Calf Pasture Meadow Restoration Begins Wednesday, August 31 -- Recreation Advisory for Red Peak Trail

Release Date: Aug 29, 2022

Contact(s): Jennifer Chapman


PLACERVILLE, CA – Work on the Calf Pasture Meadow Restoration Project will begin on Wednesday, August 31st and continue for 4 to 5 weeks to restore approximately 30 acres of degraded meadow habitat. Calf Pasture is located in the Van Vleck and Tells Creek area on the Pacific Ranger District and was acquired by the Eldorado National Forest in 1984. The meadow is highly degraded due to the effects of intensive logging and grazing dating back to the 1800s and from trail incision along the Red Peak Trail.

"Partnerships with American Rivers, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, along with help from a number of volunteer organizations are making it possible to get this important restoration work done," said Forest Supervisor Jeff Marsolais.

The project goals include:

  • Restoring approximately 30 acres of degraded meadow habitat to benefit aquatic- and meadow-dependent species.
  • Increasing water storage capacity and restoring meadow-floodplain connectivity.
  • Reducing stream water temperature and increasing stream base flows and moderating peak flows.
  • Reducing conifer encroachment in the meadow.

The project is using "Stage Zero" methods that are designed to restore deeply incised channels to their pre-disturbance condition consisting of shallow multi-threaded channels across the floodplain. Actions will include:

  • Filling in a large gully that dissects the meadow with locally sourced fill material.
  • Rerouting the currently incised Red Peak hiking trail from within the meadow to the adjacent forest around the head of the meadow.
  • Constructing riffles and grade control structures within Bassi Creek to raise streamflow and allow for floodplain access.
  • Stabilizing the restored meadow surface by adding coarse woody material.
  • ´╗┐Transplanting existing vegetation from non-impaired areas of the meadow, and spreading native seeds.

Red Peak Trail Advisory

Heavy equipment including excavators, dump trucks, and loaders will be in operation. Work is expected to occur Monday through Friday -- not during weekends or holidays. Red Peak Trail will remain open for the duration of the project, however the route may vary based on the location of the heavy equipment.

Trail users, particularly equestrians, should be aware that conditions may be noisy and dusty. Trail monitors may be present to alert the public of the presence of heavy machinery and direct them to the appropriate route around the machinery. When trail-monitors are not present, flagging will be used to guide hikers around the work area.

Do not approach heavy machinery while in operation. If a trail monitor is not present, do not try to walk around the equipment while in operation; instead, wait until you make eye contact with the operator, and they will let you know when it is ok to pass. 

The Calf Pasture Restoration Project was designed by Eldorado National Forest in partnership with American Rivers and Wildscape Engineering and will be implemented by McCauley Construction. The project is being funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Sacramento District California In-Lieu Program, which provides mitigation funding from authorized impacts to aquatic resources. Volunteers from Elegant Ears Mule Club, Trout Unlimited, California Native Plant Society, and the El Dorado High School Natural Resources Department are also assisting with the project. 

Additional information can be found on the project website at: 

https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=55803 or by contacting Eldorado National Forest project managers Eric Nicita, Soil Scientist at eric.nicita@usda.gov  or Vince Pacific, Hydrologist at vincent.pacific@usda.gov.

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Calf Pasture Restoration - General Location Map