The Truckee River Watershed Council (TRWC) partnered with the Trust for Public Land (TPL) and the U.S. Forest Service Tahoe National Forest (TNF) to restore Sardine Meadow, a 900-acre meadow located in the Davies Creek watershed. Extensive historical disturbance resulted from road and railroad construction for logging and milling operations. More recent ranching activity and road maintenance have caused the channels to degrade, and they continue to incise and widen, dewatering the adjacent meadow. After developing restoration approaches with the TNF, TRWC contracted with Balance Hydrologics (Balance) to conduct field investigations, analysis, and to provide restoration design and field oversight services. The final design concept is for both inset floodplain and wet meadow establishment, as well as “Stage Zero” restoration, wherein channels are backfilled to approximate the pre-disturbance form, which re-established diffuse flow over meadow surfaces.
During the design phase, Balance carried out reconnaissance-level field activities, geomorphic mapping, and analysis of high-resolution topographic data and historical aerial photography for development of anticipated construction quantities and costs. Balance is currently contracted to assist TRWC with obtaining project permits, final design, assistance during the contractor bidding process, and assistance during implementation. Construction is scheduled for summer 2020.