Sierra Meadows Process Based Restoration Project


SCH Number
Public Agency
California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Valley Fresno Region 5 (RWQCB)
Document Title
Sierra Meadows Process Based Restoration Project
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
The 2.55-acre Project of three riparian meadows with incised stream channels and actively evolving head cuts that rapidly drain the meadow floodplains, resulting in reduced residence time of water, reduced riparian wet-meadow habitat for amphibians or native fish, reduced stream complexity, increased erosion, and rapid drying following spring snowmelt have been selected for restoration. All in-stream restoration activities will follow process-based design criteria and do not require engineered designs due to the planned use of on-site, natural materials and stream energy while minimizing overall disturbance. Instream project designs will include low-tech biogenic structures such as post-assisted log structures (PALS) and beaver dam analogs (BDAs), which are ephemeral structures that are used to treat channel head cut features by allowing sediment to aggrade in the channel and halt stream incision. It is anticipated that by adding structural complexity to incised channels upstream sediments will be deposited and aggrade the channels, especially within the wildfire footprints, leading to more floodplain connectivity and subsequent inundation. Restoration also includes removing meadow-encroaching conifer trees which are not adapted to desired wet-meadow conditions

Contact Information

Brandon Salazar
Agency Name
Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board
Job Title
Water Resource Control Engineer
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency


Big Creek
Fresno, Madera
Northern California, Southern California
Other Location Info
Sierra National Forest

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
Small Habitat Restoration Class 33, Title 14, 15333
Reasons for Exemption
The project qualifies for the Small Habitat Restoration CEQA class 33 exemption because: 1) the project size is less than 5 acres and impacts less than 500 linear feet of stream bank, 2) the project is not part of any compensatory mitigation, 3) the primary purpose of the project is to improve habitat, 4) the activities are carried out principally with hand labor and not mechanized equipment, and 5) the project includes river bank stabilization using bioengineering techniques that eliminate erosion from stream incision.
County Clerks
Fresno, Madera


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