Meadow Habitat Restoration

90% of Meadows in the Sierra Are Degraded

California’s inland native trout are especially vulnerable to degraded habitat conditions as they have limited ability to migrate away from poor conditions. Many of these species are native to high elevation, lower productivity ecosystems, where even minor levels of habitat degradation can have significant impact on the ecosystem’s capacity to support the species. Meadow systems are one of the most altered systems in the Sierra, and it has been estimated that as much as 90% are impacted and degraded.

Conservation Goal

  • Increase the efficacy of meadow restoration and management through improved scientific understanding, collaboration and targeted monitoring and evaluation.
  • Use these practices to restore meadow ecosystems necessary to recover populations of inland native trout.

Recent Accomplishments

  • Led a rapid assessment of meadows habitat conditions within the Golden Trout Wilderness in conjunction with Trout Unlimited, UNR and American Rivers. Included were 34 meadows totaling 7,500 acres.
  • Completed in-depth field habitat surveys of selected stream reaches in prioritized meadows. A total of 33 reaches across 15 priority meadows were surveyed in-depth.
  • Developed a prioritized list of meadow restoration needs for the Golden Trout Wilderness.
  • Designed and implemented a state-wide survey of meadow restoration projects.
  • Organized and convened a state-wide, two-day meadows workshop focused on improving meadow restoration practices and developing recommendations for meadows management relevant to USFS National Forest planning purposes.
  • Initiated development of a Sierra Nevada/Southern Cascade Conservation Strategy.

Key Partners: University of Nevada Reno, US Forest Service, Trout Unlimited, UC Davis

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