Grants Database

American Whitewater
Amount Awarded:
Project Title:
Recovering from the Oroville Dam Crisis and Improving Water Quality in the Feather River
California Watershed Protection Fund, 2018
Water Resources/Watershed Protection
Sierra Nevada
Butte County ; Yuba County
Project Description:

Supports protection and improvement of water quality by conserving and restoring privately owned meadows and wetlands in the Feather River Watershed, headwaters of the CA State Water Project and a source of water for 65% of Californians. Healthy meadows improve water quality through filtration by capturing sediment and water storage that prevents peak season runoff, while degraded meadows are a source of unhealthy sediment for waterways, which affects water quality, fish habitat, and operability of dams and hydroelectric facilities. Of the 2.3 million acres of the Feather River watershed, 800,000 acres are in private ownership and 105,000 acres constitute wet and dry meadows. The recent Risk Assessment of California’s Key Watersheds by the Pacific Forest Trust finds that 100% of the dry meadows and 85% of the wet meadows are candidates for restoration. Presently, FRLT has conserved 23,000 acres or 22% of these meadows and is on track in the next four years to conserve a total of 53,750 acres or 50% of the meadows. Protecting meadows is dependent upon educating landowners and the public concerning the ecosystem impact. Willing landowners are then prepared to collaborate in developing land management plans with water quality improvements in mind for specific properties. The grant funds will help defray local communications with key constituencies about the value of the Feather River watershed and the need to conserve and steward these lands in order to protect biodiversity and water quality. The primary focus is to produce print and digital stories from ranchers who are working to protect the conservation values of their ranches, highlighting why they agreed to place conservation easements on their lands as a central part of conservation/restoration efforts on Sierra meadows. FRLT is also partnering with other local watershed groups which do regular water monitoring, including the Lake Almanor Watershed Group and the Upper Feather River Watershed Group to sponsor a local event entitled The State of the Water in June, 2019. This event will further public outreach about the value of protecting and restoring the watershed and help recruit more willing partners form the community.