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Community Water Reuse Forum - Dec 11, 2014, Palo Alto

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Job Announcement: Restoration and Volunteer Coordinator

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The Tuolumne River Trust, in partnership with the collaborative Yosemite Stanislaus Solutions, is seeking a Restoration and Volunteer Coordinator to manage restoration projects implemented by volunteers and to conduct outreach and education activities to improve the local community’s understanding of water resources. 

In August 2013, the Rim Fire erupted deep in the canyons of the Tuolumne watershed and over two months consumed more than 257,000 acres of forested land in the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park.  The Yosemite-Stanislaus Solutions (YSS) collaborative group is a highly diverse coalition of interests who share a common goal of restoring and maintaining healthy forests and watersheds, fire-safe communities, and sustainable local economies using a science-based approach.  YSS is using the collaborative process to promote balanced, highly informed recommendations to agencies that are determining which actions to implement in the 402 square miles of the Rim Fire area. The goal of YSS is to build on fire recovery successes and expand the scope of YSS efforts over time in order to increase management actions within the unburned, still-green forest areas of the local region. 

The Tuolumne River Trust is the voice for the Tuolumne River from Yosemite National Park through the San Joaquin Valley and into the San Francisco Bay-Delta.  We seek a healthy and vibrant river that is teeming with fish and wildlife; safe for drinking, fishing and swimming; and held in trust as a refuge for our children and grandchildren.  We build stewardship of the Tuolumne by fostering strong personal connections to the river through watershed-wide education, outreach, and adventures.  Leveraging this support, we put policies in place to protect and restore the river. 

Summary of Position

This position will have two primary duties split roughly in half: 1) Coordinating volunteers and managing habitat and recreational resource restoration projects within the perimeter of the Rim Fire burn area; and 2) conducting outreach and education programs to improve knowledge of water resources, watershed health, and water use efficiency in foothill communities.

The right candidate for this position will be adept at using a wide range of conservation strategies to achieve goals including on-the-ground restoration, volunteer engagement, and outreach and education.  The position requires a broad skill set to effectively build partnerships, manage complex projects, work with members of the general public, and articulate scientific information.  The position will also work with a broad range of State and Federal resource agencies, water districts, private land owners, and other conservation organizations. 

The Restoration and Volunteer Coordinator reports to the Executive Director, in coordination with members of Yosemite Stanislaus Solutions, but allows for self-initiative.  The ideal candidate for this position will be a creative thinker and self-starter with river and watershed conservation experience, knowledge of watershed science, proven ability to work with a variety of partners, ability to manage complex projects, superior communication skills, and a passion for science-based watershed conservation. 

Job activities and responsibilities will include:

  • Coordinate/manage habitat restoration project work
  • Recruit volunteers and/or interns to assist with project implementation via social media, electronic communications, websites, press, and person-to-person outreach
  • Manage habitat program reporting and take the lead on writing grant reports in collaboration with the Executive Director, Advancement and Finance staff
  • Collaborate with the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite Stanislaus Solutions to research prospective project sites
  • Develop detailed project plans, maps and other materials
  • Provide oversight to volunteers
  • Track projects and coordinate receipt of supporting materials
  • Conduct outreach to partners and stakeholders using multiple strategies, including presentations to community and school groups, tabling at local events, electronic and print communications, and social media
  • Engage in education and outreach activities in support of watershed stewardship and water use efficiency
  • Expand educational outreach programs by producing flyers, posters, brochures, fact sheets etc.
  • Support, promote and market program and projects
  • Support related activities as they arise

Qualifications include:

  • Degree in environmental studies, geography, biology, watershed science, or related field
  • Experience in the environmental field, preferably including background in working with public agencies
  • Prior experience and ability in building relationships and working with people from different backgrounds and perspectives
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, with ability to write, edit, and produce high quality documents
  • Basic computer skills
  • Creative thinker with a passion for environmental conservation
  • A self-starter willing to take initiative
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Heavy lifting (up to 50lbs) sometimes required
  • Must possess a valid state-issued driver’s license
  • Must own or have access to a vehicle for work-related use
  • Other skills considered a plus: GIS skills, knowledge of the Tuolumne Watershed, detail-oriented, leadership abilities, project development, environmental education, and media outreach.

Position Summary:

Salary is competitive and depends on experience. Excellent benefits. The Trust is an equal opportunity employer, committed to a diverse staff. The full-time position is based in Tuolumne County and will require occasional travel to Modesto, Sacramento, San Francisco, and other places in California. This job offers excellent potential for professional growth.

The position will be open until filled.  Please send an email (with cover letter, resume, three references, and 2-page writing sample as attachments) with subject heading “Restoration and Volunteer Coordinator” to No phone calls please.

CNN Highlights the San Joaquin and Tuolumne Rivers

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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.

Check out John's story here.

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, click here.

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 list here.

Ed Aguilar: "The river doesn't have a voice."
Photo by John Sutter, CNN

John writes:

"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!

Great News on the Rim Fire Recovery - August 2014

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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."

            -Susan Skalski, Forest Supervisor

Rafters find rebirth along the fire-seared Tuolumne River

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Source: Modesto Bee
Date: May 14, 2014
Journalist: John Holland

USFS Groveland Ranger District Recreation Conditions Update - 4/15/2014

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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 at


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:

·         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 24th or 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

Summary of this information available as a PDF here

USFS Groveland Ranger District Recreation Conditions Update - 4/4/2014

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Latest Recreation Conditions Update can be seen here. Whitewater boating access on the Tuolumne Wild and Scenic River is now available!

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

Tuolumne River a source of education and jobs

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Source: The Modesto Bee
Date: January 25, 2014
Journalist: Nan Austin

San Francisquito Creek Groundwater Sub Basin Studies and Reports

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General Information

Feasibility of Supplemental Groundwater Resources Development: Menlo Park and East Palo Alto, California; Todd Engineers; 2005. 

City of Palo Alto Groundwater Supply Feasibility Study; Corollo Engineers; 2003.

Groundwater Development and the Effects on Groundwater Levels and Water Quality in the Town of Atherton, San Mateo County; Metzger & Fio, USGS; 1997. 

Draft Technical Memorandum: Correlation between New Basement Construction and the Groundwater Regime in Palo Alto, California; EIP Associates; 2004. 

Proposed Groundwater Projects

Gloria Way Well Retrofit Project: Joint Initial Study and Environmental Assessment (draft); Environmental Science Associates; 2013.

City of Menlo Park Potential Irrigation Well

Brackish Groundwater Desalination Feasibility Assessment - BAWSCA's Strategy Groundwater Model Development (draft); 2014

Emergency Water Supply Projects

Menlo Park Emergency Water Supply Wells Project 

Palo Alto Emergency Water Supply Well Rehabilitation Project

Geology and Hydrology 

Streamflow Gains and Losses along San Francisquito Creek and, Characterization of Surface-Water and Ground-Water Quality, Southern San Mateo and Northern Santa Clara Counties, California, 1996-97; Metzger, USGS; 2002.

Geology of the San Francisquito Cone Area; CA Water Resources Control Board; 2003. 

Geologic Framework, Historical Development of the Groundwater System, and General Hydrologic and Water Quality Conditions in 1990, South San Francisco Bay and Peninsula Area, California; Fio & Leighton, USGS; 1995.

Groundwater Quality

Groundwater Quality in the San Francisco Bay Groundwater Basins; Parsons, Kulongoski & Belitz, USGS; 2013. 

San Mateo County Groundwater Protection Program

A Comprehensive Groundwater Protection Evaluation for the South San Francisco Bay Basins; CA Regional Water Quality Control Board; 2003.

Regional Studies & Reports

Santa Clara Valley Water District Groundwater Management Plan

Database of Well and Areal Data, South San Francisco Bay and Peninsula Area, California; Leighton, Fio & Metzger, USGS; 1995.

Groundwater Recharge 

An Investigation of Groundwater Recharge by Injection in the Palo Alto Baylands, California: Hydraulic and Chemical Interaction; Hamlin, USGS; 1985.

Background from Disposition of the Palo Alto Reclamation Facility; Molnar & Galvan; 1986.