At 7,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada, three alpine lakes and 2,000 acres are now permanently protected by Bear Yuba Land Trust on land owned by Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
Fordyce, Meadow and Sterling lakes are protected by conservation easements acquired in September by BYLT, a conservation group in Grass Valley with a 26-year foothold in the Bear and Yuba watersheds.
The conservation deal was stipulated as part of PG&E’s bankruptcy settlement in 2003 when the utility company agreed to permanently protect the watershed lands associated with its hydroelectric generation facilities.
“BYLT’s protection of these high-elevation reservoirs is a huge victory for the Sierra Nevada,” BYLT’s Director of Land Stewardship Erin Tarr said in a news release.
The acreage around the three reservoirs in Nevada County supports habitat for wildlife that includes the American martin, Pacific fisher, mountain yellow-legged frog, and California wolverine.
“Now that BYLT has permanent conservation easements on these lands, we will ensure the biological and recreational values are protected forever,” Tarr said. “Even if a change of ownership occurs, development
will not be possible on these lands.”