Creating River Stewards: Monitoring Water Quality on Public Lands

This spring, SYRCL and Tahoe National Forest (TNF) launched a pilot program to engage middle and high school students in water quality monitoring. Twenty-two 6th through 12th grade students from Downieville Jr./Sr. School participated in the program where they were trained in water quality monitoring practices, collected water quality data at Oregon Creek Day Use Area, analyzed and interpreted the data they collected with SYRCL’s comprehensive River Monitoring Data sets, and learned river etiquette to become River Ambassadors.

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Join the 2022 River Monitoring Team!

SYRCL is beginning its 22nd River Monitoring season trainings on March 24th and April 2nd. Join our team and help us celebrate 21 years of this indispensable tradition!

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Where Does Our Water Go?

You may have noticed the new storm drain markers across Nevada City. SYRCL has been installing these markers over the past few years, and we have finally finished placing the last one!

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‘First Flush’ Water Quality Monitoring Results Are In

The storm that swept through Nevada County between the 23rd and 25th of October dropped between seven and twelve inches of much needed precipitation. This rainfall has led to, among other things, increased flows in the Yuba River and SYRCL’s ‘first flush’ event.

We sat down with our resident hydrologist, Karl Ronning, to learn more about this ‘first flush’ event and to discuss the results of our water quality monitoring.

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Growing Green & Water Quality

Cannabis cultivation has been present in the Yuba watershed for decades and is expected to stay well into the future. Like many common agricultural crops, cannabis cultivation has the potential to affect local water quality and watershed health. In fact, the Yuba River has been designated as a “priority watershed” for cannabis issues due to severe impacts by egregious, illegal grows.

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SYRCL Opposes Idaho-Maryland Mine

In November 2019, Rise Gold submitted a project description to reopen the Idaho-Maryland Mine with the hope of extracting gold on the 119-acre New Brunswick site as well as the 56-acre site on Idaho-Maryland Road.

SYRCL has been researching the project since 2019. Earlier this year, SYRCL’s Board of Directors unanimously voted to oppose the reopening of the Idaho-Maryland Mine.

Shortly after, on July 28, 2021, SYRCL joined ten other local and regional environmental organizations in signing a letter to Mr. Patrick Pulupa, the Executive Officer of the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, to express deep concern over the impacts reopening the mine could have on water quality and flows.

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How Can We Stop Illegal Dumping?

Following the success of this year’s Yuba River Cleanup, in which volunteers hauled out more than six tons of trash and recyclables, we may want to take a moment to consider why cleanup programs are so necessary and why illegal dumping is such a frequent occurrence in the Yuba River watershed and throughout Nevada County.

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Yuba River Cleanup Hauls Out More than Six Tons of Trash and Recyclables ​

From the headwaters along Donner Summit to the confluence of the Yuba and Feather Rivers, hundreds of people turned out for the South Yuba River Citizens League’s (SYRCL’s) 24th annual Yuba River Cleanup that took place from September 11-18, 2021.

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Rising River Temperatures Imperil Threatened Salmon

We are well into another year of a drought here in Nevada County and the threatened Chinook salmon are in danger. This piece explores the current state of affairs as well as the consequences of inaction.

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Pesticide Use in Cannabis Cultivation Threatens California Spotted Owls

Widespread cannabis cultivation can lead to numerous environmental impacts, including groundwater and surface water depletion, soil erosion, habitat loss and fragmentation, and pesticide pollution. In this article, we focus on a secondary impact of cannabis cultivation—the poisoning of endangered and threatened species.

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