We write today with tremendous gratitude and relief, but also a heavy heart. Last week, we witnessed our emergency services mobilize and successfully evacuate thousands while protecting our homes. As firefighters continue to work tirelessly throughout the state, in our community the Jones Fire now seems to be contained. For that we are grateful beyond words to Cal Fire, the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services, YubaNet, and the countless others that came to our rescue and helped keep us informed. SYRCL sends our condolences to our friends and colleagues at Sierra Streams Institute, Woolman at Sierra Friends Center, and all those who lost their homes in the Jones Fire.
From its high mountain forests and meadows to its sparkling blue waters, the Yuba River watershed is our home. As a community, we have long recognized the risks of living in this wild place and the work needed to maintain a safe balance between community livelihood and a healthy watershed.
Last week’s Jones Fire reinforces the pressing need to promote and build upon the work this community has taken on to protect and restore our forests. Proactive organizations including our Fire Safe Councils, a multitude of non-profits and businesses, and our local Cal Fire staff are all working across our region to reduce forest fuels and restore biodiversity and resilience. Given the current overgrown state of our forests, the road to a healthy watershed is long and we acknowledge there is much more work to be done. SYRCL is committed to this work, our river, and our community. Thank you to our community for inspiring our work and coming together in the face of catastrophe. We need each other now more than ever.
– SYRCL Staff