Restoring Dry Creek Meadow in Russel Valley
Next to Dry Creek in Russel Valley, just north of the town of Truckee, lies a meadow that appeared beautiful, but was formerly disconnected from its floodplain.
Modern roads, historic logging and skid trails, construction of a railroad grade, utility lines, and undersized culverts had caused severe stream channel incision, and lack of overbank flow—degrading the meadow. Meadow habitat, an important refuge for willow flycatchers and other native species, had diminished in size and function. Erosion and sediment flowing into the creek had increased, degrading both water quality and habitat.
Reviving a floodplain
30 acres of mountain meadow and 700 ft of stream restored
By restoring streams to their natural channels, we reconnected the creek with its floodplain, elevating the water table, allowing wet meadow habitat to return.
Improving water quality and aquatic habitat
A functioning meadow filters water as it flows through, making the water downstream more fishable, drinkable, and swimmable.
Defending from drought, fire, and flood
A healthy meadow holds onto water longer, and meters it out over time, giving a more steady stream—preventing flooding and mitigating drought. This wetter meadow also hinders fast moving wildfires.
Location: 10 miles north of the town of Truckee in Russel Valley
Scale: 30 acres of meadow
Schedule: September 2019 – October 2019
Partners: U.S. Forest Service and others
Mailboxes and Dumpsters
The restoration project will not relocate the mailboxes or the dumpsters.
Regular access to the mailboxes and dumpsters will be maintained throughout the restoration.