As California continues to shift to a warmer and more frequently burned landscape, functional watersheds will become critical to our future water resources. Mountain meadow health has been prioritized in the Sierra Nevada due to their connection to overall water quality and quantity in headwater systems. Improving the functionality of areas like English Meadow allow more water and sediment to remain within the floodplain and aquifer, rather than being carried downstream during peak flow periods in the spring.
NID recently finished working with the Sierra Nevada Conservancy on a project to improve the natural ability of English Meadow to store and release water in a more self-sustaining manner. Working with our partners, NID assessed existing conditions associated with peak and annual streamflow, water temperature, groundwater level, flora and fauna, forest condition, and archaeology.
The Sierra Nevada Conservancy provided a Watershed Improvement Grant to facilitate fire fuels reduction, forest thinning and tree removal from the meadow and its immediate watershed. As a result of this project, English Meadow will now be able to accumulate more snow bringing water supply benefits and, as a healthy wet meadow, it provide better habitat for many species of plants and animals