Thompson Meadow Restoration
The purpose of the Thompson Meadow Restoration Project is to restore Thompson Meadow, a degraded 47-acre meadow located on the Beckwourth Ranger District in the Plumas National Forest, Plumas County, CA. Thompson Creek flows through the meadow and is a tributary to McReynolds Creek, which flows into Red Clover Creek, in the Feather River watershed. The project is a partnership between the US Forest Service, the California Department of Water Resources, and Plumas Corporation.
The project seeks to prevent further degradation of the stream and meadow system along Thompson Creek in order to improve flow conditions, meadow productivity, vegetative cover, and water quality. Under existing conditions, Thompson Creek is incised, which means the stream channel has been cut off from its historic floodplain causing eroded stream banks. This accelerated erosion during large floods has washed away willows, sedges, and other riparian vegetation that stabilize stream banks and channel structure. As a result, the meadow has dried out, leaving sagebrush to dominate where wet meadow vegetation once existed, and reducing the quantity and quality of forage available to wildlife and livestock.
Restoration of Thompson Meadow will be accomplished by reconnecting the stream channel with the meadow floodplain utilizing a variety of techniques, including partial and complete channel fill, raised rock riffles, and a rock grade control structure, riparian vegetation planting, and construction of livestock fencing. The project is expected to begin construction during the low flow season (summer/fall) of 2021 and conclude prior to the end of the year.
* Project restores natural hydrologic conditions to facilitate improved capture and infiltration of surface water and groundwater recharge