Spring Wildflowers on the Buttermilk Trail, Bridgeport Crossing in the South Yuba River State Park (photo by Abigail Limov)
Spring Wildflowers on the Buttermilk Trail, Bridgeport Crossing, South Yuba River State Park (photo: Abigail Limov)

SYRCL is founded on the premise that people can save a river.

The South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL – pronounced circle) was founded in 1983 by grassroots activists determined to protect the South Yuba River from dams. Ultimately, SYRCL won permanent protections for 39 miles of the South Yuba River under California’s Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

Today, SYRCL is the central hub of community activism to protect, restore, and celebrate the Yuba River watershed. With over 34 years of achievements, 3,500 members and 1,300 active volunteers, SYRCL is doing great things for the Yuba watershed. We are working to restore wild salmon to their native waters. We are replanting the banks of the Goldfields with trees. We are inspiring activism across the globe with our environmental film festival. Together, we are extending our powerful coalition from the Sierra to the sea.

Mission Statement:

SYRCL unites the community to protect and restore the Yuba River. Motivated by our love for this watershed, we advocate powerfully, engage in active stewardship, educate the public, and inspire activism from the Sierra to the sea.

Vision Statement:

We envision future generations of SYRCL members belonging to a vibrant, powerful, and sustainable community organization that is a model for activism globally.

We envision a local community that celebrates the Yuba River’s unique environmental and cultural heritage; is committed to a healthy river that supports our spiritual and economic well-being; and whose waters provide a place of healing and recreation.

We envision a day when the Yuba’s forests, meadows, and floodplains are repaired; the toxic legacy of the gold mining era is eliminated; the river’s artificial barriers are removed and natural flows are restored so that salmon, sturgeon and native trout can migrate freely to their ancestral waters.

Values & Beliefs Statements:

We believe that “People Can Save a River.” This founding premise empowers us to take collective action against real threats, emboldens us to be effective leaders and advocates, and inspires us to change the world while having fun along the way.

We value harmony between human culture and the natural environment. We value a shared river environment that is safe, accessible and welcoming. As all rivers are interconnected, we hope that our work here will inspire river movements beyond our watershed. 

We embrace all who sincerely care for the Yuba, and although our approaches to this work may differ at times, we pledge to conduct ourselves with utmost integrity and respect for the diversity of opinion and life experiences of others.

We strive to cultivate a professional and personally enriching work environment, which supports our dedicated team of staff, Board, and volunteers.  Recognizing ourselves as a true citizens’ league, our work is inspired by the Yuba and driven by the community.