Healthy Headwaters

Headwaters forests provide over 60% of the American West’s water supply and they are in grave danger.

Catastrophic wildfires, a changing climate and past management decisions have hurt the forests’ ability to provide clean water to millions of people.

Today leaders around the region are pioneering innovative ways to build resilience back into our forests through watershed restoration and source water protection. More resilient forests give us a more resilient water supply.

Carpe Diem West leads the Healthy Headwaters Alliance, a coalition of water utility managers, conservationists, public agency staff, scientists, community advocates and businesses.

Together, we guide and connect successful efforts around the region to multiply their impact and tell the stories of successful source water protection efforts and spreading these innovative approaches.

Join the Healthy Headwaters Alliance

Leadership Team

Mike Anderson

Senior Resources Analyst - The Wilderness Society

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Sarah Bates

Deputy Regional Director and Senior Director, Western Water - National Wildlife Federation

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Laura Briefer

Director - Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities

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Christopher Carlson

Assistant Director for Water and Aquatic Resources, USDA Forest Service

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Kim Carr

Director, California Programs - National Forest Foundation

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David Edelson

Sierra Nevada Project Director - The Nature Conservancy

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Charlie Ester

Manager of Water Resource Operations - Salt River Project

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Todd Gartner

Senior Associate, Natural Infrastructure & Water, World Resources Institute

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Sterling Grogan

Senior Advisor & Ecologist - Carpe Diem West

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Rob Harper

National Director for Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Air, Rare Plants, and Subsistence in Alaska - US Forest Service

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Holly Hartmann

Climate Scientist

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Cathy Kellon

Green Infrastructure Program Director - The Geos Institute

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Karen Knudsen

Executive Director, Clark Fork Coalition

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Dale Lyons

Senior Planning Consultant - Souder, Miller and Associates

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Mike McHugh

Environmental Permitting Coordinator - Aurora Water

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Mary Mitsos

President - National Forest Foundation

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Karl Morgenstern

Environmental Supervisor, Watershed Protection and Property Management - Eugene Water & Electric Board

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Marian Rice

Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities

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Ann Schwend

Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation 

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Jennifer Sokolove

Director of Programs and Strategy - The Water Foundation

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John Shepard

Senior Director of Programs - Sonoran Institute

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Steve Whitney

Senior Program Officer - The Bullitt Foundation

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Rebecca Wolfe

Public Lands Team - Sierra Club

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Anne Zimmermann

US Forest Service, Ret.

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We are developing a new understanding of where water comes from - not from the streams, but from the forest.

- Ron Lehr, President Denver Water Board (1993-1999)

Reports

Success Story! Salt Lake City, UT - Remembering Our Relationship with Our Watershed

Salt Lake City sprawls across the valley floor below the towering mountains of the Wasatch Front. In addition to a stunning backdrop and world-class recreation, the 11,000-feet-high peaks provide clean, reliable water supplies to growing population of more than a half million people. This water comes almost entirely from melting snow—a virtual reservoir high in the mountains. Unfortunately, that reservoir is vulnerable to the impacts of a warming climate, which means more precipitation falling as rain in the winter, less reliable snowpack, and earlier, more rapid runoff in the spring. These changes could cause the city to face serious shortages and water quality problems in late summer and fall. June, 2014

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Healthy Headwaters Eighth Leadership Convening Summary - Salt Lake City, UT

At its eighth convening held in December 2013, the Healthy Headwaters Leadership Team and invited guests developed the Watershed Investment Network initiative, a resource to assist western communities in securing the funding and policies necessary to allow for large-scale restoration investments in at-risk watersheds.

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Watershed Investment Network - Assessment to Action

The Watershed Investment Network initiative is developing the resources to assist western communities in securing the funding and policies necessary to allow for large-scale restoration investments in at-risk watersheds. Fall 2013

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Healthy Headwaters Seventh Leadership Convening Summary - Sacramento, CA

This convening held May 16, 2013 in Sacramento focused on the evolving policy scaffolding for investment in green infrastructure, headwaters protection and downstream water security, and the innovations needed to better support these efforts.

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Healthy Headwaters Sixth Leadership Convening Summary - Portland, OR

Carpe Diem West's Sixth convening was held November, 2012. This summary focuses on the emerging political landscape for opportunities for investment in green infrastructure, headwaters protection and downstream water security.

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Healthy Headwaters Alliance Policy Platform

The Policy Platform lays the foundation for the Healthy Headwaters Alliance’s support of community-level headwater protection work, both through the effective use of existing programs and the development of new programs and policies designed to promote healthy, resilient headwaters systems. May 2012

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Healthy Headwaters Fifth Leadership Convening Summary - Phoenix, AZ

Carpe Diem West’s Healthy fifth convening was held on On April 27, 2012.  An invited leadership group from this stakeholder network addressed crucial emerging issues in creating resilient watersheds and water security in the American West in a time of climate change.

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Testimony Before the United States Congress

Carpe Diem West submitted testimony to call the Congress’s attention to vital headwaters and watershed protection and restoration work that communities around the West are undertaking in partnership with federal agencies in order to protect their water supplies, and to emphasize the crucial role that continued federal investments play in supporting that work. February 2012

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