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Volunteers Work To Restore Meadows

Submitted by Brittany Dyer

A meadow restoration project has been launched this month at Chiquito Creek, undertaken by the Yosemite/Sequoia Resource Conservation and Development Council (Y/S RC&DC) in partnership with the United States Forest Service (USFS) Bass Lake Ranger District (BLRD).This restoration project, supported through the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, will not only help stabilize 31 acres of meadow systems, but leverage educational opportunities for identified volunteers and tribal youth.

The overall goal of this project is to completely restore and/or preserve the hydrologic function of four degraded meadow systems on the SNF within the Upper and Lower Chiquito Creek Watersheds.

The Y/S RC&DC has partnered with American Conservation Experience (ACE) to utilize dedicated AmeriCorp volunteers, specifically interested in natural resources conservation, to assist the USFS BSLR in the restoration work.

ACE is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing rewarding environmental service opportunities that harness the idealism and energy of a volunteer labor force to help restore America’s public lands.

These young adults have specialized training and, in many cases, have already or are currently working towards a degree in natural resources. On their free time, the AmeriCorp members are required to coordinate local community volunteer projects that directly benefit our mountain communities.

Stable montane meadows serve a vital role in the areas of water storage, release and filtration systems. That said, meadows are extremely sensitive to changes in the watershed that may occur through the development of roads, timber harvesting, grazing and fire suppression.

These factors, as well as others, can lead to unstable stream channels and gully formation in meadows, which when severe enough result in complete dewatering of a meadow. The services meadows provide help by ensuring a slower run-off of water from the high country down to our communities. If accelerated, erosion, water quality, and annual water availability are compromised.

In order to increase understanding regarding proper meadow function, two field trips will be conducted, one of which will be in partnership with the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians and their tribal youth. The project, starting on June 10, will begin work on three of the four meadow sites this summer and will conclude with the fourth meadow by the end of next summer.

The Sierra Nevada Conservancy initiates, encourages, and supports efforts that improve the environmental, economic and social well-being of the Sierra Nevada Region, its communities and the citizens of California.

The Yosemite/Sequoia Resource Conservation and Development Council (Y/SRC&D) is a non-profit organization that works to improve the economy, environment, and living standards of the foothill and mountain regions of Fresno, Madera, Mariposa and Tulare counties. Sponsors and partners are diverse and range from; tribal governments, environmental and community development organizations, county governments, resource conservation districts, fire safe councils and more. It is our mission to promote the quality and aesthetic values of our cultural, environmental, and recreational resources by improving the quality of life through sustainable, diverse economic development.

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