Prioritizing and Restoring Sierra Meadows

Prioritizing and Restoring Sierra Meadows

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Project Goal:

Restore 30,000 meadow acres in the Sierra Nevada by 2030.

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Project Stages



Post-Restoration Monitoring

Estimated Completion Date:

Project Funders

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
California Department of Fish and Wildlife
US Forest Service (in-kind), Kern Community Foundation
Kern River Flyfishers (in-kind)
University of Nevada, Reno (in-kind)
University of California, Merced (in-kind)
California Landscape Conservation Partnership

Fish Affected:

Project Description

Sierra Nevada headwaters provide roughly 60% of California’s domestic water supplies, are home to the majority of California’s inland native trout species and are critical to supporting local and downstream economic livelihoods. However, Sierra Nevada headwater areas are also one of the most degraded regions throughout this vast landscape, threatening California’s way of life and precious biodiversity. California’s future and well-being depends on healthy headwaters, particularly given uncertainty associated with a changing climate.

Sierra meadows add resiliency to the hydrologic and ecological processes that sustain the headwaters of major California water sources. Horse Meadow was the top choice among 76 Sierra meadows originally screened, and 10 meadows subsequently selected as having high restoration potential in Sequoia National Forest. Horse Meadow restoration, funded by Kern Community Foundation and CDFW, will improve habitat for Kern River Rainbow Trout in the Kern River watershed. A restoration design for Horse Meadow was advanced to 65% by Plumas Corp and surveys completed for future NEPA work in 2020. Successful restoration will restore a more natural hydrology, remove incision, and prevent cattle from degrading the banks. Horse Meadow was also the designated site to pilot the SM-WRAMP protocols in 2020, leading to the completion of the protocols and associated guidance document in 2021. These protocols will be used throughout the Sierra to standardize monitoring, data acquisition, and reporting on meadows.

Project Partners:

California Tahoe Conservancy
Trust for Public Lands
Sierra Foothills Conservancy
US Fish & Wildlife Service
National Fish & Wildlife Foundation
Occidental Arts and Ecology Center
Feather River Land Trust
Point Blue Conservation
Sierra Fund
South Yuba River Citizens League
CA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife
US Forest Service
Stillwater Sciences
Institute for Bird Populations
University of Nevada, Reno
UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences
UC Merced
American Rivers
Plumas Corps
Truckee River Watershed Council
Trout Unlimited
The Nature Conservancy
Todd Sloat Biological Consulting
Sabra Purdy Consulting
National Forest Foundation