In the fall of 2008, the California State Parks (CSP) started the Riparian Hardwoods Restoration and Enhancement Project along the Upper Truckee River in Washoe Meadows State Park , in conjunction with similar work in other parks in the Tahoe Basin .
This project is funded by a grant that is administered by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
Aspen , alder, and willow stands have disappeared in the Tahoe Basin from land conversion, development, and lack of natural fire regime. The lack of frequent, low intensity fire has facilitated fir and lodgepole pine trees crowding out and the shading of aspen and riparian vegetation.
This project aims to restore and enhance aspen stands and other riparian vegetation by selectively removing invading conifer forests. In addition to releasing the aspen stands, this project will improve all riparian and wildlife habitat and reduce the amount of forest fuels.
At Washoe Meadows State Park , approximately seven acres of land was treated around riparian (streamside) zones.
All slash was chipped and removed from the treatment site. Firewood rounds were cut and will be removed once snow melts and accessibility to the site returns. If future funding becomes available, CSP will treat additional acres.
Restoration in Pictures
Here are photographs of the restoration project:
This is what the pre-project riparian zone stands looked like along the Upper Truckee in Washoe Meadows State Park . Note dense lodgepole pine stand.
Same photo as above after thinning lodgepole pine trees as par of the restoration project.
Another pre-thinning photos showing dense lodgepole pine.
Same photograph as above of the post project site with lodgepole thinned and area open for growth of willow.