CA LCC Project

Managing Sierra Nevada Meadows for Water Supply & Habitat Benefits

Project Information

Project Goal
The goal of this project is two-fold:
1) to increase the understanding of how meadow restoration impacts hydrology and 2) to inform management and investment decisions around using restoration as a tool to build resilience under climate change.

Objectives in support of this goal include:
- Complete data collection and analysis and publish peer-reviewed research article on the results of groundwater and surface water measurements before and after restoration in Indian Valley Meadow (Eldorado National Forest)
- Double the published scientific literature on the water supply benefits of meadow restoration and produce the first empirical study
- Estimate groundwater and base flow (late season groundwater derived flow) benefits as a result of restoration for 350 meadows (every meadow larger than 15 acres) in 8 watersheds: Mokelumne, Kern, Walker, Yuba, American, Truckee, Bear, and Carson watersheds
- Estimate the flow benefits and change in hydrograph (change in amount and timing of surface flows) that could occur in small headwaters streams as a result of restoration
- Identify the highest priority meadows for restoring natural, resilient hydrology and estimate the water supply benefits expected from each meadow
- Use results from and provide data to the US Department of the Interior Southwest Climate Science Center’s classification of long-term vegetation changes in Sierra meadows to identify climate-impacted meadows with restorable hydrology
- Increase support and investment for meadow restoration and preservation across the region
- Provide a published scientific foundation for the California Water Action Plan’s focus on meadows and climate resilience
- Attract water-focused investment from corporations and water and state agencies to enable the USFS meadow restoration targets to be met

Full Proposal Title: 
Protecting the Headwaters in a Changing Climate: Managing Sierra Nevada Meadows for Water Supply & Habitat Benefits
Project Lead: 
Luke Hunt,; Chuck Loffland,
Lead Organization:
Starting Date: 
Ending Date: 
Total LCC Funding: 
Total Matching or In-Kind Funds: 

Products of this project

Titlesort descending Deliverable Type Release Date Commons Catalog Record or External Link
Fact Sheet: Meadow Restoration and Clean Water, Indian Valley Publication : Article Sep 2016
Fact Sheet: Restoring Sierra Meadows Publication : Article Sep 2016
Meadow Restoration Training Training / Outreach / Workshop May 2016
Peer-reviewed Publication Publication Mar 2017
Prioritization report Report Mar 2017
Prioritized list of meadows Datasets / Database Mar 2017