Loney Meadow, located on the Grouse Ridge, is part of a larger meadow complex that drains into the Canyon Creek sub-watershed. Loney Meadow is a beautiful meadow that supports a diverse and fragile ecosystem. SYRCL (South Yuba River Citizens League) 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.
In September and October of 2017, the Tahoe National Forest and SYRCL restored stream and wetland habitat across the 50-acre meadow.
In 2019, SYRCL and project partners continued post-project monitoring at Loney Meadow to compare to the baseline data collected since 2014 (prior to the restoration). The culmination of this project resulted in a comprehensive report that summarizes our findings on how our restoration efforts influenced the ecological function at Loney Meadow.
Specifically, restoration actions increased the meadow’s ability to store groundwater and sequester carbon, and we are now seeing delayed peak stream flows later into the spring. We also saw a response by the vegetation community in Loney Meadow, following restoration, with a shift towards more wetland-facultative species.
Our work continues at Loney Meadow through long term stewardship. It is one of our favorite meadows to continue to work at through our long-term Field Science Program, which includes a Youth Outdoor Leadership Opportunity for high school students from local areas, including underserved areas of Yuba City and Marysville.
In July of 2023, SYRCL was back up at Loney installing fencing. Fencing at Loney and Upper Loney Meadows is done to protect stream channels, plants, or equipment from cattle activity. For the metal groundwater wells, cows can sometimes see these wells as good back-scratch posts, unfortunately damaging the pipe in the process. By putting up fencing, SYRCL can protect our monitoring sites for groundwater monitoring while cattle use the meadow too.
SYRCL’s Loney Meadow Project Partners:
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Sierra Nevada Conservancy, National Forest Foundation, US Forest Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Earthwatch, Nevada County and the Nevada County RAC Grant Program, and UC Davis.
SYRCL continues to work in the headlands on various restoration projects to restore aspen and stream habitat, enhance carbon sequestration, aid in water storage, and provide refuge from catastrophic wildfires.
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