Nevada City, CA – From the headwaters along Donner Summit to the confluence of the Yuba and Feather Rivers, hundreds of people turned out for the South Yuba River Citizens League’s (SYRCL’s) 24th annual Yuba River Cleanup that took place from September 11-18, 2021.

This year’s event had two different phases: the self-guided Cleanup that took place Sept 11 through the 17 and the community cleanup on Saturday, the 18. During the self-guided cleanup, more than 150 volunteers removed 2,600 pounds of trash and recycling from 12 sites along the South Yuba River, Deer Creek, and Wolf Creek. These volunteers included students from SAEL and Forest Charter as well as Nevada Irrigation District (NID) employees. Tahoe National Forest lent a special helping hand in areas of the watershed that were closed to the public earlier in the week.

“This event is successful each year because so many of our community members are committed to keeping the Yuba wild and scenic,” said Melinda Booth, SYRCL’s Executive Director. “The annual Cleanup is also a great way to close the River Ambassador season, which works all summer to educate the public on river safety and etiquette with the hope of reducing the trash we find each year during the Cleanup.”

The over 250 volunteers who participated in Saturday’s Community Cleanup collected and disposed of an additional 10,000 pounds of trash across 13 sites that included river crossings, dump sites on Tahoe National Forest land, and abandoned encampments. Mattresses, illegal mining equipment, and fire grates were found along with countless pieces of micro-trash.

“For many of our participants, cleaning up is a year-round activity,” said Betsy Brunner, SYRCL’s Communications and Engagement Director. “We are grateful to everyone who packs out a little—or a lot of—extra trash when they visit. Every little bit helps.”

The Yuba River Cleanup and River Ambassador program are made possible thanks to these generous sponsors and partners. SYRCL would like to express our gratitude to:

The Tahoe National Forest, AJA Video Systems, Briar Patch Community Co-op, and Yuba Water Agency. A-One Bookkeeping, Balance Hydrologics, Body Logic Physical Therapy, Donner Summit Public Utilities District, and Sweetland Garden Mercantile.

Bear Yuba Land Trust, Fit for Life Physical Therapy, Gold Country Kiwanis Club, Homelight, SCO Planning & Engineering, Sierra Gold Parks Foundation, Stantec Consulting Services, Teichert Rock Products, and the Truckee Tahoe Airport District.

B & C Ace Hardware, Coldwell Banker Grass Roots Realty, Mike Bratton & State Farm Insurance, Nevada County Cannabis, Alliance, Peters’ Drilling & Pump Service, and Sierra College. Economy Pest Control, Nevada City Engineering, Nevada City Self Storage, Plaza Tire & Auto Service, and SRC Party Rentals.

SYRCL also thanks the Cleanup’s in-kind contributors: Waste Management for donating a 30ft dumpster and dump vouchers for all our trash removal needs and Safeway for gift card donations for volunteer snacks.

SYRCL also deeply appreciates the cooperation and support of these community and agency partners: California State Parks, the U.S. Forest Service & Tahoe National Forest, Waste Management, the Bureau of Land Management, the Army Corps of Engineers, Gold Country Flyfishers, Grass Valley Public Works, Hospitality House, Caltrans, Nevada City, Nevada County, Nevada Irrigation District, Placer County, Yuba County, Sierra Nevada Conservancy, American Rivers, Soda Springs General Store, Wolf Creek Community Alliance, Nevada County Historical Society and many others.


The South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) is the leading voice for the protection and restoration of the Yuba River watershed. Founded in 1983 through a rural, grassroots campaign to defend the South Yuba River from proposed hydropower dams, SYRCL has developed into a vibrant community organization with more than 3,500 members and volunteers. See: