We’re on it!
By Kincade Stirek, Conservation Assistant
The first four miles of The Truckee River—which flows from Tahoe City to Bear Creek— draws rafters, kayakers, swimmers, anglers and more to it’s gentle waters. But because there are no formal access points, people have been entering the water at all points, all up and down the banks. And doing it for decades.
This ongoing ingress/egress, of course, has resulted in serious stream bank erosion, loss of habitat, vegetation die-off—even safety concerns. Once thriving stream banks have been literally hollowed out, accelerating massive erosion and altering the flow of the river. All of which is exactly the kind of challenge the Truckee River Watershed Council thrives on. And they’re on it.
The First 4 Mile (F4M) project, lead by Lisa Wallace, is designed to stop erosion and excess sedimentation through stream bank stabilization and habitat restoration. Plans to enhance approximately 1,200 lineal feet of floodplain and stream bank include installing natural barricades like boulders, dense vegetation, vegetation with prickles (roses), log jetties and interpretive signage.
In addition to enhancing and protecting the river bank and its access points, the F4M Project will restore habitats for native species, both aquatic and terrestrial, and control and prevent invasive species. The work will also lead to improvements in water quality up and down this threatened stretch of The Truckee.
Once completed, F4M will:
• Restore an acre of meadow and riparian habitat right along The Truckee’s banks
• Re–establish habitats for native fish like speckled dace & paiute sculpin
• Provide four environmentally–compatible staging areas for recreational users
• Stabilize 1,200’ of stream bank with logs, root wads, and boulders
• Re–establish 3,000 square–feet of meadow plants
• Place directional and interpretive signage at each new access
• Improve water quality in the Truckee River by reducing erosion and sedimentation
We already have the design (and it’s gorgeous!), and the permits, and a contractor and even a strong partner: the Tahoe City Public Utility District (TCPUD.) What we need now is a bit more funding.
Keep an eye on the First 4 Mile progress bar on our website to track the project’s development. And see where your contribution can dramatically impact the outcome.
First 4 Mile Project Progress Bar
The Watershed Council leads this exciting effort in partnership with Tahoe City Public Utility District (TCPUD), U.S. Forest Service, Caltrans, Big Chief Corridor, Truckee River Access Project, Truckee River Trail Stabilization Project, Truckee River Restoration and Access Project.
Additional funding comes from Truckee River Watershed Council—which includes donations from Truckee residents, vacation homeowners, outdoor enthusiasts and people like you. Various grants from the California Resources Agency, The Martis Fund,
The Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation and The Truckee River Fund also contributed to this project.
To play your part in enhancing our riverbanks for habitation, vegetation and recreation, call Brenda at 530.550.8760 #5. Or give to F4M on–line at
You’ll love the F4M results. And love knowing you ‘we‘re on it’.