How We Manage Our Watershed Lands
Most of the water delivered to our customers comes from rainfall runoff flowing to our reservoirs from Marin’s natural lands. We manage over 21,000 acres of land in District ownership, including 18,500 in the Mt. Tamalpais Watershed and 2,750 acres adjacent to the Nicasio and Soulajule reservoirs in west Marin. An additional 35,000 acres of privately owned watershed land drain into these two reservoirs.
The Mt. Tamalpais Watershed is one of Marin's most valuable natural resources, providing and protecting the major source of domestic water for our customers. Besides this primary purpose, the watershed is held in trust as a natural wildland of great biological diversity, as scenic open space and as an area for passive daytime recreation for Marin and much of the Bay. We believe that the best way to insure water quality is to keep the lands in a natural condition, which means limiting use by people to activities that have the least impact on the watershed. Within certain constraints, permitted activities include hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing and picnicking. Camping, swimming and boating are prohibited.
Maintaining natural values, managing visitors and involving the public in watershed stewardship are the central tasks of our rangers, natural resource specialists and maintenance staff assigned to watershed management. Their responsibilities include protecting resources, managing fire risks, assisting visitors, monitoring plants and animal populations, restoring natural habitats and maintaining access roads and trails.