The Willits Watershed project is located in Mendocino County in the Davis Creek Watershed, which is part of the Eel River basin (see map). In 2017, portions of the Willits Watershed were catastrophically burned in the Mendocino Complex fires. The NCRC&DC Conservation Team has received funding from the Goodman Family Foundation, the Strong Foundation for Environnmental Values, the George & Ruth Bradford Foundation, and others to fund restoration work in the oak woodland areas of the watershed. The target areas for the NCRC&DC restoration work is the upland and riparian areas in the Davis Creek watershed that serves as the water supply for the City of Willits.
We are working to rehabilitate the burned riparian and oak woodland areas with native plants suitable to the specific ecosystem. The project now underway encourages use of volunteers from residents in the Willits area in the replanting work to create greater linkage of the watershed to its people. In addition, multi-generational family participation again targeting local youth in the project will be fundamental. One goal of the project is ecological habitat restoration, and another goal is to create ongoing environmental protection support for a sensitive watershed with drinking water reservoirs. An additional goal is to participate in the healing of a community struggling to recover from the recent fires by strengthening the connection to place through taking action to help a damaged watershed.
We are currently seeking community volunteers to help us form a Plant Protection Squad to assist in protecting seedlings and new plantings from the native herbivores (mostly deer) in the area. Please see the Plant Protection Squad flyer for more information, and contact us at:
:Alina Nuebel, conservationist