Upper Truckee gains attention | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Upper Truckee gains attention

More attention will be paid to the Upper Truckee River Watershed over the next 16 months.

The California Tahoe Resource Conservation District hired Leisa Phillips as the watershed coordinator with a $69,000 state grant.

Jennifer Heath, district program coordinator, was on the selection committee that hired Phillips.

“(Phillips) had the most experience as far as watershed management and she had been doing private consulting,” Heath said. “She has a lot of good energy.”

Phillips, a graduate of Utah State and Colorado State universities, has worked in environmental planning for 12 years.

Her job with the district will involve coordinating the many agencies that monitor and implement projects along the watershed that don’t use similar instruments to analyze data.

“I have to get them to work together as a team,” Phillips said. “My job is to get them to view the big picture and get those projects to complement each other.”

Phillips said she is now compiling a database of agencies, stakeholders and residents who live and work around the watershed.

She hopes to also gather data on where more study needs to be done and then implement projects to restore those areas. She said a common database is needed to house all of the quantitative data taken from different agencies in the field to help environmentalists and ecologists to understand the overall health of the watershed.

Phillips said the district’s role is to represent private land owners while coordinating the efforts of other stakeholders.

“We need to get people to see the projects on a watershed scale but to get the best out of everybody.” she said.

The Upper Truckee River Watershed is the largest of the 63 tributaries that feed into Lake Tahoe and the biggest depositor of sediment into the lake.

The watershed covers about 100 square miles and includes portions of El Dorado and Alpine counties. Primary tributaries that flow into the Upper Truckee River include: Trout, Echo, Angora, Grass Lake and Big Meadow creeks.

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