Client: Truckee River Watershed Council, U.S. Forest Service
Alpine meadow systems within the central Sierra Nevada have been greatly impacted by past land use practices. One important meadow system that is somewhat intact is Perazzo Meadows, located in the headwaters of the Little Truckee River Watershed. Waterways provided assistance to the Truckee River Watershed Council and the U.S. Forest Service in an evaluation and characterization of the Perazzo Meadow complex and the surrounding watershed. The assessment consisted of a geomorphically-based assessment of the meadow complex. The geomorphic and hydrologic characterization of the meadow system was necessary to provide a framework for planning and design of a comprehensive restoration effort to restore floodplain connectivity and meadow function. It has been well documented that “process based” restoration projects that consider the geomorphic and hydrologic setting of the watershed have a higher likelihood of being successful. Gaining an understanding of these processes allows for development of feasible restoration approaches that are founded in the physical processes which operate in these alpine meadow systems.
The overall goal of the assessment was to characterize the geomorphic setting of the meadow system. Specific objectives within the geomorphic assessment included:
- Characterization of the hydrologic setting,
- Comparison of past and current geomorphic function as it relates to restoration potential,
- Documentation of geomorphic conditions (e.g., channel form, stability) to inform restoration planning and design, and
- Development of restoration design recommendations.