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April 14, 2017 – Get inspired, activated and involved with the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) this Earth Day season at the State of the Yuba, Wednesday, April 19. SYRCL invites the community to celebrate the river and join in honoring three distinguished guests for their service to protecting and restoring the Yuba watershed. Junet Bedayn, SYRCL’s Youth Environmentalist of the Year, Allan Eberhart, SYRCL’s Volunteer of the Year, and United States Fish & Wildlife Service, SYRCL’s Partner of the Year will be recognized for their extraordinary commitment to SYRCL and the river.
“At the heart of SYRCL are our dedicated volunteers who make our work possible,” says Jenn Tamo, SYRCL Community Engagement Manager. “Last year, more than 1,300 volunteers donated nearly 10,000 hours to help with efforts like water quality monitoring, invasive species removal, river stewardship, climate change research, and watchdogging the proposal to build Centennial Dam. The State of the Yuba is an open invitation to learn about the many ways to get involved and volunteer with SYRCL this coming year.” The evening will begin with an open house format, from 5pm-6pm, in which attendees will have an opportunity to meet staff and mingle with river lovers.
Unveiling New Plan to Help Salmon
With Spring-run Chinook salmon hovering on the brink of extinction and fall-run salmon fairing no better, the time to act is now. Last year, critically low numbers of migrating salmon were recorded. As few as 148 Spring-run salmon were counted as of August 2016. SYRCL is working on an action plan to restore critical habitat on the lower Yuba this year which will be revealed at the State of the Yuba. River Science Director Rachel Hutchinson says, “SYRCL is excited to be working collaboratively with agencies and local non-profits to produce a plan that will allow us to take action and improve conditions for fish now. We are working with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and groups like the Gold Country Flyfishers to help save these key species and their habitat.” SYRCL and partners are focused on salmon and steelhead restoration because they are indicators of river health, from the headwaters to the ocean. When a watershed is able to support strong salmon and steelhead populations, the entire river ecosystem can thrive.
Presenting on Centennial Dam
Over the past two years SYRCL, in coalition with local, state, and national conservation groups, has been challenging Nevada Irrigation District (NID)’s proposal to build Centennial Dam. The Bear River just recently made national news as it was listed number two in America’s Most Endangered Rivers® a report published by American Rivers. The report highlights rivers whose fate will be decided in the coming year. The Bear was chosen because the Centennial Dam would “irreparably harm the river’s fish and wildlife, recreation and Native American heritage.” State of the Yuba attendees can expect to learn more about why the Bear River made it to the top of the nation’s most endangered rivers list and how to get involved.
Caleb Dardick, SYRCL Executive Director says, “In 2017, a new dam should be the last alternative considered, not the first. NID should be looking for alternative ways to manage limited water resources that are environmentally sustainable such as restoring meadows, wetlands, and floodplains. We want our local representatives to consider a range of creative solutions such as repairing or modifying aging facilities, improving canal efficiency, incentivizing water conservation, stopping leaks, and metering water.”
In this political climate, engagement in local environmental, community, and political issues is paramount. This FREE event is for all members of the community who want to learn more about SYRCL’s efforts to defend the watershed and how to get involved.
WHAT: SYRCL’s “State of the Yuba”
WHEN: Wednesday, April 19, 2017. Doors open at 5:00pm, program from 6pm – 8:00pm
WHERE: Peace Lutheran Church, 828 W. Main Street, Grass Valley
COST: This event is FREE and open to the public.
FOOD & DRINK: Dinner and drinks available for purchase