Martis Creek Wildlife restoration temporarily halted
The 70-acre restoration project on the Martis Creek Wildlife area has been halted after the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, the land owners, asked the Truckee River Watershed Council to be more diligent in protecting the area’s cultural and environmental resources.
“They gave us a letter because they were concerned that we were not going to be safe and consider those resources,” said Allison Holmes, conservation assistant for the watershed council. “And of course that is our main goal to protect all the resources while we are doing this restoration work. We just want to make sure we beef up our security and safety of those cultural and environmental resources.”
The project is located two miles east of downtown Truckee, off Highway 267. The extensive history of the land, including the habitance of the Washoe Tribe, has left important cultural artifacts. Holmes said she wants to give those artifacts, along with the native species inhabiting the land, more attention. The project should resume sometime this summer.
The $3.5 million project aims to repair 70 acres of meadow and two miles of streams. When planning the project the watershed council identified three sites at tributaries that are scattered around the area that need immediate attention. Due to the development of roads and homes throughout the valley, the creek was altered and began cutting into the meadow. This dried out vegetation on the surface, which serves as a food source for wildlife in the area.
Funding for the project is from grants from the California Fish and Wildlife Service through Proposition 1 and the Bureau of Reclamation, the Martis Fund, the Bella Vista Foundation and private donors.
Holmes said the funding needed for extra security around the site was already budgeted into the original project.
The project has been in the works since 2016 when the council began a concept design. Before that they completed a watershed assessment of the entire Martis Valley in 2012 to identify the projects that needed to be completed.
Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-550-2652.