Aspen Regeneration at Bear Meadow

Aspen stands in the Sierra Nevada are in decline. After a century of fire suppression and grazing pressure, high elevation aspen populations are seriously threatened by conifer encroachment. Restoring aspen stands is a critical strategy of the US Forest Service (USFS) Pacific Southwest Region. Without treatment, these iconic high elevation aspen systems will continue to be replaced by conifer forests resulting in a loss of critical habitat for a diversity of wildlife, plants, and rare species.

National Forest Foundation$14,976.16In Progress
Time frame: 
Sunday, July 6, 2014 to Sunday, September 25, 2016
In Progress
Remaining conifers to remove
Project participants: 
SYRCLProject organizer
US Forest Service, Tahoe National ForestPartner
National Forest FoundationFunder
Habitat type: 
Land ownership: 
Tahoe National Forest

SYRCL will work with trained volunteers and the Native Youth Conservation Corps (NYCC) to improve 12 acres of aspen groves and meadows in the Yuba River Watershed. NYCC members will be trained to use hand tools to remove encroaching conifers and weeds. This work will increase solar radiation to the aspen clone and increase biodiversity within the aspen stands. Soil moisture will increase and about two acres of yellow star thistle will be removed. Future work in this meadow is funded by the CABY IRWMP and the National Forest Foundation.

Performance measures: 
Number of conifers with less than or equal to 10"dbh (diameter breast height) removed. Number of volunteers trained and educated.
Species targeted for protection: 
Common NameScientific Name
AspenPopulus tremuloides
Species targeted for eradication: 
Common NameScientific Name
All Conifers 10" dbh or less
Bull ThistleCirsium vulgare
Species introduced during restoration: 
Scientific NameCommon Name
Project methods: 

Using help from volunteers, SYRCL will hand tools to remove encroaching conifers that are equal to or less than 10"dbh. The conifers will then be piled and an official from the US Forest Service will return to burn the piles.

Post-project monitoring: 
Pre and post photo points will be taken of the project site. With continued funding from The National Forest Foundation, the photo points will be revisited and retaken as time progresses.
Contact info: 

Gary Reedy, River Science Director 530-265-5961 ext 208