Forest Expansion: Forni Meadows now part of Eldorado Forest

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 10 July 2018



The El Dorado Forest Expands

The Edge of The Desolation Wilderness

Under the Southern Shadow of Pyramid Peak

Forni Meadows now part of Eldorado Forest,
Lake Tahoe News, July 10, 2018.

"The Forni Meadows property includes the historic Forni Ranch which was homesteaded by the Forni family in the 1880s and was used as a summer cow camp."

There's a ledge running around the bottom of the Southwestern Flanks of the highest peaks of the Crystal Range with a set of lakes, meadows, and "flats," of which the Forni Meadows sit under the Southwestern edge of the range, right under the South Flank of the Southernmost peak of the range, Pyramid Peak.

Note that these meadowed flats sit on a diminishing wedge of terrain above the steep wall running down to the South Fork of the American River and Highway 50.

Desolation Wilderness Are Map
Look at the bottom of the map, above the town of Strawberry along Highway 50. Note Upper and Lower Forni Meadows.

Historical Context

Check out the nearby Meiss Family historical information in the Southern end of the Tahoe Rim, where the combined routes of the Pacific Crest, Tahoe to Yosemite, Tahoe Rim, and Tahoe to Whitney trails across Meiss Meadow. They were neighbors, of a sort, and likely knew of each other's camps, if not each other...


Tahoe to Whitney Trail Guide

Meiss Cabin-Meadow Trail Guide entry

Map: Meiss Country Roadless Area

Text of Historical Landmark


El Dorado National Forest

Forni Meadows, a Natural and Cultural Legacy is Now Part of Eldorado National Forest,
El Dorado National Forest, July 9, 2018, Placervillle, CA.

835 Acres
“The Eldorado National Forest has recently completed the purchase of Forni Meadows, adding 835-acres of ecologically valuable and historically significant land to an area adjacent to Desolation Wilderness. The $3 million land purchase was facilitated by the Trust for Public Land with funding primarily from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). LWCF is a federal program which uses revenue from oil and gas leases for conservation.”

The Summer Grazing Grounds
“...250 acres of meadows and wetlands, breeding populations of the endangered Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog, two miles of streams, and a small pond. It also provides potential habitat for other sensitive species such as the California wolverine, the Sierra Nevada red fox, the northern goshawk, and the American marten. The large size of Upper Forni Meadow (over 100 acres) is uncommon on the west side of the northern and central Sierra. With the surrounding complex of wet meadows, this property is exceptionally biologically diverse.”

The Cow Camp
“The ranch contains the original cabin built in 1862, as well as other cabins and two barns. The cow camp is expected to be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.”


“...the public can hike into this area along 4 ½ miles of primitive service roads which are closed to public vehicle access.”


High Sierra History

Another Nearby Cow Camp: Meiss Meadow Structures




High Sierra History & the Human Past





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Forni Meadows and Cow Camp purchased by El Dorado National Forest High Sierra history



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