Mountain Meadows Restoration Project at Greenville Creek and Upper Goodrich and Effects on Greenhouse Gases

Mountain Meadows Restoration Project restored the ecological meadow function of 181 acres at Greenville Creek and 73 acres at Upper Goodrich, resulting in: 1) increased groundwater elevations in the first year with an increase of 125 days of surface saturation at Greenville Creek and 147 days at Upper Goodrich; 2) increase in shallow aquifer volume at Greenville Creek 192 acre feet and 62 acre feet at Upper Goodrich; 3) over a 100% increase in vegetative meadow productivity in two years, Greenville Creek 429% and Upper Goodrich 176%; greater than 100% increase in the ratio of wet meadow plant species to dry meadow grass/forb species within two years, with 500% increase at Greenville Creek and 300% at Upper Goodrich; 4) enhancement of meadow floodplain with 12.1 acres of surface water ponds (7.8 acres in Greenville Crk and 4.3 acres in Upper Goodrich); and 5) improved riparian habitat vegetative vigor for waterfowl and sandhill cranes - avian surveys pre-project detected no waterfowl or sandhill cranes, versus post-project 12 cranes, one gadwall, and two Northern pintail were detected in Greenville Creek project area and one mallard was detected in Upper Goodrich.
Greenhouse gas research results indicated an increase in carbon sequestration after restoration at Greenville Creek , while no change was measured at Upper Goodrich. Based on the research results, it is surmised that increases in soil C stocks are driven by increases in belowground inputs from vegetation. This correlates with the significant increases in soil C stocks found at Greenville, but not Goodrich, in the top 45 cm soil. Greenville had a substantial increase in vegetation biomass (400%), while response to restoration relative to the increase in biomass at the unrestored control site was not as significant (175% for Goodrich, 60% for the control).