Loney Meadow Restoration Project

Located in the Tahoe National Forest near Grouse Ridge, Loney Meadow is a beautiful meadow that supports a diverse and fragile ecosystem. SYRCL began working at Loney Meadow with the Tahoe National Forest in 2011 to assess meadow conditions, restore aspen habitat, improve the interpretive trail, improve stream habitat, and monitor greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration.

Loney Meadow is located in the Grouse Ridge and is part of a larger meadow complex that drains into the Canyon Creek sub-watershed.

Road building, fire suppression, and historic grazing and logging activities have impacted many meadows in the Sierra Nevada. In Loney Meadow, these activities have resulted in a partially incised stream channel, destabilized stream banks, an instream habitat that lacks complexity, compromised wetland vegetation communities, and encroachment by disturbance tolerant non-native species. The greatest current threat to the meadow is continued incision of Texas Creek, which lowers the water table and disconnects the channel from its historic floodplain. Smaller threats are gully erosion at an abandoned roadbed and encroachment of conifers. 

In September and October of 2017, the Tahoe National Forest and SYRCL restored stream and wetland habitat across the 50-acre meadow. 

The main goals of the restoration project include:

(1) improve plant and wildlife habitat
(2) recharge groundwater
(3) reduce stream erosion
(4) increase carbon sequestration

SYRCL and project partners have been conducting baseline monitoring at Loney Meadow since 2014 to understand whether the restoration project addresses the project goals.

This project is being completed in partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Sierra Nevada Conservancy, National Forest Foundation, the US Forest Service, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Earthwatch, SYRCL, and the Nevada County RAC Grant Program, Nevada County, and UC Davis.

For more information, please contact:
Luke Rutton, Hydrologist, Tahoe National Forest: lrutten@fs.fed.us