Ecosystem restoration effort builds momentum at Tahoe Forest Stewardship Day
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Volunteers and team members from the League to Save Lake Tahoe and staff from the Tahoe Resource Conservation District, restored native wetland habitat in Johnson Meadow on Saturday, July 25, continuing work started in 2019.
Teams stabilized crumbling stream banks, removed invasive plant species and cleared remnants of historic ranching operations. This work is the continuation of an ecosystem restoration project at Johnson Meadow that began during Tahoe Forest Stewardship Day last September.
“It was great to see the wetland habitat in Johnson Meadow rebounding after our volunteers worked so hard here last fall,” said Marilee Movius, community engagement manager for the League, in a press release. “We still have a long way to go to restore the basin’s wetlands so they can act as natural pollution filters for Lake Tahoe at their full, natural strength. We thank our partners at the Tahoe Resource Conservation District for the opportunity, and the volunteers for all their hard work.”
Marshes, meadows and wetlands across the Tahoe Basin are victims of unchecked past land use at Tahoe. Historic ranching and development degraded and disabled the vital ecological functions and natural habitat provided by these ecosystems. One of the League’s central campaigns is to advance restoration at Tahoe. In 1998, the League organized the first Tahoe Forest Stewardship Day event. For almost 23 years, these events — held twice annually since 2017 — have rallied local agencies, nonprofit organizations and community members to revive natural habitats across the basin.
Importantly, it’s a unique way to build an ethic of environmental stewardship in the community, to improve the land and to Keep Tahoe Blue. During COVID-19 times, taking part in an outdoor, physically distanced, shared activity is also a welcome release for volunteers looking to make a positive difference.
“I can’t tell you how satisfying it is,” said Katie Riley, a volunteer with the League. “I’m outdoors, doing something meaningful for the Tahoe environment, with other people, and social distancing at the same time. That’s a great feeling.”
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