In June, CNN reporter and editorial writer, John Sutter, spent three weeks kayaking down the San Joaquin River (of which the Tuolumne is the largest tributary) to find out why it was named this year's Most Endangered River by American Rivers. TRT staff members, Peter Drekmeier and Ed Aguilar, joined him for a day just downstream of the confluence with the Tuolumne. They paddled over the Hetch Hetchy Aquaduct, a very large pipe running under the San Joaquin that delivers nearly 200 million gallons of pristine Tuolumne River water to the Bay Area every day.
Peter & Ed join John for a day of paddling. Photo by John Sutter, CNN
During his trip, John was surprised by how disconnected many people are from the rivers flowing through their communities, inspiring TRT to create a new program called "Introducing People to Their Rivers." To learn more about this program, clickhere.
John published a companion piece to his article titled, "7 ways to save the San Joaquin -- America's 'most endangered' river." The second action on his list is to support TRT's new program. You can view his listhere.
Ed Aguilar: "The river doesn't have a voice." Photo by John Sutter, CNN
"So many people live right along the San Joaquin and barely know it exists -- and this is particularly true in low-income neighborhoods like those in Modesto, California. "If you don't know about it, you don't care," said Ed Aguilar, a community organizer with Tuolumne River Trust. Ed's group has been trying to connect low-income people, including farmworkers and their families, with the rivers of California's Central Valley."
Thank you, John, for drawing national attention to the San Joaquin and Tuolumne Rivers!
The Forest Service just released a Proposed Record of Decision for the Rim Fire Recovery, and it's a huge improvement over what we faced in May. TRT is proud of the leadership role our own John Amodio played in bringing together stakeholders to hammer out a compromise that balances economic interests with the protection of wildlife habitat and environmental values.
By participating in Yosemite Stanislaus Solutions (a forum for environmentalists, timber industry representatives and others to meet, share information, and work towards solutions), we not only reached an acceptable compromise all sides could support, but also built a strong bipartisan foundation that will continue working together to seek federal funding for ongoing restoration efforts in the Rim Fire burn area.
The Proposed Decision:
Reduces the amount of salvage logging from nearly 30,000 acres to just over 15,000 acres. Whereas the previous preferred alternative called for removing 660 million board feet of timber, the new decision reduces that amount to an estimated 210 million board feet.
Protects the extraordinary Clavey River Watershed by keeping the roadless area intact.
Eliminates all new permanent roads and reduces the amount of new temporary roads.
Reduces salvage logging on steep slopes and in other sensitive areas. Many dead trees and downed logs will be left in place to serve as wildlife habitat and to protect against soil erosion.
TRT appreciates the good work of the National Forest Service, Sierra Nevada Conservancy, Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center, Sierra Forest Legacy, timber industry and others in working together with us on a solution.
And many thanks to all of you who weighed in on the Rim Fire. Together we made a huge impact.
TRT's Executive Director, Patrick Koepele, addresses a group of experts in the Rim Fire burn area after its containment in the fall of 2013. Photo by Peter Drekmeier
"Representatives of both environmental groups and the timber industry informed me that the action alternatives in the EIS proposed more management than the environmental groups thought desirable and the timber industry thought practical. Therefore, I scaled back the scope of (salvage logging) to a size that would be practical to implement, while retaining the key treatments to attain the project's purpose and need."
The Rim Fire Closure has been revised! Sites now open for public use include:
·Rainbow Pool Day Use Area
·Carlon Day Use Area including Carlon Falls Trail
·Lumsden Road (1N10) between Ferretti Road and Lumsden Bridge including Merals Pool Boat Launch, Lumsden Campground, and Lumsden Bridge Campground. RVs and trailers are not recommended on Lumsden Road. (South Fork Campground remains closed due to the loss of the vault toilet and presence of hazard trees).
·Middle Fork Day Use Area
·Dimond O, Lost Claim, and Sweetwater Campgrounds will open for overnight use starting Friday, April 25th. The Pines Campground, including the group site, will also be available for a fee stating April 25th. Campsites can be reserved online atwww.recreation.gov.
Please be patient as the Groveland Ranger Districts takes the time to unlock gates and remove closure signs from the areas listed above.
Additional Details for Tuolumne Wild & Scenic River Whitewater Boaters:
·Public access to the Upper Tuolumne/Cherry Creek launch at Holm Powerhouse off of Cherry Lake Road (1N07) is limited to shuttle service only: 1-209-559-4605.
·Stating May 1st, free, mandatory permits are required to float between Cherry Creek and Merals Pool and from Merals Pool to Ward's Ferry. Permits can be picked up at the Groveland Ranger Station during business hours (Monday to Friday, 8:00 am-4:30 pm). Reservation forms are now available online:http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/stanislaus/recarea/?recid=14975.
·Please remain alert for additional hazards such as rock slides and trees within the river due to the Rim Fire. Additionally, there is a large debris boom across Don Pedro Reservoir past Ward Ferry Bridge blocking motor boat access for shuttle/taxi boats. Boating downstream of Wards Ferry Bridge is not recommended.
Personal Fuelwood:Permit holders may continue to collect at Dimond O, Lost Claim, and Sweetwater Campgrounds as well as Upper and Lower Carlon Day Use Areas until April 24thor when no more downed wood is available.
Please use caution while in the Rim Fire burned area. Potential hazards include loose and falling rocks, flash floods, and debris flows. Trees may have been weakened from fire damage and ongoing drought and may fall at any time. Stay on designated roads and trails and within opened areas. Be alert for falling objects and do not linger around large trees. Avoid the area during high winds or heavy rain.
Please give the Groveland Ranger District a call if you have any questions:209-962-7825
Latest Recreation Conditions Update can be seen here.
Whitewater boating access on the Tuolumne Wild and Scenic River is now
Until the Forest Order is revised or expires,
public access to the Main Tuolumne/Merals Pool launch on Lumsden Road
(1N10) as well as the Upper Tuolumne/Cherry Creek launch at Holm
Powerhouse off of Cherry Lake Road (1N07) is limited
to shuttle service only: 1-209-559-4605.
A free, mandatory permit is
required to float between Cherry Creek and Merals Pool and from Merals
Pool to Ward's Ferry. Permits can be picked up at the Groveland Ranger
Station during business hours (Monday to Friday,
8:00 am-4:30 pm). Reservations are not available until the Forest Order
is revised or expires. USFS recommends contacting the shuttle service
before requesting or picking up a permit.
Please remain alert for additional hazards such
as rock slides and trees within the river due to the Rim Fire.
Additionally, there is a large debris boom across Don Pedro Reservoir
past Ward Ferry Bridge blocking motor boat access for
shuttle/taxi boats. Boating downstream of Wards Ferry Bridge is not
recommended. See attached warning flyer.
Please give the USFS Groveland district a call if you have any questions: 209-962-7825
Hundreds of thousands of people in California’s Central Valley, and millions more in the San Francisco Bay Area, rely on the San Joaquin and Tuolumne Rivers for clean drinking water, recreation, and other important purposes. Yet very few people know where their water comes from, or the great wildlife and beauty their rivers support.
Modesto Airport Neighborhood kids
Many of the communities the rivers flow through are economically challenged, with higher rates of unemployment and physical and mental stress. The relationship between these riverside communities and the rivers is symbiotic. If the rivers are clean and healthy, the neighborhoods will benefit by having safe access to parks, swimming, boating and fishing. If the neighborhoods are healthier and safer, the rivers will benefit through greater care and stewardship.
Ready to raft!
To help revive the rivers, TRT introduces riverside community members to their local waterways through canoe trips, field trips for students, river clean-ups, in-class presentations, and other outings and adventures.
Out on the river
TRT has initiated a new program to take riverside community families on canoe trips from Dos Rios (1,600 acres of former farm land at the confluence of the Tuolumne and San Joaquin Rivers that is being restored to wildlife habitat) down the San Joaquin River through the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge. Your support will help make these trips possible
How Your Contribution Will Help
$10 – Provides three students with an in-class lesson about the rivers.
$25 – Gets a student out to the rivers on a field trip.
$50 – Enables one riverside community resident to participate in a canoe trip.
$100 – Provides a classroom with an in-class lesson about the rivers.
$500 – Helps fund a river clean-up.
$1,000 – Provides scholarships for 20 riverside community residents to visit the Dos Rios habitat restoration site, paddle down the San Joaquin River through the National Wildlife Refuge with an expert guide, and enjoy lunch on the River.
The Tuolumne River from California
supplies water and habitats for countless organisms, including you and me.
Think of all that usage for water! With all these people and organisms using
water, the Tuolumne River is facing a new challenge: It will start to become
polluted and unhealthy. What can we do
to save this caring river? Think about what you did throughout your day. Did
you possibly waste any water? Now think about if everyone wasted water. We
couldn’t use the clean and fresh water we get from our tap! The Tuolumne River
is especially important to the plants and animals that depend on it for food
and shelter. Without the Tuolumne River, these organisms would have nowhere to
live and nothing to eat.
single droplet from your tap is a droplet that should be appreciated with great
care. We as humans have so many needs for water, that sometimes, we don’t
realize that we can reuse the same water again. Around your community, try
using these effective ways to conserve water:
Turn off water in the tap, when you
are not using it.
Take shorter showers.
Check for any leaks in equipment using water.
make a difference, and it all starts with someone ready to help out. Be that
someone in your community, and help the Tuolumne River.
Inspire Others by Sharing What You Know
My knowledge might not go as far as
you can go with conserving water for the Tuolumne River. To give you a mental
picture of the scenery in the Tuolumne, here are some facts I know about the
river. The Tuolumne River is home to many animals, such as the Foothill Yellow
Legged frog, mountain lions, and Chinook Salmon. Day to day, you can watch
these creatures in their natural habitat. Green plants are found on the banks
of the river, which are food to many other creatures. If you listen closely,
you can hear the soft calls of the birds, the buzzing of little critters, and
the ripples of the water. From Mount Lyell in Yosemite National Park, the
Tuolumne River flows 162 miles long, until it intersects with the San Joaquin
River. Along the way, a lot of the fresh water in the Tuolumne River collects
in the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.
That’s where a lot of our tap water
comes from. Usually, we only think about the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, but never
the source that provides the water for the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. That’s why
the Tuolumne River is so important. Ways we use this water is to:
Water our crops
Power objects that use electricity.
To make sure
we have enough water to fulfill these needs, and many more, we have to be the
ones that prevent the Tuolumne River from becoming unhealthy.
Expand your Knowledge, Visit Nature
way to learn about the Tuolumne River is to visit nature. After all, the
Tuolumne River is a part of nature. I
really enjoy nature, especially when my family and I go to Yosemite. We all
wake up early to explore the forest of giant redwoods that seemed to touch the
sky. Little frilly, green pine needles are stuck to the branches that stretch
out towards us. The earth below us is moist, rocky, and a bit dry, and the
morning air is a damp and fresh scent of pine needles. Some rivers and creeks
flow by with some sounds of the water crashing on nearby rocks. It is an
As I talked about before, we need the
Tuolumne River for various reasons. We, as humans only get about 1% of earth’s
water due to the fact that the rest is frozen or is salt water. With the
population up high, water that is fresh is soon becoming harder to get. By
conserving water, we can achieve the goal of keeping the Tuolumne River
healthy, so that it can supply us with the water we need.
Water Tu-ol-u-mne and Tu-ol-u-you,
thanks to the Tuolumne River!!!