USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station


Pacific Southwest Research Station
800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011

(510) 559-6300

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

A comprehensive integration of past stream restoration efforts and future tools to evaluate and track the multitude of benefits by stream and meadows in the Lake Tahoe Basin

This project will inventory and evaluate current and completed stream restoration projects in the Lake Tahoe Basin to determine consistent ways to define and evaluate project benefits and lessons, develop conceptual models, and refine rapid assessment tools. The synthesis will document the state of knowledge, assumptions, and approaches for stream and meadow restoration over the past 20 years, as well as key successes and failures from these efforts. The principal investigator will collaborate with resource managers through a technical advisory committee to develop conceptual models and an associated process-oriented approach for evaluating the intended benefits of stream restoration efforts.

Lead Researchers: Nicole Beck, 2NDNATURE LLC

Final report [pdf]

Project Summary

2NDNATURE, River Run Consulting and Environmental Incentives collaborated on the completion of a SNPLMA Round 8 research grant to focus and improve the quality of stream restoration effectiveness evaluations in the Lake Tahoe Basin. The research team coordinated and solicited feedback from a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) consisting of Lake Tahoe stream restoration practitioners from California State Parks, California Tahoe Conservancy, US Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board (LRWQCB), Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) and a design engineer consultant.

A preliminary inventory of available documentation and effectiveness reports on riparian ecosystem restoration projects conducted to date (winter 2009) in the Lake Tahoe Basin led to the conclusion that the documentation of a clear process and format would greatly benefit the future development of riparian restoration effectiveness evaluations. The 2NDNATURE team developed a recommended Riparian Ecosystem Restoration broad goal statement and conceptual model to focus the Lake Tahoe Basin‐wide discussions. The Riparian Ecosystem Restoration and Effectiveness Framework (Framework) was developed to focus the process and improve communications when stream restoration practitioners are implementing specific restoration projects. The Framework process is expected to simplify the summary of existing (impaired conditions), the development of testable restoration project objectives, improve the quality of restoration project monitoring strategies and actualize the adaptive management process. This document contains a number of specific recommendations and guidelines on how to improve the quality of protocol and metric selection, analysis and reporting to increase the confidence in effectiveness monitoring results. A completed channel realignment project in South Lake Tahoe is used as a hypothetical example riparian restoration project to illustrate the format and potential Framework content. The Framework development for future riparian restoration projects can build upon a number of the attributes, metrics and protocols recommended in the tangible example developed by the 2NDNATURE team. The final products of the Framework will increase consistency of the documentation of the restoration team intentions to interested parties many years following the completion of the restoration actions, thereby directly improving the availability and quality of the data and information available to make long‐term adaptive management decisions.

Draft Evaluation Framework

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Last Modified: Mar 28, 2013 02:52:07 PM