the Rim Fire


November 22, 2013

Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Final Forest Plan and EIS is now available -- objections may be filed until January 21, 2014


November 18, 2013

Inyo National Forest Forest Assessment now available for public review

Comments due December 16, 2013


Read our coalition's comments on latest Forest Service assessments:

Bald Mountain Project--Dinkey Collaborative

Sierra National Forest Forest Assessment

Sequoia National Forest Forest Assessment


September 29, 2013

Boulder Burn prescribed burn in Sequoia National

Learn more here


August 5, 2013

Modesto Bee: Amphibian proposal also helps people


June 15, 2013

Read Sierra Forest Legacy comments on the Forest Service's draft Sierra Nevada Bioregional Assessment

Updates on forest plan revisions in the SN


April 25, 2013

In danger of extinction: FWS proposes endangered species status for Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog

Threatened status for Yosemite Toad


April 12, 2013

Sierra National Forest begins forest plan revision process


January 15, 2013

Science Synthesis from PSW:

Science Synthesis to Support Land and Resource Management Plan Revision in the Sierra Nevada and Southern Cascades


October 4, 2012

From the Institute for Bird Populations and Partners in Flight:

A Conservation Strategy for the Black-backed Woodpecker in California

Read more about the black-backed woodpecker, here.


September 4, 2012

Giant Sequoia Monument Management Plan final EIS and ROD released


August 29, 2012

LTBMU Draft LRMP and DEIS -- Read Sierra Forest Legacy's comments


August 25, 2012

Sierra Forest Legacy introduces a Conservation Strategy for the Sierra Nevada


July 30, 2012

Status of 145 bird species in the Sierra Nevada National Parks Network


June 4, 2012

MIS lawsuit settlement: Science panel to review Forest Service's choice of management indicator species


Biodiversity of the Sierra Nevada...Learn More Here


Climate Change and Sierra Nevada Forests

Get the facts here.


Return to top

“The days have ended when the forest may be viewed only as trees and trees viewed only as timber. The soil and the water, the grasses and the shrubs, the fish and the wildlife, and the beauty of the forest must become integral parts of the resource manager's thinking and actions.”
-Senator Hubert Humphrey, 1976

Quick Links:

Forest Plan Revisions

Join the Fire MOU Partnership


A Conservation Strategy

Conservation in the Sierra Nevada: Issues and Recommendations

In preparation for a new cycle of forest planning on national forests in the Sierra Nevada, Sierra Forest Legacy and our conservation partners have developed a conservation strategy designed to set a new standard for conservation planning in the region, one that meets the challenges of the critical issues of our time.

Download the whole Conservation Strategy The resulting document, National Forests in the Sierra Nevada: A Conservation Strategy, was released in 2012. It contains detailed information and recommendations on a variety of topic areas relative to conservation in the forests of the Sierra Nevada. Click on any of the topic areas below to go directly to the chapter pages. We've also created a home page hub for the Strategy, linking associated documents and other resources.

Download the documents from the Conservation Strategy homepage.

Download the whole document (2 MB)

Decision Support Maps and Recommendations for Conserving Rare Carnivores in the Interior Mountains of California (6 MB PDF)

Conservation of Freshwater Ecosystems on Sierra Nevada National Forests -- Policy Analysis and Recommendations for the Future (13.97 MB PDF)

SNEP Plus 15 Years: Ecological and Conservation Science for Freshwater Resource Protection and Federal Land Management in the Sierra Nevada (576 KB PDF)


Managing Sierra Nevada Forests

New Technical Report (PSW-GTR-237)


Managing Sierra Nevada Forests

Since its publication in 2009, and with widespread acceptance throughout the region, GTR-220--An Ecosystem Management Strategy for Sierran Mixed-Conifer Forests—has revolutionized national forest management in the Sierra Nevada. This new report, edited by PSW research ecologist Malcolm North, provides a collection of papers relevant to implementation of the GTR over the last two years, and provides additional scientific information for several key Sierran wildlife species, including the California spotted owl, American marten, and Pacific fisher. The report also provides new tools for project level planning to aid in successful implementation, and additional clarification of the principles of the new approach. With chapters on fire and fuels reduction, bark beetles, climate change, collaboration, case studies where the GTR has been implemented--and an appendix of photographs of forest structure illustrating wildlife habitat--the publication is certain to be a valuable tool that will help to increase forest heterogeneity and resilience in the Sierra Nevada.

Download the report here (8 MB PDF). You may also order a hard copy of the report from the Forest Service, details at this website.

North, Malcolm, ed. 2012. Managing Sierra Nevada Forests. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-237. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. 184 p.


An Ecosystem Management Strategy for Sierran Mixed-Conifer Forests (PSW-GTR-220)

A new report from Pacific Southwest Research Station (with addendum, February, 2010)

An Ecosystem Strategy for Sierran Mixed-Conifer Forests We applaud this new technical report from the Forest Service Sierra Nevada Research Center, Pacific Southwest Research Station. Authors Malcolm North, Peter Stine, Kevin O'Hara, William Zielinkski, and Scott Stephens present a clearly articulated restoration strategy for the mixed-conifer forests of the Sierra Nevada, based on synthesis of an important large body of recent research from a variety of scientific disciplines, including forest ecology, silviculture, wildlife biology, and fire science. This new platform for refining ecological restoration in the Sierra Nevada is precisely what is needed at this juncture.

The ecosystem management strategy presented represents an enlightened approach to managing Sierra Nevada ecosystems that is firmly rooted in core ecological principles.

Emphasis goals of the strategy include increasing heterogeneity at multiple scales, greater use of fire for multiple benefits, increasing connectivity (reducing fragmentation), and facilitating greater resiliency of forest landscapes to withstand climate impacts and other changes. The suggestions for thinning would move the agency away from reliance on outmoded and uniform silvicultural prescriptions, and would result in more diverse configurations of cohorts of trees in clumped spacing and retention of multi-aged stands. Guided by ecological thinking, the researchers suggest a management approach that mimics natural processes.

If implemented across the mixed-conifer forests of the Sierra Nevada, the strategy should result in preservation and restoration of vital wildlife habitat for species like the imperiled Pacific fisher and California spotted owl, and the many associated plants and animals that require complex, old forest habitats. This ecological approach would also ensure the continuity of the entire succession of diverse plant communities and wildlife in Sierran forest landscapes.

Sierran mixed conifer forests today are highly disturbed and fragmented from overly aggressive fire suppression practices and forest management policies. The result has been an entrainment towards homogenous landscapes and loss of biodiversity. New, evolving fire policies and thoughtful ecosystem approaches to management are currently being debated and largely embraced by the conservation community. Increasing the level of ecology-focused scientific research that can inform management is a key goal for Sierra Forest Legacy and our partner groups.

The authors include a list of research and monitoring needs to further refine the strategy specific to Sierra Nevada forests. The report is a welcome breath of fresh air in the haze of ideological wrangling obscuring the urgency of reaching sustainable management goals for Sierra Nevada forest ecosystems.

Download the GTR here (2nd printing February 2010, with addendum, 1.40 MB PDF). You may also order a hard copy of the report from the Forest Service, details at this website.

North, Malcolm; Peter Stine, Kevin O'Hara, William Zielinski, and Scott Stephens. 2009. An Ecosystem Management Strategy for Sierran Mixed-Conifer Forests. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-220. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. 49 p.


"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it does otherwise."
~Aldo Leopold