Expanding Meadow Restoration Across the Sierra Nevada

There are few places as majestic as a mountain meadow, and few landscapes that safeguard our rivers headwaters as well as a healthy meadow.  Over the last ten years, a series of meadow restoration demonstration projects in the Sierra have shown that large-scale meadow restoration can improve water supply, water quality, and habitat for fish and wildlife.  With assistance from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and others, American Rivers is taking this work to the next phase of implementation across the Sierra.

In order to make a landscape-level impact and efficiently learn from these restoration experiences, American Rivers is leading a diverse partnership of academic and agency scientists, land managers and restoration practitioners to come to agreement on four key dimensions of this future work:What meadows are out there, and how are they doing?

  1. Which ones are top-priority for restoration or protection?
  2. How should we restore or protect them?
  3. Did the restoration succeed, and how can we do better next time?

Specifically, we are promoting meadow restoration in the Sierra through: mapping meadows and assessing their health (question 1); developing and applying methods to prioritize meadows for restoration work (question 2); evaluating restoration methods and identifying a “toolbox” from past successes (question 3); and standardizing monitoring methods to assess restoration success and improve future projects (question 4).  This coordinated approach will insure that meadow restoration returns the best conservation value. 

The project is funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the Bella Vista Foundation.