Aspen and cottonwoods changing colors in the North and Middle Yuba watersheds.
On September 7th and 8th, over 30 aspen experts from all over the country and those involved in aspen restoration in this region came to San Francisco State’s Sierra Nevada Field Campus in the North Yuba to attend the 2023 Central Sierra Western Slope Aspen Workshop, coordinated by the South Yuba River Citizens League and the Forest Service. The event was sponsored by Yuba Water Agency.
Here on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada, quaking aspen exists as a minor element of the forest in terms of acreage, making up only 1% of the forest and within the Yuba River watershed, aspen trees are mostly found within the headwaters. However, aspen trees provide an outsized role in terms of landscape resilience, biodiversity, and human enrichment. By looking to the aspen stands in the Yuba River watershed and where they are present, we can learn more about our home watershed’s natural history.
It was a crisp Saturday morning on October 9th, seven SYRCL volunteers showed up to the high country of Loney Meadow, which sits at 6,000 feet in elevation, to help SYRCL scientists in protecting critical aspen stands. Loney Meadow is home to one of SYRCL’s meadow restoration projects that helps to restore habitat for many birds, shrubs, meadow vegetation, and wildlife in addition to the aspen stands themselves.