Clover Valley Ranch sunset

Clover Valley Ranch

Biodiversity research in the Sierra Nevadas

The Red Clover valley of the northern Sierra Nevada mountains is an approximately 7000 acre wet-meadow ecosystem consisting of mixed grasslands, sage brush chapparal, and pine forests. Situated at an average elevation of 5500ft (1680m), the valley forms the high-mountain watershed of the Feather River system that feeds the State Water Project extending down to Southern California.

rodent processing and sampling
Dr. Brian Bird holding a deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) during surveillance activities for hantaviruses in California (credit: Eunah Preston); OHI research team sampling deer mice in the Sierra Nevada mountains (credit: Brian Bird)

Over the past 6 years, activities supported in part by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and state funding sources have worked to restore the natural ability of the valley meadows to retain ground and surface waters to improve meadow habitat throughout the summer growing season. Researchers from the UC Davis One Health Institute, the Sierra Fund, San Francisco State University, and the Plumas Corporation are working collaboratively to understand the impacts of meadow restoration, climate change, and wildfire on animal and vegetation biodiversity, carbon sequestration, hydrology, water quality, and wildlife disease ecology.