SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, California, February 21, 2023 – The USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU), in partnership with the Nevada Tahoe Conservation District (NTCD), is seeking comments on a proposal to complete restoration efforts at Burke Creek and Rabe Meadow on Lake Tahoe’s southeast shore. The Burke Creek Rabe Meadow Riparian Restoration Project area is located near Stateline, Nevada, and includes portions of Rabe Meadow and the lower reaches of Burke Creek that run through the meadow and enter Lake Tahoe near Nevada Beach. Comments will be accepted Feb. 21 through March 14, 2023.
Visitors to the Kahle Drive Trailhead, Rabe Meadow, and Nevada Beach and Campground can expect to see project activity in the area, including the staging of construction materials and equipment. Temporary disruptions to parking areas, trails, bike paths and beach access may occur, but every effort will be made to alleviate impacts to recreational access.
The purpose of this project is to complete previous restoration efforts between U.S. Highway 50 and the outlet of Burke Creek at Lake Tahoe. Restoration activities are designed to improve water quality, meadow vegetation, and aquatic and terrestrial habitat for animals and plants, as well as to restore the natural function of the creek and adjacent meadow.
This final phase of restoration work includes realignment of Burke Creek north of the Kahle Ditch, construction of a new creek outlet into Lake Tahoe; elimination of culverts and man-made barriers through Nevada Beach Campground; removal of the existing road between Tahoe Beach Club and the Douglas County Lake Tahoe Sewer Authority (DCLTSA) pump station; expansion of the road from the campground to the pump station; and removal of Kahle Ditch and Jennings Pond.
Over the past 150 years, the Burke Creek watershed was impacted by significant disturbances that disrupted the natural function of the creek and meadow. These disturbances included logging, grazing, rerouting of the creek for development purposes, and installation of culverts and man-made barriers. These disturbances resulted in significant loss of meadow and stream environment zone (SEZ) habitat.
The Forest Service acquired the Burke Creek watershed parcel in 1978. Since the acquisition, the LTBMU and NTCD completed several restoration projects in the vicinity aimed at restoring the function of the creek and surrounding meadow. This final phase will complete those restoration efforts and address flooding and water quality issues at Jennings Pond, Nevada Beach Campground, and the DCLTSA pump station.
Project work is expected to begin this summer, 2023 and may take two years to complete. The Proposed Action is available for viewing on the project webpage, and a video overview of the project can be viewed on YouTube. Instructions for how to provide comments can be found on the project webpage.