Restoration is the re-creation of something that was lost. Ecological restoration refers to “restoring degraded, damaged, or destroyed ecosystems and habitats in the environment by active human intervention and action.” The rich ecological diversity of the Yuba River watershed is at risk due to a variety of anthropogenic (human-caused) impacts, such as hydraulic and dispersed mining, dams, and development. These impacts have fragmented habitat for terrestrial and aquatic species, altered climatic conditions, and introduced pollutants and invasive species to the Yuba River watershed. While complete restoration is not always achievable, remediation or rehabilitation can restore critical components of lost ecological function and serve to enhance habitat conditions for important species today, while encouraging self-sustaining habitats going forward.
The Lower Yuba River has been dramatically altered by hydraulic mining sediments, dredger mining, dams, levees, and alteration of flows. SYRCL is leading the effort to rehabilitate the lower Yuba River for salmon, steelhead, riparian habitat, and wildlife. We are actively working to assess the current condition (geomorphic, hydraulic, riparian, etc.) of the Lower Yuba River and are using that information to develop and implement projects that provide direct benefits to the species and habitats that are emblematic of the Lower Yuba River.
Mountain meadows are wetland areas of extremely high value for natural water storage, water quality and wildlife habitat. Due to intensive grazing practices, fire suppression and hydrologic modifications, a majority of meadows throughout the Sierra Nevada are in some state of degradation. Restoring meadows is necessary from the standpoint of conserving and protecting the state’s water resources and as important habitat for sensitive native species.