By Deidre Monroe, Intern

 

Nestled in the mountains and forest fifteen miles north of the Town of Truckee in the northern Sierra, the meadowland in Perazzo is arguably one of the most breathtaking stretches of the Truckee watershed.

The meadows are ranked by state and national agencies as some of most valuable habitat in the Sierra Nevada.

Photo by Beth Christman, Project Manager for Perazzo Meadows Restoration

However, the Little Truckee River, which flows through Perazzo Meadows, was modified in the late 1800s, degrading the meadow, and was worsened in the early 1900’s by logging, road construction, and dairy farming. The meadow streams were collected into one channel causing erosion and drying out vegetation.

Streams on their natural courses overtop their banks every year or two, inundating the meadow, watering vegetation, and filtering out sediment. But now it takes a 10-year storm event to overtop the eroded banks of the Little Truckee River through Perazzo Meadows. This also means water isn’t retained by the meadow soils in the summer and the stream gets too warm for many fish species to survive.

With our partners, the Truckee River Watershed Council (TRWC) identified problems in Perazzo Meadows in 2008 and completed the first and second phases of restoration in 2009 and 2010. Habitat recovery in these sites has been remarkable.

This summer, the TRWC and its project partners, the U.S. Forest Service and Truckee Donner Land Trust will complete the final restoration phase:

  • Restoring 50 acres of meadow
  • Improving habitats of native fish and wildlife species
  • Improving water quality
  • Expanding the floodplain

Learn more about the project here.

 

Thank you to the funders who are making this work possible – the donors of the Truckee River Watershed Council, Bella Vista Foundation, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and California Wildlife Conservation Board.

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