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Truckee River Project Aims to Restore Habitat, Tahoe Clarity

The Upper Truckee River Restoration and potential golf course reconfiguration project is an effort to restore and fix that which has been damaging to the native fish and wildlife habitat and the clarity of Lake Tahoe for decades. Over the past century, the Upper Truckee River has been impacted by logging, gravel mining, grazing, river channel straightening and development including the building of the golf course on the former floodplain in the late 1950s, prior to the park's acquisition in 1984. These disturbances have caused decreased clarity in the lake and a diminished stream habitat for fish.

This project was initiated in 2006 in response to several studies that indicated this reach of the river needed to be restored, or damage to the fish and wildlife habitat and the lake clarity would continue. To implement this restoration, a set of goals was established, which includes reducing the amount of fine sediment and nutrients entering the lake, restoring riparian habitat and improving in-stream habitat, while maintaining the existing recreational opportunities and economic benefits.

To put the scale of this restoration in perspective, the effort to restore various reaches of the upper Truckee River is one of the largest and most important watershed restoration efforts currently under way in the Tahoe basin – a joint project of several federal, state and local agencies including: California State Parks, the Tahoe Conservancy, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. This project is part of a larger effort to restore the upper Truckee River and improve lake clarity.