SYRCL’s 2021 Impact Report: People Can Save a River

Each year, SYRCL releases an Impact Report that details the work we have done over the course of the previous year.

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Aspen on the Landscape

Here on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada, quaking aspen exists as a minor element of the forest in terms of acreage, making up only 1% of the forest and within the Yuba River watershed, aspen trees are mostly found within the headwaters. However, aspen trees provide an outsized role in terms of landscape resilience, biodiversity, and human enrichment. By looking to the aspen stands in the Yuba River watershed and where they are present, we can learn more about our home watershed’s natural history.

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Protect the Yuba River Canyon from Wildfires

This year’s lack of precipitation has already led to multiple red flag warnings in our area as well as the surrounding areas. Officials are particularly concerned about fires in and around the South Yuba River corridor due to the remote location and limited cellular communication available. Both of these factors could result in a small fire growing to become a significant and devastating incident.

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Sierra Newts – Amorous Amphibians

Throughout most of the year, the brilliantly colored Sierra newt (Taricha sierrae) lives on land, hunting and eating insects, earthworms, and slugs and hiding from any potential predators in the moist soil beneath rocks and logs. In the winter and spring, however, these members of the family Salamandridae become aquatic, returning to the pond or stream where they were born in search of a good time.

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Beavers – Ecosystem Engineers

We at SYRCL are committed to our restoration projects – both river and meadow. Do you know who else loves a good restoration project? Beavers!

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Mountain Lions – A Keystone Predator

The Yuba River Watershed is home to a diverse and abundant collection of plants and animals. One animal that is capable of eliciting admiration, respect, and fear is the mountain lion. Recent sightings of mountain lions around the watershed prompted us to share a bit more about this keystone predator.

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SYRCL’s 2021 Top Wins

As we begin 2022, we find it useful to reflect back on the work we accomplished in 2021. We could not have done it without hundreds of volunteers and members, dozens of partners, and an incredible staff of 20+ people.

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Interview with Heart Wood author, Shirley DicKard

“Heart Wood: Four Women, for the Earth, for the Future” is an engaging novel that weaves together the stories of four women in a way that sews together the deep past, Gold Rush era, our present time, and late 21st century with a dystopic future. Each woman connects with the land on which she lives to know it and organizes people to protect it. Together, these stories speak “to the collective power of feminine energy to protect the Earth” in a manner that inspires hope.

We recently sat down with the author of “Heart Wood”, Shirley DicKard.

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Join us on a Tour of Rose Bar

SYRCL has been working alongside its partners for a decade to restore the lower Yuba River by creating spawning and rearing habitat for the threatened Chinook salmon. Our newest project is planned for a stretch of the lower Yuba called Rose Bar. We are inviting the public to join us for a tour of the project area on Friday, December 3rd.

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Recent Rain Tests Hallwood Restoration Project

The storm that swept through Nevada County between the 23rd and 25th of October dropped between seven and twelve inches of much needed precipitation. This rainfall has led to, among other things, increased flows in the Yuba River. 

We sat down with one of our SYRCL scientists to learn more about how this rain event interacted with the Hallwood Side Channel and Floodplain Restoration Project, a restoration effort that SYRCL has been working on and committed to for the past five years. 

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