Volunteer Spotlight: Rorie Lin Gotham

Rorie_Lin_Gotham_Spotlight_lrg“Rorie is one of the most awe-inspiring women I have ever met.  Her passion and care for the river is incommensurable.  Our first outing gave me a glimpse of how she sees the river.  From that point, It became obvious to me her heart lies within the Yuba.”
– Karl Ronning, SYRCL Hydrologist

“Rorie is an absolute pleasure!  She has been dedicated to the Yuba and SYRCL since she moved to Nevada County years ago.  Rorie seeks to bring out the best in those around her and is constantly looking for opportunities to support others.  She brings her sweet spirit, quick mind, and passion for protecting wild spaces to all she does at SYRCL.  We are lucky to have her generous help weekly in the office, as a River Monitor, and as a volunteer at events like Wild for the Yuba and the Wild & Scenic Film Festival.”
– Jenn Tamo, SYRCL Community Engagement Manager

SYRCL: Rorie, tell us a bit about yourself and your love for rivers.

Rorie:  California became my home in 1976 after vacationing here in 1974. I was totally amazed to be able to ski, raft, and surf all in one day. My career in banking allowed me to own a home in Nevada City to escape from life in the Bay Area.  In 1997 I took early retirement and have lived on the South Yuba in Washington ever since. Being a whitewater boater, the next best thing to paddling on the river with all its sounds, smells, and sights, is to live on it.

SYRCL: What motivated you to take the time to be a part of SYRCL?

Rorie:  Friends of the River (FOR) was an organization I became involved with after Mark Dubois literally chained himself to a boulder to prevent New Melones reservoir from filling.  Unfortunately, a very wet winter season caused the lake to form.  But FOR was where I started becoming a warrior to save rivers.  Prior to relocating to Nevada County, I became a SYRCL member and volunteer. Because of my love for rivers and having been raised on a river back east (the Chemung River) it is only natural for me to find rivers to be MY TRUE LOVE.

SYRCL: What is your favorite river activity and favorite river spot?

Rorie:  I absolutely LOVE paddling on rivers.  The South Yuba has world-class status and several sections to run.  Just the other day, a group of friends and I paddled the 14- mile wilderness stretch from Washington to Edwards section at low flows.  It was so amazing, waterfalls all the way down the river, green corridor, and great rapids one after the other.

My favorite place on the Yuba is my own swimming hole below my house.

SYRCL: Lucky you to have your own swimming hole!  What would you say to someone about the importance and advantages of being a SYRCL member?

Rorie:  The world’s natural resources, like the Yuba rivers, are under great pressure and demand to be used—and abused—by humans.  It is so very important to give back to our natural resources so becoming involved with a river right here in our very own backyard is easy to do.  It only makes sense to keep it clean, in pristine condition, and in its natural state for future generations to enjoy.  Why not make involvement be part of the inheritance we leave for others?

SYRCL: If you had one wish for the Yuba, what would it be?

Rorie:  My deepest heartfelt wish for the Yuba is for there to be water in it to support all forms of life that can survive and prosper from its existence.  I would love to see the Salmon habitat be restored, and the tributaries that are polluting it from old mining diggings be cleaned up permanently so that the folks who come and visit not only find joy and happiness but make a commitment to not trash it in any way.

SYRCL: Rorie’s love of and commitment to the Yuba is highlighted in this short but inspiring video.

“A childhood connected to nature and adventure leads a woman to the forefront of the early days of whitewater rafting. The river calls her to become its protector as she witnesses the destruction caused by miners during the California gold rush era. Learn about Rorie’s love for the water and efforts by the South Yuba River Citizen’s League (SYRCL) to study and remediate the Yuba watershed.”

Director, Camera, and Editor: Brian Ginsberg. Skyranch from Sundown West on Vimeo.

Thanks to Rorie for all she does for SYRCL and the Yuba!

Rorie is a proud SYRCL member and volunteer. We invite you to join Rorie and thousands of other amazing River People by becoming a member and/or volunteer today. To find out more about becoming a member, visit our membership page or contact Alena at alena@syrcl.org or 530-265-5961 ext. 220. We have many opportunities to volunteer, to find out more, visit our volunteer page or contact Jenn at jenn@syrcl.org or 530-265-5961 ext. 201.

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