Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Forest Service signs decision to restore Upper Truckee River

The U.S. Forest Service, Lake Tahoe Basin Management has authorized the replacement of the existing Upper Truckee River channel with a new channel that more closely follows the depth and curves of a natural river.
The project area includes about 12,000 linear feet of the river from the middle of the S. Lake Tahoe airport to highway 50 near Elks Club Drive.   221 acres of the effected land belongs to the California Tahoe Conservancy and 65 acres is Forest Service land. 
The river has been altered through the years by urban development, gravel mining, bridge construction, sewer lines, timber harvest, and cattle grazing.  The river’s banks are now eroded and unstable, causing sediment and pollution to wash downstream into Lake Tahoe.  The river will deposit less sediment and pollution into the lake when the project is completed.

The project would be implemented in two phases, each lasting three to five years.  Funding will come from the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act as part of the Environmental Improvement Program.  The project must undergo a 45-day appeal period, and the forest Service must obtain Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board permits before work can begin. 

There was no mention of the price tag and the project has yet to be reviewed by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

Additional information can be found on the USDA Forest Service website.

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