Tahoe Resource Conservation District

Johnson Meadow

  • Where is Johnson Meadow?
  • Johnson Meadow is situated in the heart of the city of South Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County, California. It is located within the Upper Truckee River watershed, the largest watershed in the Lake Tahoe Basin, draining over 56 square miles and providing some of the most significant wet meadow floodplain habitat in the entire Sierra Nevada. Tahoe RCD recently acquired title to approximately 206 acres comprising the Johnson Meadow property in order to provide continuous public ownership of the lower nine miles of the Upper Truckee River (UTR) before the river enters Lake Tahoe. This nine-mile reach of the UTR is centered downstream of property owned by the City of South Lake Tahoe and California Department of Parks and Recreation (Washoe Meadows State Park) and upstream of the Upper Truckee Marsh, owned by the California Tahoe Conservancy.  Johnson Meadow is situated in the floodplain of the UTR and was the largest privately-owned meadow in the Tahoe Basin.

    Upper Truckee River - Johnson Meadow

  • Why must encroachments be resolved?
  • The effects of encroachments on this former ranch property are detrimental both publicly and environmentally.  Public access is compromised anytime public lands are modified to resemble private property, through landscaping, lawns, fenced areas, storage of personal property, structures or parking. In addition, encroachments often damage soils and vegetation, leading to the degradation of the hydrologic functions these lands are intended to preserve. In some cases, encroachments interfere with planned hazardous fuels or hazard tree abatement projects or restoration efforts and must be resolved prior to management. Essentially, this is now public land and needs to remain accessible to the public.
  • How are encroachments resolved?
  • When an encroachment onto Johnson Meadow has been identified, the Tahoe RCD informs the responsible property owner and requests removal of the encroachment and termination of the prohibited activity. In most cases encroachments are resolved through an administrative process involving written notification and on-site meetings with Tahoe RCD staff. Some situations may warrant legal action if compliance does not occur by a specified date issued, or if significant damage to public lands has occurred. It is the responsibility of property owners to know their property boundary location and ensure their property does not extend beyond that line..
  • What is the dog leash policy on Johnson Meadow?
  • Johnson Meadow is entirely in the jurisdiction of El Dorado County and will therefore follow the County Animal Control Ordinance Sec. 6.12.070. No person owning or having control of any animal, livestock or poultry shall permit such animal, livestock or poultry to stray or run at large upon any public street or other public place, or any unenclosed private lot or other unenclosed private place in the County with the exception of livestock on open range as defined in Chapter 6.36.

    1. Any animal other than working animals shall be confined by the owner or his or her agent on a leash of not more than ten feet in length during any time the animal is removed from an enclosed private lot or enclosed private place.
    2. Each female dog in heat (i.e., season) will be confined in an enclosed area in such a manner that the female dog cannot come in contact with another animal except for a planned breeding.
    3. No person shall bring or allow any animal into a county owned or leased public building or within 50 feet of the entrances thereto, excepting County Animal Control facilities, with the exception of seeing-eye dogs in the company of blind persons. This section shall also not apply to any animal used by law enforcement agencies of the County, State or Federal government while in the performance of their official duties, to include police dogs.
    4. At large. Any person may take up and deliver to the Animal Control Officer any animal at large on public property or upon the person’s private property. The Animal Control Officer shall hold and dispose of the animal in the same manner as though the animal had been found at large and impounded by the Animal Control Officer.
    5. An owner or keeper of a dog who willfully suffers it to go at large, or keeps it without ordinary care, and the animal while at large off the owner’s or keeper’s property bites a person, engages in behavior that requires a person to take defensive action to prevent physical injury, or which inflicts injury, kills, or otherwise causes injury to any domestic animal, is guilty of a misdemeanor. Upon conviction the owner or keeper must keep the dog involved in the incident which resulted in the conviction in compliance with the requirements of Section 6.12.050. Upon conviction of a violation of this section, the court may order any other conditions to protect public safety including destruction of the dog. Upon conviction of a violation of this section, the court shall order restitution to the investigating agency for the cost of investigation, impound and holding of the dog and to the victim for the treatment of injuries or other damages.

    (Code 1997, § 6.12.070; Ord. 3446, § 4(part), 1984; Ord. No. 3692, § 10, 1987; Ord. No. 4608, 9-17-2002)

    If a loose dog is acting strange, is aggressive or has bitten someone, call El Dorado County Animal Services (530) 573-7925, or after hours, call the Sheriff’s Dispatch at (530) 621-6600.

Our Priorities for Johnson Meadow

The board and staff of Tahoe RCD are committed to restoring, stewarding, and managing the iconic Johnson Meadow property in ways that:

View our full Johnson Meadow Planning Approach developed along with our strategic planning process in March 2018.

Johnson Meadow - Dry

Johnson Meadow (Aerial) - Winter