Pre-registration has closed. We will take a limited number of registrations at the door.
Day One: Conference | North Tahoe Event Center | WEDNESDAY 11 MAY
7:30-9am Registration check-in | Sponsor & Poster Set-up | Hosted Continental Breakfast
9-10am Plenary Session by Lisa Wallace and the Truckee River Watershed Council
Noon-1:30pm Hosted Buffet Lunch
3-3:30pm Hosted Coffee Break
Day Two: Conference | NORTH TAHOE EVENT CENTER | THURSday 12 MAY
8:30-10:30am Concurrent Mini-Fieldtrips Innovative Bioengineering for the Kings Beach Community Core Improvements Project | Rosewood Creek Restoration | Mainstem Martis Creek: Restoration Opportunities and Constraints | Special Session on Emerging Issue: Preventing the Spread of Plant Pathogens
10:30-11am Hosted Coffee Break
12:30-1:30pm Hosted Buffet Lunch | Raffle Drawing
1:30-2pm SERCAL Member Meeting
3:30-4pm Hosted Coffee Break
DAY THREE: All-Day fieldtrips, all around lake tahoe | friDAY 13 MAY
AS OF APRIL 26, ALL FIELDTRIPS ARE FULL. WAITING LISTS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT THE CONFERENCE REGISTRATION DESK FOR ANY OPENINGS THAT ARISE.
For all of our fieldtrips, weather will be a consideration and routes may change accordingly. Please bring clothing adaptable to whatever the day's conditions might be. Registrants will receive an email with directions and more information 1-2 weeks prior to the conference. Any last minute updates will be announced at the conference.
If you registered too late to get the fieldtrip you wanted, please check in at the conference for last minute openings. No waiting list will be taken prior to the conference.
More about the conference sessions
Plenary Session Presented by Lisa Wallace with Kathleen Eagan and Joanne Roubique of the Truckee River Watershed Council
Our river, streams, meadows and wetlands inspire us with their beauty, protect our water quality, and provide vital habitat to fish and wildlife, yet they continue to face threats from historic and modern land use impacts and climate change. The Truckee River watershed has a long history of intensive land use. Westward expansion in the 1840s led to construction of roads and trails, timber harvesting, building of the intercontinental railroad, gravel mining, ice harvesting and live stock grazing. The population continued to grow, drawn by the beauty of the region and outdoor activities. Historic land use combined with urban and recreation development affected the Truckee River watershed streams, impaired water quality, and reduced habitat for fish and wildlife populations. By 1991, degradation to water quality and habitat from erosion was significant enough that the State of California and the US Environmental Protection Agency designated the Truckee River as impaired and required a watershed-wide plan to address the problems. In October 1996, the first annual Truckee River Day was launched to begin to address the problems of water quality and habitat restoration. 300 volunteers showed up and completed 10 stream, meadow and wetland restoration projects. From that success, a group of river-lovers founded the Truckee River Watershed Council. Since our founding, Truckee River Day has taken place every year with 300-600 passionate volunteers. Together with the volunteers and our generous partners, we have completed well over 80 small-scale restoration projects and monitored important tributaries. Recently, we started work on large-scale restoration projects, large-scale watershed assessments and prevention projects. There are some 40 large scale projects remaining to be completed.
Creative Collaboration for Multiple Benefits Session Chair Will Spangler, H. T. Harvey & Associates
In the field of habitat restoration we almost never work alone. Like ecology itself, our work is often connected to many variables and niches, to many skills and disciplines. We not only build on knowledge accumulated over time, but we build better project outcomes when we actively work together. The Collaboration for Multiple Benefits technical session will explore how we work together across many so-called boundaries to restore landscapes through collective conservation. We will discuss collaboration across scientific disciplines, public/private partnerships, community and student involvement, agency teamwork, and new permitting approaches in order to identify opportunities to use a range of resources to meet our goals.
Drew, Jason — What Happens When Private Redevelopment Spurs Watershed Scale Restoration in Tahoe
Farrell, Sharon — Tamalpais Lands Collaborative—One Mountain, One Vision
Green, Sarah — Collaboration for Ecosystem and Community Benefits on Markleeville Creek, CA
Kulchawik, Peter — Beyond Zone A: Hydraulic Models to Evaluate Multiple Restoration Objectives
Lulow, Megan — Collaborative Partnerships Create Opportunities for Restoration Using Salvaged Soil and Specimen Plants
Schaefer, Christina — Chollas Creek Watershed Benefits: Collaborative Creek Restoration and Mosquito Abatement
Schmidt, Erik — Improved Permitting (and Funding) for Voluntary Restoration Projects: Know the Opportunities
Singh, Jai — Donner Basin Assessment: Approaching Watershed Restoration Across Disciplines and Missions
Smick, Geoff — Creek Restoration Benefits of Local Ecology and School Curriculum
Thomas, Terri — The Restoration of an urban creek: long-term success through collaboration.
Creativity in Upland Restoration Session Chair Andrew Rayburn, Calfornia Native Grasslands Association
Anderson, Thor — A Monumental Task: Restoring Maritime Chaparral Habitat on Fort Ord National Monument
Burke, Timothy — Successful Desert Scrub Reclamation at Boron Open Pit Mine
Claassen, Vic — Regeneration of degraded Coast Range soils for perennial plant habitat
Gillespie, Sundaran — GIS Analysis Using Drones to Map Invasive Weeds in Endangered Species Habitat
Harris, Tanner — Innovative Dune Restoration to Protect Private Interests, Provide Public Benefits
Kedziora, Matt — Choose Your Own Restoration Adventure
Meyer Lovell, Cecilia — Creative Strategies for Implementation of Weed Control Plans
Pinnell, Cassie — Native Grassland Restoration on California’s Lost Coast, a Collaborative Approach
Rayburn, Andrew — Seedbank-vegetation Relationships in Restored and Exotic Annual California Grasslands
Schwan, Joan — Revegetating Rock: Restoration of Sites with Disturbed or Limited Soil
Smolen, Katrina — Squaw Valley Ski Resort: The Environmental Paradigm Shift from Enforcement to Prototype
Wolf, Kristina — Wildlife abundance lower in restored native perennial than annual grasslands
Fire and Post-Fire Session Chair Carol Presley, Carol Presley Consultants
Fire plays a critical role in the renewal and reinvigoration of landscapes. Land stewards, farmers, and restoration ecologists use fire proactively to eradicate invasive exotic plants that threaten to out-compete native species. Fire is also highly effective at providing a non-chemical means of killing microbial pathogens and combusting diseased vegetation in order to reduce the spread of infection. Fire — either in a prescribed manner as in fuel-load reduction or under wildfire conditions — can yield ecosystem-wide benefits, whether or not the fire was “planned.” In the last couple of years, California has experienced record numbers of wild fires in habitated areas and in designated forests. Post-fire efforts include erosion protection, slope stabilization, and creating conditions to allow pre-fire vegetation or more historic species compositions to establish. There exist mixed theories on how to implement these ends. The majority of presentations in this session are case studies of post-fire treatments.
Engelberg, Kyra — Fire mid-restoration planning process: An extra check on design
Gilpin, David — How Could California Benefit from the Newly Enacted National Seed Strategy for Rehabilitation and Restoration
Marty, Jaymee — The importance of fire in grassland restoration
Presley, Carol — Revisiting burned chaparral lansdscape 15 years post fire
Swann, Chris — Restoration-Express: Creative, effective, and timely restoration efforts following California’s Butte Fire
Winkel, Von — Response of Vegetation after Wildfire on the Warm Springs Natural Area in Moapa, Nevada
Mono Lake / Desert Systems Session Chair Ross Taylor, Ross Taylor & Associates
Diggory, Zooey — Planning, Permitting, and Restoring Endangered Species Habitat and Resiliency on a Southwest River
Hogan, Michael — It Can’t Be Done? Applying outcome-based management to the Mono Lake Rockfall Project
McQuilkin, Geoff — Stream Restoration Agreement charts new cutting-edge path for habitat recovery
Parmenter, Steve — Discoveries in the control of emergent plants in great basin springs and ponds
Reis, Greg — The Mono Basin Operations Plan: Where the rubber meets the road
Taylor, Ross — Stream Ecosystem Flows for Geomorphic, Riparian, and Fisheries Recovery and Maintenance in Mono Basin Tributaries, CA
Montane Meadows Session Chair Ralph Vigil, HRS/Dudek
Gornish, Elise — Invasive species cover, soil type and grazing interact to predict long-term grassland restoration success
Hammersmark, Chris — Hydrologic and Ecological Effects of Stream Restoration in a Montane Meadow
Hastings, Brian — Challenges, Creative Collaboration, and Cost-Effective Solutions for Enhancing Fish Habitat on a Regulated River, Little Truckee River Below Stampede Dam, Nevada County, California
Hunt, Luke — How Reconnecting a Floodplain in Indian Valley Altered Streamflow
Merrill, Amy — Building the Scientific Foundation for a Carbon Sequestration Protocol for Mountain Meadow Restoration
Reed, Cody — Rates and mechanisms of greenhouse gas fluxes in unrestored Sierra Nevada meadows
Wallace, Edward — Adaptive Channel Restoration and Pipeline Protection in Upper Truckee Marsh
Wright, Jamie — Yellow Starthistle Management through Carrying Capacity and Grazing
Riparian and Wetland Systems Session Chair Mark Young, Westervelt Ecological Services
Inter-connected riparian and wetland systems make up vibrant aquatic habitats throughout California. Critical losses of these habitats have had a devastating effect on both flora and fauna; all shaped by land use decisions. Over the last four plus decades, environmental awareness and regulatory support have challenged society to halt this destruction and restore functioning ecosystems. The Riparian and Wetland Systems session is divided up into four themes, with the talks providing representative examples of these restoration efforts. These themes are: a) Water Quality and Restoration, b) Restoring Bay Wetlands, c) Re-Growing Central Valley Rivers, and d) Making Healthy Sierra Floodplains.
Crawford, Christopher — Achieving Effective Riparian Restoration Outcomes by Weighing Cost and Benefits
Dybala, Kristen — Measuring Riparian Restoration Success Using Central Valley Joint Venture Objectives
Gruber, Steve — Integrating Water Quality Improvements into Coastal Restoration
Holt, Jeff — Feathers, Fur, and Fin: Thirteen Years of Multi-Benefit Restoration
Kelso, Kelley — Removing a 500,000 Gallon Water Tank from the Middle of a Sierra Stream
Lincoln, Alexandra — The Role of Local Adaptation in Heavy Metal Tolerance and Phytoextraction Capacity
Mahacek, Virginia — Floodplain Reconnection on the Upper Truckee River, Lake Tahoe, CA
Meisler, Julian — Tides not Casinos: Restoring 1,000 Acres of Tidal Wetlands at Sears Point
Rayburn, Andrew — 20 years of collaborative conservation after curtailment of in-channel mining on lower Cache Creek
Ross-Smith, Katie — Flow Regime Management for Riparian Restoration
Swenson, Ramona — Predicting Functions of Restored Tidal Wetland Habitats
Zanzi, John — Lower Blackwood Creek Habitat Restoration Construction
Zumwalt, Chris — Comparative Spatial Analysis for SF Bay Restoration Monitoring.
Special Session: Preventing the Spread of Plant Pathogens Session Chair Carol Presley, Carol Presley Consultants
Over the past several years, numerous species of the pathogen Phytophthora (pronounced Fie-TOF-ther-uh) have been detected in California native plant nurseries and restoration sites. A species that had never been found in the US, Phytophthora tentaculata, occurred in several California native plant nurseries and was outplanted in restoration areas on sticky monkey flower (Diplacus aurantiacus), toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia), coffeeberry (Frangula californica), mugwort (Artemesia douglasiana) and other native species produced as nursery stock. Preliminary follow-up investigations have identified more than 20 Phytophthora species in northern and southern CA native plant nurseries and restoration sites. Several land owners have spent over $5 million to remove potentially infested plants from restoration areas, collaborating with scientists to develop and test new methods to eradicate these pathogens from contaminated soil. Phytophthoras are notorious plant pathogens, including the species that cause sudden oak death (Phytophthora ramorum), the Irish potato famine (P. infestans), and numerous diseases of agricultural, horticultural and forest plants. Inadvertently planting Phytophthora-infected nursery stock into native environs has the potential to introduce these pathogens into sensitive habitats. With the broad range of plants susceptible to Phytophthora, the pathogens can destroy the ecological values that restoration is trying to enhance. Efforts are underway to prevent pathogen introduction and spread by implementing Best Management Practices for native plant nurseries and restoration projects. Additionally, the Working Group for Phytophthoras in Native Plant Habitats is bringing all aspects of the problem together to coordinate a comprehensive, unified program of management, monitoring, research, education and policy to minimize the spread of Phytophthora pathogens. We need your ideas and observations about how to protect wildlands from these unintentional pathogen introductions into high-value habitats.
Frankel, Susan — Assembling a response to inadvertent Phytophthora plant pathogen introductions in restoration areas: The Working Group on Phytophthoras in Native Plant Habitats
Kosta, Kathleen — Phytophthora tentaculata, a new pathogen of native plants: The story of a new invasive species making its way from the nurseries into the environment.
Suslow, Karen — Preventing the introduction of invasive soilborne plant pathogens into restoration planting sites
Poster Session Session Chair Gavin Archbald, H. T. Harvey & Associates
Beck, Richard — Reuse of Arundo: From exotic cane to green energy pellets
Christianson, Kayti — Coastal Dune Mining Site Revegetation and Stabilization Methods
Cutting, Lisa — Lee Vining Rockfall Safety Project provides unique restoration opportunity
Haldeman, Katie — Accelerate Your Restoration Project Using Programmatic Permits!
Malik, Anisha — Laguna Canyon Road: Impacts of a Changing Climate on Wetland and Riparian Creation
Michaels, Julia — Livestock grazing for landscape diversity in California vernal pools
Morawitz, Dana — Eradicating weeds in Sierra meadows for climate change resilience
Reyes, Phillip — Battling Plant Pathogens: The Hidden Threat to Native Nurseries and Our Retaliation
Seward, Katherine — Drought response strategies and sensitivity of native vegetation in New Zealand
Smick, Geoff — Breuner Marsh, Resilient Restoration Design in the Face of Sea Level Rise
Strnad, George — Riparian Habitat Restoration on Rock Stabilized Levee Repair Sites
Thomas, Donald — Managing Coyote Brush to Protect Sensitive Plant Habitats
MORE about the thursday morning mini-fieldtrips…
Innovative Bioengineering for the Kings Beach Community Core Improvements Project Led by Julie Etra, Western Botanical Services, Inc.
The Kings Beach Community Core Improvements Project (Placer County, owner, Caltrans ROW) includes drainage, infrastructure, water quality, and traffic improvements, along with landscaping, lighting, and other aesthetic components. The water quality improvements include treatment trains of engineering features along with the final stage of vegetative and bioengineering solutions. As part of the project, Western Botanical Services Inc. (WBS) was contracted through CARDNO to design erosion control and revegetation components. A subset to these tasks was the design and construction oversight (under contract with CH2MHill) of the expansion of the existing water quality treatment basin (Beaver outfall) and the final outfalls for Bear and Deer Streets on the shores of Lake Tahoe. These bioengineered outfalls followed previous protocol used on the Fox Clean Water Pipe Project, where in lieu of traditional rock armoring, a combination of vegetated mat and coir logs was used. Similar biotechnical applications have been completed by WBS in the Lake Tahoe Basin over the last 20 plus years. However, for this project, the mats and logs were built in place. The field trip will examine the basin as well as the outfalls; discuss their design and construction; and evaluate their performance. Kelley Erosion Control (KEC), the Contractor for this component of the project, will also be on site to discuss the nuances of construction.
Rosewood Creek Restoration Led by Virginia Mahacek, Cardno
The Nevada Tahoe Conservation District (NTCD) has performed reach-scale assessments, prepared concept and implementation plans, and constructed restoration at multiple locations on Rosewood Creek in Incline Village, NV over the past decade. The successful efforts on Rosewood Creek reflect extensive collaboration between federal, state, local agencies and special districts, coordination with the regional regulatory entities, unparalleled engagement of private parties, and substantial consultant support (managed by the trip leader from Cardno). NTCD’s mission of providing assistance to land occupiers and governments in delivering conservation programs made it ideally suited to lead restoration along this creek, which has a patchwork of federal parcels, county easements, numerous individual parcels, and large homeowner association properties. The reach and site scale efforts funded by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and Nevada Division of State Lands tiered off earlier watershed-scale planning sponsored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The restoration goals are broad, but include a focus on stopping erosion and sedimentation to reduce fine sediment loads to Lake Tahoe. The field trip will provide opportunities to learn about the severely degraded pre-restoration condition of this steep stream and experience some of the challenging geomorphic, ecologic, and urban-engineering constraints. Design elements reflect scientific and engineering principles, complex regulatory requirements, potential future fish access, cost-benefit considerations, and a range of concerns from residents, owners and tourists. We will highlight examples of the diverse approaches and specific treatments applied, ranging from spot rehabilitation on ~900 feet of USFS and private land constructed in 2008 to ~2,500 feet of full channel reconstruction completed over three phases (2012 to 2014).
Mainstem Martis Creek: Restoration Opportunities and Constraints Led by Staff at Balance Hydrologics
Martis Creek, a tributary to the Truckee River, supports one of the largest Sierran meadows in the Middle Truckee River Basin. Martis Creek has been altered and modified by legacy logging impacts, historical land-uses, base level changes from reservoir operations, and transportation infrastructure. The channel is currently incised with frequent floods confined within a single channel. Absent of overbank flows, former wet meadow has converted to dry uplands with continued loss in meadow and floodplain habitats. However, nearly unlimited open space combined with limited risks to current infrastructure or private property provide an opportunity to rejuvenate geomorphic processes. Restoration or re-naturalization of channel processes are proposed to reconnect an incised channel to its former floodplain and support floodplain and meadow functions. The field trip will look at the existing conditions, describe historical disturbances, and discuss proposed restoration design concepts.
More about the All-day fieldtrips on friday 13 May…
FILLED Adaptive Management: North & West Shores, Led by John Zanzi, Dudek, and Michael Hogan, IERS
Adaptive management has become a catchphrase for a wide range of practices. This field trip will explore that range in three parts. The first stop is two Caltrans-sponsored roadside sites where an adaptive process has been employed over the past 15 years. We will discuss these adaptive processes and the information and understanding they have yielded, as well as how these sites fit into a pattern of active adaptive (outcome-based) management employed on projects throughout the Western US. We will also discuss why more projects don’t embrace an outcome-based process.
The next stop is a reach of Lower Blackwood Creek, one of California’s premier watersheds and a critical spawning area for rainbow trout and historical habitat for Lahontan cutthroat trout. Heavy bank erosion and vegetation loss from annual flows and in-channel gravel mining had resulted in the creek contributing more fine sediment per unit of area than any other watershed in the Basin. We will discuss how intensive restoration of this reach by the California Tahoe Conservancy incorporated adaptive implementation management during construction as site conditions changed from what was expected, and resulted in successful channel rewatering and water quality improvements.
The final stop will be at the Homewood Mountain Resort where, over the past 10 years, an adaptive, outcome-based program has been implemented. Here we will see the results of award-winning restoration on drastically disturbed sites where infiltration has been increased by over an order of magnitude, erosion has been eliminated in most treated sites, and skiing conditions have been improved. We will discuss the vision, partnership, collaboration, and planning required to produce true adaptive management. We will also discuss the various awards received by this work (National Ski Area Association ‘Golden Eagle’ award; Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s ‘Best in Basin’ award; and the State of California Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence, California’s highest environmental award). Here we will also present the Watershed Management Guidebook, produced from work undertaken at Homewood and elsewhere, as a guiding document for outcome-based adaptive managment and take in spectacular views of Lake Tahoe from the resort.
This fieldtrip will be limited to 8 cars, so carpooling is essential; look for a signup sheet at the registration desk.
NOTE: Weather conditions may not allow a visit to Homewood, but the fieldtrip leaders are adept at Adaptive Management and come rain, come shine, come snow, promise to host a great day.
This fieldtrip, limited to 20 participants, is now full.
FILLED Stream and Wetland Restoration: East & South Shores led by Jason Drew, Nichols Consulting Engineers
The field tour will visit a diverse set of public and private stream and wetland restoration projects across the Lake Tahoe Basin which are part of the collaborative effort to achieve the goals of the basin wide Environmental Improvement Program. The Upper Truckee River is the largest tributary to Lake Tahoe and a variety of restoration efforts are being implemented by Basin agencies. The USFS has been actively working on several of the reaches and the field tour will visit two of these sites. In 2013 the USFS began implementation of a river channel channel/floodplain restoration project along the Upper Truckee River in Reach 5, adjacent to the Lake Tahoe Airport. This project is located on both LTBMU and California Tahoe Conservancy lands. In order to restore geomorphic stability and aquatic habitat to 1.2 miles of stream channel along with surface and subsurface channel connectivity to 120 acres of floodplain, the USFS is constructing a new river channel and completely backfilling the existing channel. The tour will also visit one of the largest privately funded restoration efforts ever undertaken in the Lake Tahoe Basin on the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. The project includes riparian enhancements, wetland restoration, creek realignment and fish passage. Finally the tour will visit a site on Griff Creek where a reach was restored after the demolition of a 500,000 gallon water tank and pump station which were constructed in the middle of the creek over 40 years ago. The tour will be interactive and participants will be encouraged to investigate the site and ask questions of the presenters.
This fieldtrip, limited to 15 participants, is now full.
FILLED Truckee River Watershed led by Beth Christman, Truckee River Watershed Council
Collaboration in Action! Visit restoration projects completed throughout the Truckee River watershed. The field trip will be led by Truckee River Watershed Council (TRWC) and will highlight projects we have completed with our partners. The itinerary is weather dependent, as some of our sites are located at high elevation. We will meet at a central location in Truckee and carpool to the sites from there. Plan on an all-day trip, roughly from 9am–3pm, and pack ample water and food. Most sites are relatively near roads, but access will be across rough ground.
Site 1: Perazzo Meadows. Perazzo Meadows is an extensive alpine meadow system located in the northern part of the Truckee River watershed. The meadows, stream channels, and wetlands have been degraded by extensive human modification, beginning in the late 1800s. Alterations led to significant erosion, loss of floodplain function, and meadow degradation. In 2009, TRWC and the U.S. Forest Service – Tahoe National Forest began restoration of the Upper and Middle Meadows. Restoration has been extremely successful, resulting in decreased erosion, increased groundwater levels, improved floodplain connectivity, greater diversity of bird species, and improved meadow vegetation. The project was completed in 2010, with monitoring on-going through today. We will discuss the project background, construction, and monitoring results.
Alternate site 1: Dry Creek Meadow Restoration. The Dry Creek watershed contains a fairly large meadow system that experienced significant impacts from early-era logging. Substantial changes to the intermittent and perennial stream network resulted. In 2015, TRWC and the U.S. Forest Service – Tahoe National Forest restored two of the tributary meadows. We will discuss the project background, construction, and future phases.
Site 2: Fish Habitat Restoration project. Several tributary reaches within the Truckee River watershed have been impacted by dams – reducing habitat complexity by limiting material transport from the upper watershed. In 2015, two instream habitat projects were completed in the watershed. Weather depending we will visit either Prosser Creek (a joint project between TRWC and the U.S. Forest Service – Tahoe National Forest) or the Little Truckee River (a joint project between Trout Unlimited and the U.S. Forest Service – Tahoe National Forest).
Site 3: Coldstream Canyon Floodplain Restoration. Coldstream Canyon has experienced a long history of human disturbance including gravel mining, grazing, logging, and railroad development. Cold Creek was channelized to allow for gravel mining along the floodplain reach at the mouth of the canyon, resulting in severe erosion and habitat loss. In 2012, TRWC and California State Parks implemented a restoration project to create an inset floodplain, in order to reduce erosion and improve habitat. We will discuss the project design basis and implementation.
This fieldtrip, limited to 20 participants, is now full.
FILLED Donner Summit and Van Norden Meadow led by Will Spangler, H. T. Harvey & Associates, and John Svahn, Truckee Donner Land Trust
More to be revealed! The path of this fieldtrip around Donner Summit will be determined by the weather and the intrepid souls who sign up for it. This fieldtrip is limited to 20 participants. Details are forthcoming!
This fieldtrip, limited to 20 participants, is now full.