River Monitoring Program

Creating River Stewards: Monitoring Water Quality on Public Lands

Creating River Stewards: Monitoring Water Quality on Public Lands

This spring, SYRCL and Tahoe National Forest (TNF) launched a pilot program to engage middle and high school students in water quality monitoring. Twenty-two 6th through 12th grade students from Downieville Jr./Sr. School participated in the program where they were trained in water quality monitoring practices, collected water quality data at Oregon Creek Day Use Area, analyzed and interpreted the data they collected with SYRCL’s comprehensive River Monitoring Data sets, and learned river etiquette to become River Ambassadors.

‘First Flush’ Water Quality Monitoring Results Are In

‘First Flush’ Water Quality Monitoring Results Are In

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 and SYRCL’s ‘first flush’ event.

We sat down with our resident hydrologist, Karl Ronning, to learn more about this ‘first flush’ event and to discuss the results of our water quality monitoring.

Growing Green & Water Quality
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Growing Green & Water Quality

Cannabis cultivation has been present in the Yuba watershed for decades and is expected to stay well into the future. Like many common agricultural crops, cannabis cultivation has the potential to affect local water quality and watershed health. In fact, the Yuba River has been designated as a “priority watershed” for cannabis issues due to severe impacts by egregious, illegal grows.

Pesticide Use in Cannabis Cultivation Threatens California Spotted Owls
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Pesticide Use in Cannabis Cultivation Threatens California Spotted Owls

Widespread cannabis cultivation can lead to numerous environmental impacts, including groundwater and surface water depletion, soil erosion, habitat loss and fragmentation, and pesticide pollution. In this article, we focus on a secondary impact of cannabis cultivation—the poisoning of endangered and threatened species.