Lassen Volcanic's mountains, lakes, streams, and meadows are all parts of a watershed or an area of land that is connected by the water that flows over it. Rain and melted snow travel downward within a watershed until it is captured, absorbed, or empties into the sea.
Working Together for Watershed Health
Lassen Volcanic is one of numerous organizations that are working together to improve watershed health and resilience. The quantity and quality of water from Sierra Nevada headwaters is threatened by overcrowded forests, degraded meadows, and a changing climate. Less crowded forests consume less and allow a deeper snowpack to develop. Unhealthy forests can result in increased flooding and landslides as well as a reduction in water quality and reservoir capacity.
Sierra Nevada Conservancy works though the Sierra Nevada Watershed Improvement Program (WIP), an initiative that takes a holistic approach to watershed and community resilience, to address some of the most pressing issues facing California.
Snowpack: Water When We Need it Most
Snowpack from the Sierra Nevada and Cascade ranges provide more than one-third of California's water. Snow, ice, and ground springs slowly release water that replenishes rivers, reservoirs, and aquifers in dry summer months.
Create Your Own Watershed
Lassen's high-tech, hands-on augmented reality (AR) sandbox lets you mold miniature mountains, lakes, and rivers and then add virtual rain showing runoff and watershed on the landscape you created. As you play with the sand, a projector adds a dynamic topographic map on top of it all, updating contour lines and elevation colors in real-time. You can even change the landscape during or after rainfall and see how different features affect the flow of water. The AR Sandbox is located in the park's year-round Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center and is open for play during regular business hours. View a video of the sandbox in action below or on YouTube.
Last updated: February 4, 2023