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Watershed ideas to flow at Placer County Water Agency forum in Auburn

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Placer County Water Agency is inviting the public into its world Thursday. The agency will be providing an in-depth look at the watershed, its health, its management and its future. Jim Branham, Sierra Nevada Conservancy executive director, will moderate the forum – which will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at The Ridge golf club in Auburn. Branham said that the forum will focus on the watershed but it’s a subject that overlaps into the areas that the conservancy is also concerned with and are key to the vitality of the Sierra Nevada area his agency covers. “For the past four years we’ve focused around healthy forests, fire safety, healthy watersheds and community vitality,” Branham said. “You can’t separate them out.” The watershed’s health and well-being also plays a role in maintaining clean air, recreation and tourism, he said. “For us at the end of the day, it comes back to helping keep this place healthy – both environmentally and economically,” Branham said. The forum is free to the public, with no registration required. Several groups and organizations – including Fire Safe Councils, the Sierra Business Council, Protect American River Canyons, Pacific Gas & Electric Co., Placer County and the Sierra Nevada Conservancy – will have displays and information booths. Marie Davis, a registered professional geologist working as a consultant on the forum, said the water agency was inspired to keep the momentum on watershed issues going after a Web symposium the Sierra Nevada Conservancy put on last October. Two panels of speakers will give attendees a detailed look at the watershed on public and private lands. The public lands speaker panel – Tahoe National Forest Supervisor Tom Quinn, Placer County senior management analyst Brett Story and American River Ranger District Ranger Chris Fischer – will discuss ecosystem management, fire risk reduction and adaptive management strategies. In the panel on private lands, four speakers – including Tim Feller of Sierra Pacific Industries, Auburn Fire Chief mark D’Ambrogi and Mike Brenner of the Natural Resource Conservation Service – will focus on stewardship and wildland urban interface issues. Gus Thomson can be reached at gust@goldcountrymedia.c