Community Values Survey

Your Engagement Matters: SYRCL’s Community Values Survey

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Survey Introduction

SYRCL’s Mission Statement reads:

SYRCL unites the community to protect and restore the Yuba River watershed.

To better fulfill this mission, it’s imperative that we understand what the community values and what work they would like us to be engaged in. To this end, we created a Community Values Survey.

The survey collected a total of 62 responses between August 10th–September 27th 2023.

Respondents from the Community Values Survey highly prioritize SYRCL's advocacy work.
Community packs the Miners Foundry for the Town Hall

Community Values Survey Responses

Here’s what the community had to say:

What are your top three priorities for SYRCL?

This bar graph shows six priorities with their corresponding percentages and number of responses. Aside from “protecting and improving the wild and scenic Yuba River,” respondents also highly prioritize “protecting wildlife and endangered species including salmon,” as well as “protecting the forests, meadows, lands, streams and creeks within the Yuba River watershed.”

  • The most significant priority is “Protect and improve the wild and scenic Yuba River,” with approximately 20.63% and 23 responses.
  • “Protect the forests, meadows, lands, streams, and creeks within the Yuba River watershed” is the second priority, with roughly 17.99%.
  • The third priority is “Protect against future wildfires and improve fire resiliency,” with about 13.23%.
  • Other listed priorities include “Protect wildlife and endangered species including salmon,” “Projects for clean air, clean water, and to prevent pollution,” and “Educate youth about watershed issues and stewardship,” with the lowest being “Other” at 1.59%.
If other, what are they?

“Designate nude areas for those who want to enjoy nature naturally!”

“Protect the yuba from tourists?”

“Not protect, but restore. I am not aware that SYRCL ‘protects’ lands.”

What interests you most about SYRCL’s work and mission?

The pie chart is divided into seven segments, each representing an area of interest in SYRCL’s work and mission with corresponding percentages. Though respondent’s interests are relatively equally distributed as part of the community values survey, they are most interested in SYRCL’s work to inspire action and advocate for policy change.

  • The largest segment at 18.50% is for “Education and learning programs,” indicating this is the area of most interest among respondents.
  • “Community science to improve river health and water quality” and “Advocacy and policy change, such as stopping the Idaho-Maryland Mine” both capture significant interest at 17.72% and 14.96%, respectively.
  • “Inspire people through film, such as the Wild and Scenic Film Festival” has an interest level of 14.57%.
  • Interest in “Making connections with others who care about local rivers and wildlands” is 13.39%.
  • The smallest interest segments are “Inspire local action for the river, our wildlands, and the environment” at 11.42% and “Create a sustainable water future” at 9.45%.

Which of SYRCL’s projects and programs are you aware of?

The line graph shows the percentage of respondents’ awareness of various SYRCL projects and programs.

  • The peaks in the graph suggest higher awareness for certain projects like “Wild and Scenic Film Festival,” “River Monitoring,” “Salmon Expeditions,” and “Annual Yuba River Cleanup.”
  • Other programs mentioned are “Stop Centennial Dam,” “Growing Green Program,” “River Restoration,” “Meadow Restoration,” “Environmentalists of the Year Scholarship,” and “Yuba Forest Network,” among others.

What suggestions do you have for SYRCL?

Continue/expand your support to stop the Rise Gold Idaho-Maryland Mine and help with the ‘never again’ plan to change Nevada County’s General Plan to not allow mining anywhere near populated areas, or not at all.”

Increase efforts to engage with underrepresented groups and with younger members – teens – 40’s.”

Dam removal on the Yuba River. Or, other meaningful salmon restoration efforts.”

“I would like to see forest service and state park employees more present, especially in the area of Rocky Rest campground on the North fork Yuba… Anytime I go in the summer, the campers leave there day tents and rafts in the water or next to it and I have pulled multiple of each out of the bottom of the river. I’ve also noticed an increase in trash in that area.”

“Staff turnover since the start of Covid has impacted program continuity. New staff are not aware of capabilities of volunteer work before COVID. In my opinion there has been a reluctance to use volunteers on field stewardship and restoration projects to the same extent as prior to COVID. This also applies to volunteers for YOLO.”

Work with the redbud chapter of the California native plant society at their native plant nursery to actively Grow and plant riparian species. Keep up the great work!”

“Support local forest management projects.”

“Continue to invest in the on the ground work (restoration) and education programs!”

“Allow people to pay parking tickets given at river crossings directly as a donation to SYRCL instead of to the government! Please please please please help find a solution for the hwy49 crossing parking/ overcrowding issue. I live on the ridge and I cant tell you how many times I have almost crashed driving through the canyon because of people making some really stupid decisions. Maybe 49 crossing needs to have a recreation fee/ parking fee? I know its a big issue that is going to need a big solution and you all are already fighting the good fight but something needs to happen before more people get hurt.”

“Quite honestly I am tired of cleaning up after people. I want to somehow be involved with the prevention of people messing up the Yuba and other natural areas in the first place. I just don’t know if that is possible. I try not to complain without offering solutions but in this case I’m almost at a loss sadly. You’re doing an amazing job on all levels.”

Honoring persons of earlier SYRCL development, civil engineering support, activities directors, and sharing stories of staff ideas that continue today.”

“Value local volunteers and connect with the local community. This is where the river is and the people who care most about the Yuba.”

Please keep taking on projects like Centennial Dam, Idaho Maryland Mine, and the San Juan Ridge Mine. It is so important to address these socially and environmentally destructive projects in our region.”

How would you suggest we get more people engaged with SYRCL?

“More opportunities to hike/volunteer to experience the Yuba.”

“More parties.”

“Maybe introduce the Board thru a newspaper presentation. Same for volunteers. Ask the paper to include names when they put a photo in the paper.”

“‘SYRCL Presents’ … a series of low key events at NC & GV watering holes, eateries, small theaters that feature short presentations (w/ visuals or off-beat activities), quiz nights, documentaries aimed at younger audiences.

Host a watershed conference, continue to build collaboration opportunities with partner organizations in the area.”

“Art projects- you probably already have this.”

“SYRCL day at the Yuba.”

Keep interacting regularly via local social media, such as Nextdoor, consider a more active presence in the Union newspaper.”

Reach out to volunteers. Find out more about their life experience, knowledge and capabilities. Develop a spreadsheet. Reach out to volunteers in a direct way (email, phone) when an opportunity arises that meets the skill set of a volunteer. Utilize the broad range of experience available. There are lots of us retired folks with long careers in the environmental field. Better leverage staff resources with volunteers.”

More organized river clean up throughout the year. More information signage at all river crossings and along trails.”

“Keep participating in county parades for visibility. Having joint projects with other like-minded environmental organizations.”

“Articles in the Union will reach older folks (yes, like me, who actually still subscribe to newspapers!) as well as online/social media vehicles. The Briarpatch is a natural, but what about Safeway and Raley’s and SPD?”

“Outreach to other non-profits and do cross/education programs. Can engagement with the arts produce cross-sensory learning?”

What kinds of news and information would you like SYRCL to share?

“Water analysis for synthetic nanoparticles.”

Profile some of your staff … including video or at least pics of them in action in the field.”

Stop littering in the first place campaign.

“Educational items, stuff celebrating projects that had a good impact.

Hiking trails locations and how to get there.”

“Invasive species management efforts, hwy 49 bridge traffic and human hazards we need signage all over to make people more mindful.”

River science!

“History of the watershed and why keeping the history alive matters.

Engagement with SYRCL

How have you engaged with SYRCL?

The bar graph depicts various forms of engagement with SYRCL with corresponding percentages. Reading and learning through online media is the most popular way respondents engage with SYRCL.

  • The highest form of engagement at 22.73% is “Reading and learning through online media.”
  • Other forms of engagement include “Participating in activities and/or volunteering” at 13.64%, “Taking action such as signing petitions or attending public meetings” at 14.88%, and “Attending SYRCL events and programs” at 15.29%.
  • The least common form of engagement is “Regularly donate to SYRCL” at 5.37%.
How long have you had a connection with SYRCL?

The pie chart shows the length of the respondents’ connection with SYRCL.

  • A majority, 53.13%, have had a connection with SYRCL for less than 1 year.
  • 23.44% of respondents have been connected for 1-5 years, 17.19% for 5-10 years, and a small fraction, 6.25%, for 10 or more years.

Community Demographics

Which county do you call home?

The pie chart represents the counties where respondents reside.

  • A vast majority, 84.38%, are from Nevada County.
  • Other counties represented include Yuba (7.81%), Sutter (6.25%), and smaller percentages from Placer, Sierra, El Dorado, and Sacramento counties.
If other, what is your county?

“Alameda. I learned to swim one weekend in July 1964 at Purdon Crossing. We were the only ones on the white sand beach”


“Portland, Oregon”


“Santa cruz”

What is your age?

The bar graph shows the age distribution of respondents.

  • The largest age group is “Over 70 years old” at 28.13%.
  • This is followed by the “60-70 years old” group at 25.00%, “40-49 years old” at 20.31%, “50-59 years old” at 12.50%, “30 to 39 years old” at 7.81%, and “Under 30 years old” at 6.25%.

Community Values Survey Conclusion

The responses we received in the Community Values Survey will help inform SYRCL about the future our community envisions for the Yuba Watershed. This is essential, so we can take effective action to benefit all through our efforts in science, advocacy, education, and more.

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  1. Ray Brysrs says:

    Keep up the great work! We are so fortunate to have SYRCL and other caring organizations in the community.

  2. Thank you for all that you do to take care of us, our community, and the importance of our precious water, land, and animals that call it home.

  3. John Rosapepe says:

    The org, staff and volunteers rock. Oh and the board too.

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