Qualifications of Campaign Proponents:
A Local and National Approach is Central to a Successful Strategy
Together, SYRCL and American Rivers are rooted in decades of experience in grassroots organizing, broad-based coalition building, application of the current science on fisheries and ecosystem management, and river policy reform through political, legislative and regulatory means.
SYRCL is uniquely positioned and wholly dedicated to organizing a watershed movement to ensure that California’s salmon heritage is preserved, beginning with the restoration of the uniquely wild salmon of the Yuba River Watershed.
For much of our 27 years, SYRCL has spearheaded a multi-faceted approach to protecting and restoring Yuba Salmon. We work with a diverse coalition of partnering organizations to lend our localized expertise and broad grassroots support to broader salmon recovery efforts in the ocean, in the SF Bay/Delta, and in river habitats from the Yuba’s headwaters and through the Feather River (See Table 1).
Table 1: SYRCL’s History of Partnership and Accomplishments for Yuba Salmon.
|1989||Entered litigation against YCWA to contest erratic river flows that harmed salmon.|
|1999||Secured initial funding for fish passage feasibility at Englebright Dam. Resulted in state and federal engagement leading to 9-year and $9M Upper Yuba River Studies Program. (Results of studies characterized sediment removal options behind dam and concluded sufficient habitat upstream of Englebright to support robust populations of spring-run Chinook and Steelhead.)|
|1999||Compelled fish passage feasibility studies at Daguerre Point Dam|
|2001||Conceived of and received funding to implement ecologically beneficial flood management through the Yuba-Feather Workgroup, which resulted in the implementation of floodplain restoration through precedent-setting levee setbacks (completed on the Bear River confluence (2006) and the 6-mile Feather River Levee Setback (2009), the largest levee setback in California).|
|2005||Concluded 16 years of litigation and negotiation in signing the Fisheries Agreement of the Lower Yuba River Accord, resulting in improved instream flows and $500K/year dedicated by YCWA toward salmonid research and habitat improvements.|
|2005||Co-founded the “Foothills Water Network” to build broad support from conservation organizations, anglers, whitewater boaters and tribes to support salmon re-introduction into the Upper Yuba through the FERC re-licensing process.|
|2006||Initiated lawsuit against NMFS and USACE to compel federal agencies to complete unfinished fish passage alternatives studies at Daguerre and Englebright by date certain.|
|2006||Joined the Steering Committee of the California Hydropower Reform Coalition, attracting support from statewide and national river protection organizations to bring expertise into the Yuba Basin hydropower relicensings.|
|2006||Co-founded with the Tsi-Akim Maidu Tribe the Calling Back the Salmon Committee, which annually brings hundreds of supporters to participate in a Maidu salmon ceremony (and political action of carrying the salmon around the dam) on the Yuba River.|
|2006||SYRCL, as a new member of the national Corps Reform Network, advocated for federal policy reforms for the US Army Corps of Engineers, enacted in Water Resources Development Act of 2007.|
|2007||SYRCL’s River Scientist begins serving as the only NGO representative on the River Management Team of the Lower Yuba River, which oversees a $500K budget directed at studies and actions to restore salmon habitat on the lower Yuba River.|
|2007||SYRCL hosts a “Yuba Salmon Townhall Forum,” attended by over 100 community members. Presentations by SYRCL and American Rivers staff and Maidu tribal leaders establish the scientific and moral case for re-introducing salmon to the upper Yuba.|
|2007||SYRCL organizes the “Source to Sea Collective,” engaging San Francisco-based artists, musicians and salmon advocates in 2-day symposium of movement-building through films and performance.|
|2008||SYRCL and Western Aggregates, LLC (the largest gravel mining company on the lower Yuba River) hold press conference announcing an Agreement in Principle for “Lower Yuba Rehabilitation Project” to move 4 river miles of land into a conservation easement with ambitious plan for physical habitat restoration in support of juvenile salmonids.|
|2008||SYRCL and the Salmonid Restoration Federation host “Spring-Run Chinook Symposium” in Nevada City, with 3-days of seminars, workshops and field tours highlighting the threatened Spring-run Chinook of the Yuba to a state-wide audience.|
|2008||SYRCL joins SalmonAid, a coalition organized by commercial salmon fisherman in response to the salmon collapse and the need for federal engagement in recovering California’s salmon industry. After 2 years participating in Bay Area outreach events, SYRCL joins SalmonAid Board of Directors in 2010.|
|2009||Initial $200K secured from public and private sources for preliminary studies for the “Lower Yuba Rehabilitation Project,” restoration design concepts completed June 2010.|
As our track record suggests, SYRCL has extensive and unique experience in all scientific and collaborative processes affecting Yuba Salmon over the past decade.
American Rivers is the leading conservation organization standing up for healthy rivers so communities can thrive. American Rivers protects and restores America’s rivers for the benefit of people, wildlife, and nature. Founded in 1973, American Rivers has more than 65,000 members and supporters, with offices in Washington, DC and nationwide. American Rivers has led dam removal, hydropower reform and salmon recovery efforts throughout the Western US.
Through our work in five key program areas – Rivers and Global Warming, River Restoration, River Protection, Clean Water and Water Supply – American Rivers is working to protect our remaining natural heritage, undo the damage of the past and create a healthy future for our rivers and future generations.