Meadow Restoration

Mountain meadows occur in relatively flat areas where sediment and water accumulates. Meadows habitats are highly diverse, sequester carbon, and often provide habitat for sensitive or threatened species. Meadows store and filter water, releasing cool water slowly into the summer months when California needs it the most. However, most meadows in the Sierra Nevada have been degraded by past human land use activities. Meadows that have degraded due to issues like grazing, climate change, lack of fire, timber harvesting, road and trail building are more susceptible to channel erosion and a lowered groundwater table. Because meadows are of both hydrological and ecological importance, SYRCL has taken on the task of assessing and restoring meadows in the Yuba watershed.

SYRCL works to restore nearly 1000 acres of meadows in the Yuba River watershed including: Loney Meadow, Deer Meadow, Bear Trap Meadow and Van Norden. Over the last decade, SYRCL has worked to understand and improve the Yuba watershed meadow ecosystems through meadow assessments, restoration of aspen habitat, restoration of stream and wetland habitat, and to monitor the success of our projects.

Upper Loney Meadow with aspen trees on the edge

Learn More and Volunteer!

SYRCL receives support for our Yuba Headwaters Meadow Restoration Program from the following:

  • California Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Earthwatch
  • Sierra Nevada Conservancy
  • Tahoe National Forest
  • The National Forest Foundation
  • The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
  • California Department of Water Resources through The Cosumnes, American, Bear, Yuba Integrated Regional Water Management Project (CABY)
  • Nevada County RAC


SYRCL is pleased to be working with many partners on our meadow restoration work, including The Tahoe National Forest, Nevada County, Sierra County, UC Davis, UC Merced, University of Nevada Reno, Stillwater Sciences, Cal Trout, Sierra Meadows Partnership, Balance Hydrologics, Truckee Donner Land Trust, California Heritage: Indigenous Research Project (CHIRP), CABY, Gateway Mountain Center, Point Blue Conservation Science, Sonoma State, Plumas Corps, and Stantec.

Thank you to all of our partners, funders, and the volunteers who help make this program a success!