Member Spotlight: Lew Sitzer

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Meet Lew Sitzer, featured in this week’s Member Spotlight!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATell us a little about yourself:

I first visited the Yuba River in 1970, taking a group of teen-agers on a camping trip while working at The Farm, a Quaker residential school located on the Sonoma Coast. We went to the Jones Bar swimming hole and were captured by its beauty. Soon after, I was asked by the John Woolman HS staff to start Sunflower School, an elementary school, on Lake Vera. My wife and I moved there in 1971 and began the school. We have lived here since, attracted by nature and community. We left for 5 years to work in Romania as teachers and to travel the world.

We returned in 2003, drawn back by friends, roots and a sense of place. We discovered many beautiful places in the world but none compare to our home here, and its surrounding richness.

Raising two children here reminds us that the rivers, mountains and watersheds are magnets for family life and vital connections to the our world. Years of back-packing, camping and now hiking continue to be our chosen activities and a way to reconnect and de-stress our lives. Truly, the Yuba River can be transporting, as is the landscape and community in which we live.

Why are you a SYRCL member?

SYRCL has established itself as a premier organization, along with many other worthwhile community organizations, dedicated to maintaining and improving life in the Yuba watershed. Over the years many people have dedicated their lives, energies, poetry, photography and funds to support this work.

After traveling much of the world and experiencing some of its dire conditions, I’ve concluded that the most effective work is done locally, nearby and with a community effort. We are fortunate to have that sense of community and need to offer what we can to build that sense of cooperation.

SYRCL is unique in offering a diversity of opportunities that give support to peoples’ interests (Wild & Scenic Film Festival, river clean up days, scientific studies, river education). You name it and SYRCL will find a way to use your talents. SYRCL provides hope and support to all of us that the earth can be healed at a time when we need that reassurance.

We are living in a time of dramatic crisis and transformation. SYRCL and other community organizations are responding to these many issues. By becoming an active member we can help to improve a much larger picture. There is no way to predict the consequences of our impact but, as Margaret Mead has eloquently said,” Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Why is it important to protect the Yuba River?

Water, what lives in it, with it and around it will become one of the central issues of our lives. It already is. We need to provide leadership on the ground that can be used to guide and influence wise decisions.

Thank you, Lew– from SYRCL and everyone who enjoys the Yuba!

Lew is a proud SYRCL member. We invite you to join him and thousands of other amazing River People by becoming a member today. To find out more, visit our membership page or contact Lyndly at or 530-265-5961 x 220

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One Comment

  1. Franceska Alexander says:

    Beautifully spoken, thank you Lew Sitzer

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