Tahoe Conservancy to Improve Public Access and Restore Floodplain at Former Campground Site Along Lake Tahoe’s Largest Tributary

Published: May 04, 2020

Tahoe PinesMeyers, Calif.—This week, the California Tahoe Conservancy begins constructing new accessible-to-all trails and other public access features along the Upper Truckee River in Meyers. Working on the site of the former Tahoe Pines Campground, the Conservancy will also create new wetlands and restore habitat along Lake Tahoe’s largest tributary.

“The Tahoe Pines property is such a special place, with its confluence of creeks, its groves of cottonwood trees, and its prime location for the Meyers community and visitors to Tahoe,” said El Dorado County Supervisor Sue Novasel, the Conservancy Board Chair. “When this project is complete, community members will gain a whole new way to experience the Upper Truckee River.”

The Conservancy acquired the Tahoe Pines Campground property in 2007. The campground, which hugged the west bank of the river, had suffered frequent damage from flooding during years with high river flows.

The Upper Truckee River collects runoff from a third of the land in the Lake Tahoe Basin and supports the largest wetland in the Sierra Nevada. Historical logging, grazing, and urban development have degraded the river. Along with the 8.1-acre Tahoe Pines property, the Conservancy and its partner agencies and organizations have now protected most of the lower nine miles of the river. As an example, the Conservancy has also recently launched the Upper Truckee Marsh Restoration Project, which will enhance and restore 250 acres of wetlands where the river meets Lake Tahoe.

The Conservancy will reconstruct the parking area and build a pathway, pedestrian bridge, and stream overlook pad that meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

The Conservancy will also remove fill from the floodplain to create approximately half an acre of wetlands along the river. This will enhance wildlife and native fish habitat, help prevent soil from eroding into the river, and make the site more resilient to climate change impacts.

The Conservancy will keep the Tahoe Pines site closed during construction to ensure public safety. Access restrictions will likely end in October.

Restoration work this year builds on successful steps taken in fall of 2020, when the Conservancy removed much of the defunct campground’s remaining infrastructure, such as concrete walls, large steel pipes, and pavement.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation helped fund the planning and implementation of this project. 

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The California Tahoe Conservancy is a state agency, established in 1985, with a mission to lead California’s efforts to restore and enhance the extraordinary natural and recreational resources of the Lake Tahoe Basin. Learn more at tahoe.ca.gov.