I have had a lifelong interest in the outdoors and environmental issues. Rivers have been an integral part of my outdoor experience and I have watched changes to the demands placed upon rivers. While enjoying the rivers and streams of California fishing, canoeing and rafting upon them I have watched as demands upon their water resources, denudation of the adjacent landscape, diversion of their water and impoundment of their flow has placed undue stress upon the streams and rivers. Moving into a more activist role will hopefully permit me to become a better advocate to help ameliorate or reverse some of the deleterious policies that affect these precious resources.

I hope the RATS training will improve my understanding of the issues facing our riparian habitat and facilitate my ability to influence policy moving forward as an individual and by educating and gathering the support of other community members. Our water is a finite resource, and a precious one at that. We in California must learn how best to utilize this resource that it may provide lasting utility while maintaining the environment. I hope this experience will empower me to be a better guide in the stewardship of this amazing ecological asset.