Caleb Dardick to Step Down as SYRCL Executive Director this Fall

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A message from the President of the Board of Directors

“For six years, SYRCL has thrived under Caleb’s energetic leadership. He has created a strong organization and a leadership team that is dedicated to SYRCL’s continued role unifying the community to protect and restore our entire watershed.” Read the Letter from Joseph J. Bell

After six years at the helm of the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL), Caleb Dardick will step down as Executive Director following the 20th anniversary of the Yuba River Cleanup on September 16th.

“Working to protect the Yuba River has been the most rewarding work of my career. I cannot thank SYRCL enough for giving me this opportunity to serve the Yuba watershed community. However, the time has come for me to return to the Bay Area to support my wife as she starts a new career there, just as she supported me in returning to the Yuba watershed in 2011 to lead SYRCL. I look forward to completing my memoir about my family’s adventures traveling in a VW bus to India in the early 1970s before settling in Nevada County as part of the ‘back to the land’ movement, and coming of age along the banks of the Yuba,” said Dardick.

“When I helped found SYRCL more than thirty years ago to defend the Yuba against new dams, I never could have imagined what SYRCL has become today – a science-based organization with the capacity to truly protect the river and restore the watershed. SYRCL has thrived under Caleb’s leadership, and though we are sad to see him go, we are deeply appreciative of his service,” said Joe Bell, SYRCL’s Board President.

“Today, SYRCL is leading the opposition to Centennial Dam on the Bear River. Just as we stopped dams on the Yuba, I have no doubt we’ll protect the Bear and Yuba Rivers from this dangerous project,” predicted Board Secretary John Regan. “Just look at all the wins we’ve secured during Caleb’s tenure: we worked with community groups and dedicated activists to keep the San Juan Ridge Mine from reopening, stopped a Canadian power company from building a hydropower plant at Daguerre Point Dam, held a leadership seat at the dam relicensing table, and we challenged an ill-conceived plan to trap and haul wild salmon around dams. Not bad work for just six years.”

“I have enjoyed working with Caleb along with many community groups and concerned citizens to advocate for our local state parks,” said Nevada County Supervisor Hank Weston. “SYRCL was a prominent partner to the County of Nevada in creating a powerful coalition that not only saved the parks from closure but also secured millions in state funds to reopen the Bridgeport Covered Bridge and install solar power at Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park. These significant accomplishments illustrate the power of local government, community-based organizations, and engaged citizens working together to achieve shared community goals.”

State Parks Chief Ranger Matt Green commended SYRCL’s proactive response to the combination of state budget cuts that left the South Yuba River State Park understaffed as annual visitation exceeded 700,000 people coming to the park. “Our partnership with SYRCL and the River Ambassador program has been a force multiplier. Thanks to these dedicated and well-trained volunteers, the message that we all have a responsibility to keep the river clean and safe has reached over 28,000 visitors.”

SYRCL’s science-based restoration work from the Yuba’s headwater meadows to the goldfields of the lower Yuba River has earned the respect of local and regional partners. Currently, SYRCL has over 1,000 acres of meadow restoration underway plus a half dozen salmon habitat restoration projects in the lower Yuba River.

“Caleb has put into practice a science-based, collaborative approach to restoring the Yuba watershed, which is bringing greater ecological health to the Yuba and building strong partnerships for continued progress,” said Eli Ilano, Forest Supervisor for the Tahoe National Forest, citing joint efforts to restore mountain meadows in the Yuba watershed.

“Caleb follows in the tradition of SYRCL Executive Directors who have left the community stronger and more committed to protecting and restoring the Yuba watershed, and the river in better condition,” said Elizabeth Soderstrom who was the SYRCL Board President when Caleb was selected as the new Executive Director. “When Caleb started, I asked him to lead the community in a strategic planning process which resulted in a Strategic Action Plan with some very ambitious program goals – all of which Caleb has delivered on!”

“There is never a good time to leave a job you love. The Yuba will always be my home and I will continue to root for SYRCL’s continued growth and success,” said Dardick. “Words cannot fully express my deep appreciation to the Board, Leadership Team, staff, members, volunteers, donors and community for your support and encouragement.”

SYRCL is looking for a new Executive Director to start this fall. Please share this link with qualified candidates:

Letter from Joseph J. Bell, President, SYRCL Board of Directors

Dear Friends,

We’ve reached another milestone in SYRCL’s nearly 35-year history: Caleb Dardick, our Executive Director, will be leaving his position this September. As President of the Board of Directors, it’s been an immense pleasure for me to work with Caleb, and I have admired his transformative efforts to grow SYRCL since I was elected to the Board in January 2014.

For six years, SYRCL has thrived under Caleb’s energetic leadership. He has created a strong organization and a leadership team that is dedicated to SYRCL’s continued role unifying the community to protect and restore our entire watershed. The SYRCL Board deeply appreciates his service. Though we are sad to see him move on, his history assures us that he will remain our friend and colleague. We wish Caleb every success in his future endeavors and thank him for his commitment to make SYRCL’s leadership transition as seamless as possible.

Because of Caleb’s communication and advocacy skills, the Centennial Dam Watchdog campaign is moving ahead full throttle – and SYRCL’s Board, staff and volunteers are fully committed to opposing NID’s plans to build the Centennial Dam. Our campaign to stop Centennial has incredible energy and momentum, which is impacting our entire community. Caleb has spent two years building this campaign with our team, and I have no doubt our community will protect the Bear and Yuba Rivers from this irresponsible project.

Past and present SYRCL officers and members applaud Caleb for his many actions that fulfill SYRCL’s legal purpose “to promote the education and scientific awareness of the general public for the protection and restoration of the Yuba River and its ecosystem.” The public awareness and support of SYRCL that Caleb generated across our region means our future will be brighter. We will continue to grow and be the leading voice of our watershed.

Yours truly,

Joseph J. Bell
President, SYRCL Board of Directors

From left: Joe Bell, Caleb Dardick, Roger Hicks and Captain Jim Moore

On the Lower Yuba at Hammon Bar

“Pinch me! I work here. Thank you SYRCL!”


Caleb with Gabrielle Karol ABC 10 News at Dam Watchdog Rally

From left: Caleb and Supervising State Park Peace Officer Dan Youngren

Just another SYRCL fundraiser
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