Author Archives: Uma Hinman

Effects of Meadow Erosion and Restoration on Groundwater Storage and Baseflow in National Forests in the Sierra Nevada

USDA Forest Service, et al., June 19, 2015. Meadows in the Sierra Nevada maintain summer groundwater levels at or near the land surface in an otherwise seasonally dry montane landscape. Their role in retaining and releasing water makes meadows critically important for the hydrology of California’s headwaters as well as for fish and wildlife habitat, cultural resources, forage production, wildfire fuel loading, and recreation.

Many of the meadows in the Sierra Nevada have been eroded by incised channels, also known as entrenched channels or gullies. Channel incision increases local groundwater flow gradients and, consequently, groundwater discharge from meadow aquifers to streams. This enhanced groundwater drainage results in lower water-table elevations, decreased groundwater retention, and conversion of wet meadows to forested or brush-covered alluvial flats.

Click here for full report.

California Water Plan ENews – 3/16/16

This week’s California Water Plan eNews includes:

  • Back-to-back groundwater symposiums offered by the GRA this month
  • Drought challenges and solutions to be discussed at San Diego conference
  • Details on El Nino and sea level rise highlight latest edition of WestFAST newsletter
  • Meadow study looks at groundwater storage in Sierra Nevada forests
  • Annual water policy conference set for next month in Sacramento
  • New Envision website offers updated resources for sustainable projects
  • Public workshops on Natural and Working Lands and Forest Carbon Plan

California Water Plan ENews – 3/9/16

This week’s California Water Plan eNews includes:

  • Action plans map out tactics for California to deal with climate change
  • New tool available to submit groundwater information for adjudicated areas
  • Water storage public hearing will be part of next California Water Commission meeting
  • Water institute’s newsletter highlights research projects and new blog
  • Preliminary program and registration information posted for annual CWEMF meeting
  • Registration is open for annual IEP workshop to be held in April
  • California Water Summit early bird pricing available through this Friday

California Water Plan ENews – 3/2/16

This week’s California Water Plan eNews includes:

  • Cal OES provides details on availability of federal disaster mitigation funding
  • The combination of SGMA and climate change to be discussed at Davis conference
  • Lessons California can learn from the way Australia handled a long drought
  • Showcase will feature water conservation experts and topics
  • State transportation plan includes goal for environmental stewardship
  • Transportation and water projects will be the focus of the infrastructure symposium
  • 2016 funding fair schedule kicks off this April in Sacramento

Sierra Nevada Watershed Improvement Program – Draft Regional Strategy

The Watershed Improvement Plan (WIP) Regional Strategy identifies key information, trends, plans, efforts, and data for major categories influencing watershed health, as well as the process and timeline for implementing the WIP.

The key activities are:

  • assessing watershed restoration needs across the Sierra
  • increasing investment in the Region
  • addressing policy issues to ensure the implementation of needed restoration projects and the infrastructure needed to support such efforts

The SNC and the USFS Region 5 will act as the primary coordinators of the WIP and partner activity. However, given the scope and scale of this program, your active engagement and participation will be critical, which is why we are encouraging you to provide your feedback on the WIP Regional Strategy. The comment period is open until March 18, 2016. You may send your comments to

Sierra Nevada Conservancy: Funding Opportunities Newsletter – Feb/Mar 2016


This month’s research memo:  Abandoned Mine Land grants

This research memo provides a variety of funding sources for mitigation of impacts from abandoned mine lands. Most of these grants have the goal of improving water quality or restoring healthy habitats. You can find this and other research memos on the Funding Opportunities Web Page. As always, if you have any additional resources to share, please contact the funding team at

Want to know what grants are coming up? The Funding Opportunities Web page has an updated calendar of funding opportunities expected over the next several months.

Upcoming grants that might be of interest:

  • Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Grant Program (deadline March 7) for planning, acquisition, development, maintenance, administration, operation, enforcement, restoration, and conservation of trails, trailheads, areas, and other facilities associated with the use of off-highway motor vehicles.
  • Healthy Watershed Consortium Grant Program (deadline March 14) to accelerate strategic protection of healthy, freshwater ecosystems and their watersheds. Proposals should focus on large-scale protection and can involve implementation, enhancing organizational infrastructure, and/or developing financing mechanisms.
  • Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program (deadline May 2, optional pre-proposals due February 16) to support the purchase of agricultural conservation easements on strategic agricultural lands to achieve and maintain greenhouse gas emissions reductions, sustainable communities, and food security.
  • Strong Foundation Grant Program (deadline February 15) grants up to $5,000 for environmental and conservation efforts, grassroots action, environmental education, capacity building, citizen participation, and similar efforts.
  • National Fire Protection Association Wildfire Community Preparedness Day (deadline February 28) grants up to $500 for to reduce wildfire risk, advance general wildfire preparedness, or minimize post-fire impacts from a recent wildfire. Funding will support activities that will be completed on Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, which is May 7, 2016.
  • Access Fund: Climbing Preservation Grant Program (deadline March 1) grants up to $4,000 for projects that preserve or enhance climbing access/opportunities, and conserve the national climbing environment.

 Get an early start on this funding opportunity:

  • Preliminary guidelines have been released for the Active Transportation Program. This funding can be used to develop bikeways, walkways, safe routes to schools, recreational trails and trailheads, park projects that facilitate trail linkages or connectivity to non-motorized corridors, and conversion of abandoned railroad corridors to trails. No match is required. The anticipated deadline is June 15. Applications for this funding require a great deal of documentation as well as coordination with local agencies, so start early!

California Water Plan ENews – 2/24/16

This week’s California Water Plan eNews includes:

  • Draft regulations on groundwater sustainability available for public review
  • Groundwater blog looks at tribal inclusion for SGMA public outreach
  • Yosemite conference will include workshop on groundwater sustainability
  • Data fair will provide access to some of water board’s datasets
  • New online mapping tool provides insight on potential pollution of drinking water
  • Direct potable reuse group set to meet in Richmond next month
  • Webinar offers details on climate change adaptation work in the Central Valley

California Water Plan ENews – 2/17/16

This week’s Water Plan eNews includes:

  • Sierra watershed strategy available for public review and comment
  • Projecting this century’s climate change impacts on the Truckee Basin
  • Stanford report turns to the electricity sector for possible water project solutions
  • California’s water policy history and conflicts chronicled in new book
  • Delta Stewardship Council to discuss 2016 priorities, performance measures
  • Fish and wildlife spells out its list of major accomplishments in 2015
  • Water quality council to get briefing on statewide algal bloom strategy
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