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Meadow Restoration Aims To Improve Water Supply And Combat Climate Change

Sierra Foothill Conservancy
Construction crews work to restore 80 acre Bean Meadow in northern Mariposa County.

Mountain meadows are a crucial part of California’s ecosystem, helping store and clean water. But they’ve been damaged by roads, ditches and cattle grazing over the years. This week, major construction is underway to restore Bean meadow in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Bridget Fithian with the Sierra Foothill Conservancy says the 80-acre project will restore the natural hydrology of the meadow.

“We have a pretty serious issue that if we can actually implement these restoration projects on the meadows then we can create an incredible benefit to people and wildlife throughout the Sierra and throughout the Sierra and through the state,” Fithian said.

Fithian says meadows can also capture greenhouse gases. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife funded the project from the state’s cap and trade proceeds. 

This story was produced by Capital Public Radio.