Middle Martis Wetland Project Restores 60 Acres of Meadow

After decades of road and rail development obstructed the natural habitat of the Middle Martis wetland, Dudek and our native habitat construction subsidiary Habitat Restoration Sciences Inc. (HRS) worked with the Truckee River Watershed Council to restore the area to a lush meadow of native wildlife.

The wetland restoration at the 60-acre site in the town of Truckee also improved water quality, protected local roads from erosion, and preserved existing wetlands and riparian areas. We provided revegetation design, landscape architecture, and biological monitoring services.

Overcoming Challenges in Montane Wetlands

After conducting a field review of existing vegetation and wildlife habitat conditions, we designed the project’s revegetation, provided biotechnical design support, and developed a plan to fit the revegetation and biotechnical treatments to site-specific conditions.

Dudek Project Manager John Zanzi prepared technical revegetation and biotechnical design information, including native planting treatment prescriptions and specifications to facilitate persistent and sustainable habitat in the montane region. Because of the limited growing season in montane regions, Zanzi prescribed revegetation treatments for installation in September and October.

Maintaining Revegetation for Project Sustainability

Once project design was complete, HRS helped re-establish the creek to its original flow path. HRS’ experience in the Lake Tahoe-Truckee region and knowledge of local ecology resulted in a successful, self-sustaining project. “It was great that the Watershed Council selected HRS to build the project, as their restoration construction expertise is the best––especially in the Tahoe-Truckee region,” Zanzi said. “HRS understood how to rehabilitate the wetland and re-establish native habitats to promote a properly functioning ecosystem.”

HRS restored the marsh by draining water from a single channel, using wooden structures to reroute the flow throughout the wetland, and reintroducing native plants. Loren Roach, a senior project manager at HRS, said that the record-breaking rain and snow last winter required the team to adapt their design to field conditions, protecting the site from further damage. HRS continues to provide maintenance of plant establishment at the project site to ensure sustainable revegetation.

Implementing Solutions for Stakeholders and the Environment

The project has so far restored 60 acres of meadow and several reaches of the Middle Martis Creek, reviving native vegetation and allowing for the re-emergence of local wildlife, according to the Watershed Council.

The project offered numerous benefits for stakeholders and the environment, including:

  • Reviving 60 acres of meadow and a mile of stream;
  • Creating a haven for wildlife, including aquatic insects, yellow warblers, willow flycatchers, trout, dace, and sculpin;
  • Reintroducing sedge and willow species;
  • Restoring wetlands on the north side of Highway 267;
  • Improving water quality;
  • Preserving existing wetlands and riparian areas; and
  • Protecting existing roads.

To view a map of the area and project timeline, visit the Truckee River Watershed Council Website here

Learn more about John Zanzi’s tips for montane revegetation here, or contact him at jzanzi@dudek.com.