SYRCL Welcomes New Executive Director, Caleb Dardick

Please join the SYRCL Board of Directors, our staff and our member/supporters in extending a warm Yuba welcome to Caleb Dardick, SYRCL’s new Executive Director! He begins his time at SYRCL September 12th and you can meet him at the annual clean-up on September 17th where he’ll be emceeing the volunteer celebration at Bridgeport in the South Yuba River State Park.

Caleb Dardick, SYRCL's New Executive Director (photo by G. Aronow Photography)

A native of the Yuba Watershed, Caleb grew up on the San Juan Ridge and is the son of former two-term Nevada County Supervisor and disability rights activist Sam Dardick, who passed away in May, and Geeta Dardick, a marriage and family therapist. A longtime advocate for the Yuba, Supervisor Dardick formally introduced the 1999 county resolution that led to the river’s Wild and Scenic River designation later that year.

Caleb managed his father’s first campaign for Supervisor and remains deeply
connected to the county.

“Dad taught me that an engaged community is the best defender of our rural quality of life,” Caleb explains. “He always focused on what unites people, which in Nevada County is a shared love for the place. I am excited to be joining SYRCL’s many stewards and advocates for this magnificent Yuba River watershed, and to have this opportunity to give back to the community where I grew up.”

Caleb ran a public relations and public affairs consulting business in Berkeley for nearly a decade, where his clients included the Ed Roberts Campus, a community center for people with disabilities, and the David Brower Center, a center for environmental nonprofits. More recently, Caleb has served as Director of Local Government and Community Relations for UC Berkeley’s Office of the Chancellor for the last two years.

“We are thrilled to welcome Caleb back home to the Yuba Watershed. His expertise in community outreach, advocacy and strategic campaigns in the non-profit, government and business sectors make Caleb the ideal person to lead SYRCL’s efforts to protect and restore the Yuba and bring wild salmon back to their ancestral waters,” says SYRCL Board President Elizabeth Soderstrom.

Soderstrom said Dardick will continue SYRCL’s legacy of strong Executive Directors who combine a passion for protecting the South Yuba River, experience in advocacy and coalition-building, and a dedication to SYRCL’s roots in the community. Soderstrom noted that the next few years will mark significant milestones for the organization, which has 3,500 annual members and volunteers and enjoys widespread support in the business community.

“2011 is the 10th anniversary of Wild and Scenic River designation, 2012 marks the 10th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival, which has grown to become the largest environmental film festival in the country, and in 2013 SYRCL will celebrate its 30th anniversary,” Soderstrom said. “And we’ll be celebrating each of these milestones with a native son of the Yuba at our helm!”

Soderstrom also noted that federal operating licenses on dams throughout the Yuba Watershed are up for renewal in the next few years, providing an historic opportunity to improve conditions for endangered Chinook salmon that spawn in the lower Yuba River. SYRCL is also hailing a recent ruling by federal Judge Lawrence K. Karlton directing the Army Corps of Engineers to improve salmon passage at Daguerre Point Dam and requiring the Army Corps to develop a plan to protect wild native spring-run salmon from stray hatchery salmon – a key victory in SYRCL’s long battle to restore the Yuba River’s fishery, which is home to the largest self-sustaining run of wild Chinook salmon in the entire Central Valley.

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