Member Spotlight: Ralph and Dorothy Hitchcock

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members spotlight ralph

Meet Ralph and Dorothy Hitchcock, featured in this week’s Member Spotlight!

Ralph and Dorothy are passionate River People and long-time SYRCL members, having joined only shortly after SYRCL was founded. We are deeply grateful for their sustained membership support.

Tell us a little about yourself: We have lived and worked on every continent except Antarctica, so we have seen every approach to our environment from caring about it to despoiling it. As a 5th generation Northern Californian who has experienced California’s growth from 8 to 38 million, Ralph became an environmentalist before the term was even used. He grew up camping, backpacking and fishing in the Big Sur and Stanislaus River watersheds.

So when we moved here in 1977, it was natural that the Yuba would become an important part of our lives. Our kids were 5 and 6 and learned to swim in the Yuba and our young grandsons started going to the river as babies. When Ralph retired in 1997 he volunteered for many SYRCL activities. Because SYRCL had a small staff and budget in those days he is very proud to have been the no fee civil engineer to help protect the Yuba from some destructive projects and to help staff at meetings with government agencies.   We have been active supporters of the Wild and Scenic Film Festival since its inception.

What’s your favorite activity at the river? Experiencing the tranquility it imparts by looking down on it from the trails, swimming through the cool water, knowing the wonderful influence it has imparted to three generations of us.

Why should people visit the river? It is important in this society to experience nature at its best.

What is your favorite place in the Yuba Watershed? Lonely Meadow and Upper Rock Lake, also Chapman Creek Campground on the North Yuba.

Why did you join SYRCL? It is one of the best grass roots activist protection organizations anywhere. To help prevent more human caused deterioration of this great watershed.

If you had one wish for the river, what would it be? Get rid of Englebright dam!

Why do you think it is important to protect and restore the Yuba watershed? We need great pieces of natural environment to keep future society civil.

Thank you, Ralph and Dorothy Hitchcock– from SYRCL and everyone who enjoys the Yuba!

Ralph and Dorothy Hitchcock are proud to be a SYRCL members. We invite you to join them and thousands of other amazing River People by becoming a member today. To find out more, contact Lyndly Martin, SYRCL Membership Coordinator, at (530) 265-5961 ext 220 or

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  1. Stephanie Gibson McCaffrey says:

    So very proud of both of you for doing all you do to protect our environment. We now have an electric charging station!

  2. Marguerite R Long says:

    You deserve to "blow your own horn!" Sounds like a lovely place, like the UP of Michigan in my area.

  3. Linda Fuchs says:

    congratulations! you rock!

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