The Sierra Cascade Foothills

The Sierra Cascade foothills are a unique California landscape, in terms of their climate, geology, watersheds, vegetation, and wildlife. The foothill region has over 20 major rivers and watersheds running through it, and reservoirs vital to the storage and delivery of water supplies, hydropower production, and flood protection. The water resources of the foothill region are not only key elements of the local ecosystems, but critical to functions in the Central Valley, the Bay Area, and throughout the state. Habitats of the Sierra foothill ecosystems provide a home for more than 400 vertebrate species, an uncounted numbers of invertebrates, and hundreds of plan species—some of these are unique to this region. While over 80% of the biodiversity of the entire “Range of Light” is found in the foothills, very little of this region is under public ownership or protected status. Development and growth pressures are intense and the threats of future land conversion are high.

Topping Ranch, Sierra Foothill Conservancy. Photo by Thelma Valdez.