Lower Blackwood Creek Restoration Project Receives
Best in the Basin Award

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency awarded NHC's Lower Blackwood Creek Restoration Project for the California Tahoe Conservancy in the Lake Tahoe Basin a Best in the Basin award in September 2014. The project restores stream stability, riparian habitat, and aquatic habitat on approximately 2,000 linear feet of stream just upstream of Lake Tahoe. The Blackwood Creek watershed has been affected by mining, grazing, logging, road building, and other human activities since the mid-1800s. The US Forest Service has completed a multi-phase project on the upstream reaches of Blackwood Creek and this project extends restoration efforts on California Tahoe Conservancy land near the west shore of Lake Tahoe in a reach that was affected by highway construction and residential development.

Key objectives of the project included:

  • stabilizing the invert profile to resist further bed degradation;
  • reducing bank erosion and fine sediment input to protect the clarity of Lake Tahoe;
  • enhancing floodplain function and riparian habitat; and
  • improving the diversity and quality of aquatic habitat.

    Key project features include:

  • four constructed riffles to stabilize the bed and enhance pool habitat;
  • large woody material structures designed to protect the bank, improve near-bank aquatic habitat, and provide sites for riparian regeneration;
  • realignment of a portion of the channel to lengthen the profile and increase functional floodplain area.

    NHC led the project team from initial concepts through project planning, technical analyses, environmental compliance and permitting, final design, and construction implementation. NHC is presently assisting the Conservancy with project monitoring.