by Lisa Wallace, Executive Director

Recently Beth Christman and I were touring proposed restoration sites in Johnson Canyon (Negro Canyon) with our consultant team.

While all the sites in the canyon are difficult to restore – the canyon is degraded from grazing, logging, I-80, wildfires, and intensive recreation – one site in particular was causing us a lot of conversation. Brows were furrowed. Silent pauses. We were thinking… thinking. Arguing our points. It was frustrating and yet kind of wonderful.

I had a tangential thought: “This is my idea of fun.” I can respect and enjoy the challenges of habitat restoration because I know the Truckee River Watershed Council is going the distance with this work. We will stick with it. And I know (in the most pragmatic sense) restoration and protection of the Truckee River watershed is going to be just one damn thing after another.

One of many eroding gullies, triggered from the old logging roads, that will be restored. Photo: Integrated Environmental Restoration Services.A typical restoration project has a 10-year life span to get from the problem being identified to designed to funded to implemented to monitored.

We have to love these problem sites — really embrace them, to get to the answer. In Johnson Canyon, it took another two weeks of reviewing, thinking, discussing, pausing, and brow furrowing, but we have the solution. We will use a combination of stabilizing some parts of old road beds and removing other parts.

There are lots of problems of all sorts in this world and they need someone’s willingness to be solved. Restoration is the set of problems I find loveable and satisfying to solve.

And I am looking forward to sharing the solutions of Johnson Canyon with you over the next two years as we implement the restoration.