A wild, free-flowing river is a rare natural resource in our country. Rivers are refuges, where people, plants, and animals coexist, where waters recharge the riparian environs and lands downstream. I live in the Merced Wild and Scenic River corridor and observe the radical changes in its hydrology, and the diversity of plant and animal life that thrives along its banks. Rivers and their near-pristine water quality are priceless, and continually require protection. As a natural resource steward, I want to work within a network of environmental groups to gain public and political support resulting in the sustainable and environmentally responsible use of our rivers and public lands; thereby, ensuring their integrity and beauty for future generations.

The River Advocate Training School (RATS) presents an opportunity to work with other environmentalists protecting rivers through public awareness, education, and political activism. Given my federal career experience in environmental planning and compliance, wilderness stewardship, and natural resources management, this program is a good fit. I’m looking to the RAT program for guidance in identifying current, critical issues affecting the future health of our rivers, and ways in which we can work with organizations and individuals to reduce, or eliminate those potential impacts. California rivers are under threat, as the State finalizes a list of water projects that will be partially funded by the $7.5 billion Proposition 1 water bond. Now is our time to act.