National Forest Foundation

Landscape Restoration Strategy: Lake Tahoe West

Landscape Restoration Strategy: Lake Tahoe West

The Lake Tahoe West Landscape Restoration Strategy provides a collaborative framework to restore 60,000 acres of federal, state, local, and private lands on the west shore of Lake Tahoe. The Strategy was developed by the Lake Tahoe West Restoration Partnership, a collaborative effort to increase the resilience of the forests, watersheds, recreational opportunities, and communities across the landscape.



  • Lake Tahoe West Science Briefs: Summaries of Lake Tahoe West Science Team findings on vegetation dynamics, economics, wildlife, water quality, and other topics.
  • Rationale and Supporting Information: provides supporting information on how the Objectives and other elements of the Landscape Restoration Strategy were derived.
  • COMING SOON: Lake Tahoe West Science Team Report
Members of the Lake Tahoe West Restoration Partnership discuss management options for protected habitats of sensitive species. Photo by Forest Schafer.

About the Landscape Restoration Strategy

The Landscape Restoration Strategy provides a science-based framework to guide watershed and forest restoration approaches over the next two decades. The Strategy:

  • Provides an integrated framework for multi-benefit restoration, developed through a collaborative process with key partners and stakeholders.
  • Identifies restoration approaches grounded in robust science, necessary to achieve long-term social-ecological resilience.
  • Provides detailed guidance to managers to plan and implement restoration approaches to achieve a comprehensive set of goals and objectives for resilience.
  • Provides a framework to guide restoration for 20+ years into the future, even as conditions on the landscape change.
  • Supports current and future actions to protect communities from high-severity wildfire.
  • Establishes the need to fund comprehensive restoration of the Lake Tahoe West landscape.
Prescribed fire is used as a restoration tool on the Lake Tahoe West landscape. Photo by Todd Gilens.

The Strategy identifies six Goals for a resilient landscape. The Goals reflect long-term desired conditions for forests, fire, native species and ecological communities, water and watersheds, communities, and regional economies, as follows:

  • Goal 1. Forests recover from fire, drought, and insect and disease outbreaks.
  • Goal 2. Fires burn at primarily low to moderate severities and provide ecological benefits.
  • Goal 3. Terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems support native species.
  • Goal 4. Healthy creeks and floodplains provide clean water, complex habitat, and buffering from floods and droughts.
  • Goal 5. People live safely with fire and enjoy and steward the landscape.
  • Goal 6. Restoration is efficient, collaborative, and supports a strong economy.

The Lake Tahoe West Landscape Restoration Strategy calls for managers to substantially increase the pace and scale of restoration actions across the landscape compared to current efforts. Key recommendations include:

  • Work collaboratively with all land management agencies, Tribes, and stakeholders to develop and implement restoration projects that meet a wide range of objectives across land ownership boundaries.
  • Substantially increase forest thinning and prescribed fire across the landscape and land ownerships to reduce fire risk, improve resilience, and create forest conditions that would allow for a gradual increase in the use of naturally ignited wildfire where feasible and safe.
  • Actively manage forested habitat, including Protected Activity Centers, to reduce the risk of high-severity fire and conserve habitat quality for species like the California spotted owl and northern goshawk.
  • Restore meadow, riparian, aquatic, and aspen ecosystems to support native biodiversity, increase habitat connectivity, and provide refugia as the climate warms.
  • Restore streams and streamside habitat to benefit native species, increase the ability of watersheds to absorb flooding and withstand drought conditions, and protect water quality. Restore roads to reduce erosion and transport of sediments and nutrients to Lake Tahoe, including sediments potentially released from wildfires or restoration treatments.
  • Prioritize early detection and rapid response programs to manage and reduce invasive species.
  • Continue to build and invest in programs that protect communities from high severity fire, such as defensible space, home hardening and retrofit, community wildfire protection planning, evacuation planning, early warning systems, fire suppression capacity, and community water infrastructure.
  • Increase the use of smoke forecasting, interagency coordination, and public outreach to minimize smoke impacts from prescribed and natural wildfire. Increase public understanding of the benefits of prescribed fire for ecological values and wildfire risk reduction.
  • Enhance engagement with the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California in stewardship activities that foster tribal cultural resources and support tribal people.
  • Support and build resilience into the local economy and recreation industry.
California Conservation Corps member performing meadow restoration work on the nearby Tahoe National Forest. Photo by Anthony Cupaiuolo.