Thompson Meadow is part of a long-term intensive water budget evaluation study to improve the understanding and quantification of hydrologic benefits of meadow restoration.
Thompson Meadow is a 47-acre meadow in Red Clover Valley on Plumas National Forest. The meadow burned at high severity in the 2021 Dixie Fire, a year before it was restored. The project was Plumas Corp’s 100th implemented restoration project, in the same watershed (Red Clover Creek) their 1st meadow restoration project was built.
Thompson Meadow has long had severe channel incision, which has resulted in the disconnection of meadow channel(s) from their naturally evolved floodplain and lowered shallow groundwater levels. The channel incision induced a vegetative conversion to a more xeric sagebrush-dominated plant community. Additionally, channel instability has disrupted instream habitats, diminishing water quality from accelerated streambed and bank erosion, as well as fire-scarred uplands. The goal of the Project was to restore the physical and biological ecosystem functions of the meadow, utilizing a variety of techniques, including partial fill, riffle augmentation, and a valley grade control structure. Developed and designed collaboratively by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the USDA Forest Service, Plumas Corp consulted on the design, secured planning and implementation funds, completed the environmental compliance and permitting, and constructed the project on behalf of the partners in 2022. DWR is conducting the long-term hydrologic monitoring.