Johnson Meadow restoration underway

Jordan Vena is an Alliance Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership (SNAP) member who just finished his term at his host site, Tahoe Resource Conservation District (TRCD). Jordan coordinated a volunteer workday on August 13, 2022 in Johnson Meadow, a large watershed habitat located in the center of South Lake Tahoe, CA. The Meadow was once a dairy farm and cattle grazing pasture before the TRCD purchased it in 2018. 


Alliance SNAP Member, Jordan Vena cuts and rolls barbed wire next to the Upper Truckee River to help pave the way for future restoration efforts.

The goal of the workday was to restore the Meadow’s natural floodplains by removing old barbed wire fencing and t-posts that disrupted the ecology in the previous era. Approximately three acres were cleared and restored that day. 


Jordon Vena and coworkers Arlo Morton and Andrew Schurr cutting barbed wire in Johnson Meadow.

The once seasonal flooding of the meadow ceased after the meadow was converted to a dairy farm. The conversion caused the snow melt in the meadow to funnel into one channel, causing massive amounts of erosion. Erosion in the meadow and along the Upper Truckee River is transported from streambanks into Lake Tahoe, reducing its famed clarity. 

Tahoe RCD is still in the beginning stages of major meadow restoration efforts. Removing the fencing and t-posts during his particular volunteer event will make it easier to access the meadow by restoration crews in the future. 

TRCD staffers Arlo Morton and Nikki Donnelly, and South Tahoe Public Utility District SNAP Member Lauren Benefield remove barbed wire and t-posts from the restoration site.

Wildlands of the Sierra provide vital natural resources and ecosystem services. Volunteer opportunities like this allow residents and visitors to the area to pitch in and protect, conserve, and steward the environment which nourishes us.

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