Beartrap Meadow

Beartrap Meadow is approximately 30 acres and is a relatively high gradient meadow (5%) located at 7000 ft elevation in the headwaters of Chapman Creek, a tributary to the upper reaches of the North Yuba River.

The meadow condition inventory conducted by American Rivers in 2012 rated Beartrap Meadow as fair to good. Lands within and adjacent to this meadow have been intensively managed since the late 1800’s. Past land uses include heavy sheep grazing, mining, and timber logging. Recent management has continued grazing and forest treatments, along with recreational use, but at a more sustainable level.

Beartrap Meadow pre-restoration
Beartrap Meadow post-restoration

Prior to restoration efforts, the northern hillslope of Beartrap Meadow had large areas of bare soils and concentrated surface flow paths that were supplying sediment and increased flows to the meadow. The channel in the upper portion of the meadow was down cut for over 700 feet in length. The instability of this channel was in large part due to a culvert concentrating flows along the upland north side of the meadow. There were several additional locations along the middle and lower portions of the meadow that also had culvert outlets directly connected to the meadow channel, causing localized instability, direct sediment input and increases in peak flows. The road drainage in this meadow was identified as a threat to meadow condition for several years prior to restoration implementation.

Restoration implementation at Beartrap Meadow focused on road improvements and revegetation. Specifically, drainage features (water bars and rolling dips) were installed on approximately 0.80 miles of road and a French drain was installed to improve drainage in a short section of the road where it bisected a wet hillside and the meadow. Additionally, we installed grade control structures in the channel with nearby material (wood, cobble, and rock).

For more information, please contact:

Alecia Weisman, River Science Program Manager
(530) 265-5961 ext. 224