PHOENIX LAKE PRESERVATION & RESTORATION PLAN
Phoenix Lake is the primary drinking water source for Sonora, Jamestown, Scenic View, and Mono Village, in Tuolumne County’s “gold country.” Constructed in 1852 to support hydraulic mining, the 88-acre lake today is one of several reservoirs in the Tuolumne Utilities District (TUD) distribution system. Phoenix Lake lies three miles northeast of Sonora in a wooded meadow surrounded by alpine hills. The water serves as the principal fill source for CAL FIRE helicopter operations in the Highway 108 corridor. As a scenic aquatic habitat and wetland, Phoenix Lake is also used for non-motorized, non-contact recreation by adjacent homeowners and on a limited basis by the general public.
A loss of one third of Phoenix Lake’s water storage capacity has occurred over the past 100 years.
TUD ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW
Phoenix Lake Preservation and Restoration Project
The main components of the Proposed Project include sediment removal and wetland enhancement, sediment reuse and disposal, and tributary improvements. Most of the sediment removed from the lake would be placed at the Cedar Ridge Apple Ranch and on the Summers property immediately north of the lake. Sediment would also be placed in strategic locations within the lake to improve water circulation and manage sedimentation. The Proposed Project would also involve sedimentation and flood protection improvements along lower Chicken Creek and construction of a crossing over Power Creek. Implementation of the Proposed Project would increase the water supply reliability and improve water quality for TUD’s largest water system, serving more than 10,000 people, as well as commercial and agricultural users.
Jul 21, 2017
Aug 21, 2017
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The goals of the Phoenix Lake Preservation and Restoration Plan are to develop conceptual plans to:
- improve water quality,
- increase water storage,
- reduce future silt buildup,
- increase wetlands habitat value and functionality,
- evaluate public access,
- improve fire protection and educate property owners surrounding the lake about appropriate land maintenance practices.
- determine and describe the necessary level of environmental analysis and permitting requirements for potential construction and maintenance projects developed in the conceptual plan.
Sierra Nevada Conservancy Grant & TUD Funding
This evaluation project is funded by a $100,000 Sierra Nevada Conservancy Grant and $120,000 TUD matching funds for a total budget of $220,000. Horizon Water and Environment was hired as a consultant for the project. The Phoenix Lake Preservation and Restoration Plan has developed conceptual plans for lake restoration (including a lake dredging plan), water quality improvements, wetland habitat improvements, public access, and fire management. Ultimately, the Plan will be used to prepare an engineered project design, environmental review, secure community support and construction grant funding.