Crystal Basin

Eldorado National Forest


Located north of Highway 50 in the Eldorado National Forest, the Crystal Basin is one of few landscapes within the region that has been unaffected by high-severity wildfire in recent decades.

Adjacent to the footprints of 7 recent fires, this region is currently at risk for large, high-severity wildfires that jeopardize the forest’s resilience and ability to provide key benefits to nearby communities. Alongside the Healthy Eldorado Landscape Partnership, Blue Forest is exploring a 2,051 acre pilot FRB for the newly permitted Reservoir Project’s Phase 1 of implementation. The full Reservoir Project, with a project footprint of 16,649 acres, will support critical forest restoration activities and reduce fire risk in the Crystal Basin. Blue Forest recognizes that the Crystal Basin makes up the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary homelands of the Miwok, Nisenan, and Washoe People who have stewarded these lands since time immemorial. Our partners, including the Great Basin Institute, are developing relationships with Native Nations to meaningfully partner on project implementation.

The Crystal Basin is an important location for recreation, timber, water, and power generation that provides for hundreds of thousands of users in the Sacramento, El Dorado foothills, and South Lake Tahoe areas. The Reservoir project includes fuels reduction treatments, meadow enhancement, fuel break maintenance, and watershed restoration. These treatments are expected to reduce fire risk in the Crystal Basin and surrounding areas, protect water and energy sources for downstream communities, enhance landscape resilience, and support habitat for the diverse plants and animal species of the Sierra Nevada.

Anticipated Reservoir Project outcomes

  • 74 %

    74 %

    projected reduction in high intensity catastrophic wildfire

  • 12


    threatened, endangered, and sensitive species protected

  • 144


    jobs created or sustained


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