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February 23, 2012: Vol. 2, #2

In This Issue:
Stop the San Joaquin River Destruction Bill
Tell Secretary Salazar: Remove Klamath Dams

Merced River - Help save Wild & Scenic status
FOR Volunteer Program Meeting: Feb 25th (SAT)
River Saving Tip: Weeding the Yard
River in the Spotlight: The San Joaquin
2012 Internships & Volunteer Posts with FOR
Come to the FOR annual Gear Swap!

River News & Events

Stop The San Joaquin River Destruction Bill!
By Steve Evans, Wild & Scenic Project Coordinator

The House of Representatives will soon consider an environmentally destructive bill that overturns the public trust provisions of the California Constitution, usurps state water rights authority, harms endangered salmon and steelhead, will likely increase Delta diversions and adversely impacts flows in the Sacramento and American Rivers, and dry up the recently restored San Joaquin River.

The House of Representatives will vote next Wednesday on H.R. 1837, a bill introduced by Representative Devin Nunes that rolls back nearly two decades of progress in restoring rivers, fish, and wildlife harmed by the operation of federal dams and canals in the Central Valley. Developed in secret by Nunes and a handful of powerful corporate irrigators with little or no input from the rest of the California House delegation, H.R. 1837 has already passed the House Resources Committee and will be voted on by the full House of Representatives as early as Wednesday, February 29. Please email your Representative in Congress TODAY and urge him or her to vote NO on H.R. 1837!

Click here to take action.

Copco 2 Dam on Klamath RiverTell Secretary Salazar: Remove Klamath Dams
By Alexandra Borack, Conservation Advocate

Now is your time to act on the Klamath! Since 2002, the Klamath River has faced unprecedented challenges: a major fish die-off of fall-run Chinook salmon (at least 30,000 fish), toxic algae in the dam reservoirs with a hazardous decline in water quality, and the closing of the commercial salmon harvest along the Northern California coast.  While there have been actions to provide temporary relief from or mitigation for the damage to the ecosystem, there can be no real solution for the Klamath Basin until the dams are removed and the river is restored to its free-flowing river condition. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is a key decision-maker for the Klamath River. He must make a decision by March 31 that it is in the public interest to remove the Klamath River dams. TAKE ACTION

MRsideHouse has yet to move on Merced bill - please take action! 
By Ron Stork, Senior Policy Advocate

The Republican dominated House Natural Resources Committee approved several bills that weaken federal protection for the Merced Wild River and other rivers in the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System. The Committee approved by a party-line voice vote Rep. Jeff Denham’s bill – H.R. 2578 – which adjusts the boundary of the Merced Wild River to allow for possible expansion of the New Exchequer Reservoir.

The bill is expected to move to the House floor for a full vote soon. Please click here to send an email TODAY to your representatives in Congress urging them to protect the Merced Wild River by rejecting H.R. 2578.

FOR Volunteer Program Meeting
By Jonathan McClelland, Board of Elected Volunteers

Attention FOR Guides & River Activists! FOR's Volunteer Program will hold a retreat on Saturday Feb 25th from 9:30 to 4:30 to plan our upcoming season at ETC's river camp. Lunch will be provided by the Board of Elected Volunteers (BEV), if you RSVP. If you don't rsvp please be sure to bring your own food. There are some important items to discuss. We hope you can be there and contribute good ideas. If you have an idea, remember River Jedi's mantra FAJADI (find a job and do it)!

The 2011 season was challenging because of the reduced contribution from staff, and we really rose to the occasion. Thank you all who contributed to making this happen. Let's commit to raising the bar even further in 2012.

Here are some agenda items for the retreat:

  • Establish our calendar for 2012
  • Explore fundraising possibilities
  • Reestablish a culture of training new guides/activists
  • Refine our outreach to commercial guides to improve effective use of our efforts
  • Review BEV effectiveness
I'm excited by the boundless opportunity that being a volunteer led program makes possible. There is room for ALL who FAJADI without creating a mess for others to clean up.

Let's kick butt in 2012!!!

For the BEV and the rivers, Jonathan

Friends of the River - 2012 Internship Program
By Johnnie Carlson, Operations Director

Are you looking to build your resume and add real world hands-on policy and community organizing work to your list of skills? Join a fun and engaging team working to save the rivers of California. Friends of the River has openings for five internships right now! We have a supportive and casual office environment where you will get one-on-one attention and development as well as have the opportunity to run with projects on your own. All interns are invited on summer whitewater rafting and barbeque trips. Please check out the positions below that we are currently recruiting for and if you are interested see the "How to Apply" section at the end.

Legal Internship - Open now & taking applications for our summer legal program: FOR takes the lead in protecting California's rivers. In just one of our recent cases, we have been fighting to protect the trees that line the rivers and levees of the state. These trees and shrubs provide a significant share of the state's riparian habitat and need our protection from a misguided attempt by the federal government to clear-cut them all. The internship will work doing legal research, citing cases, and helping to prepare the legal team for motions, hearings and trial. Law school students preferred and multiple openings during the summer.

Wild & Scenic Rivers Internship – Open now: FOR has sought and secured federal Wild & Scenic designation for over 2000 miles of rivers in California – ensuring future generations will be able to enjoy these magnificent rivers! The internship will help our conservation staff research new river segments for designation, build background information on the segments and organize the public, stakeholders and opinion leaders to save these precious rivers before it is too late. The intern will assist staff in coordination with the members of the California Wild Heritage Campaign. Juniors or seniors preferred.

American River Internship – Open now: FOR has led the fight to save the American River from the Auburn Dam – a battle we have been fighting since the 1970s. The intern will work directly with our Senior Policy Advocate who has led this campaign since the 80s. The internship will help to research and prepare background information for our website, newsletter, and for distribution to opinion leaders and stakeholders. The participant in this internship will have many opportunities to attend both public and stakeholder meetings and learn about the complex interactions between local, state, and federal agencies. Preference will be given to seniors or graduate students or individuals with an intense interest in the American River.

HOW TO APPLY: To apply for any of our internship openings send your resume and contact information to – be sure to include the title(s) of internships listed below that you are interested in and a cover letter telling us why you are interested in helping to save California’s rivers! A cover letter describing why you would like to intern or volunteer with Friends of the River is strongly encouraged and writing sample of between 3-10 pages is required for internship applicants. (see next column for volunteer posts)


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50 Ways to Save Your River!

Click below to learn the 50+ ways you can help save your river now!



Give your river a voice and join FOR or give an additional gift today!

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Junk Your Car: Save Your River!

Friends of the River now accepts donations of cars, boats, trucks, jet skis and more! In a cooperative effort between Donation Line and FOR your vehicle can be donated to help save our rivers! You must have a clean title. Free Towing & No Hassles. Pick up ASAP. Call 1-877-227-7487 extension 2811




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River in the Spotlight: The San Joaquin River

By Steve Evans, Wild & Scenic Project Coordinator

The San Joaquin River is the second longest river in California, but it drains the largest watershed area (32,000 square miles) in the state. Fed by the melting snow of the High Sierra, the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin originates in the incredibly scenic Ansel Adams Wilderness and passes by Devil's Postpile, a national monument, as it flows west out of the mountain range and into the San Joaquin Valley.

The San Joaquin has been nick-named “the hardest working river in the world.” Since the early 1900’s, more than 19 hydroelectric dams and reservoirs, and 27 powerhouses, were constructed on the upper river and its various forks and tributaries and divert much of the San Joaquin’s water to Central Valley farms. The San Joaquin River formerly supported the southern-most salmon run in the United States until the construction of Friant Dam in 1942 wiped out one of the largest salmon runs in California and dried up the bed of the San Joaquin River west of Fresno.

Visit FOR's San Joaquin River Page


crab grassRiver Saving Tip: Weeding the Yard
By Hayden Glines, FOR Intern

Nobody likes weeds in their yard. They are the gardener's nightmare. Not only are weeds displeasing to the eye, but also they can directly harm your yard while thriving off your garden's water. Save your plants, your water and your river! Of course, prevention is the best proactive way to get rid of these eyesores and water stealers.

One idea is to use fall leaves to line your flowerbeds and help prevent weeds to begin with. Removing weeds in the spring, while the soil is moist and they are small is the easiest, but anytime is good time to get of them. Mulch (bark, gravel, stones, etc) can help prevent the growth of new weeds.

To learn more visit FOR's "50 Ways to Save Your River" page.

   To Visit FOR's River Action Center - click below.

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The River Advocate is published on a monthly basis by Friends of the River.



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Information & Advocacy Tables

FOR Outreach Events

Help share the word about wild rivers!

To volunteer to table with FOR or to find out how to volunteer email us at:




VOLUNTEER OPENINGS AT FOR: (set or open schedule - no minimum time commitments)

Office Volunteers: Help send out thank you letters, do light filling, keep our library and archives organized, and fulfill member requests. We have all sorts of basic office tasks most needing no experience or special skills at all!

Outreach & Events Volunteers: Organize items for tabling volunteers and do outreach for Friends of the River at events and public gatherings that fit your schedule and interests. We also host two fundraising events one in Sacramento in the spring and one in San Francisco in the fall that always need volunteers both prior to the event and at the events themselves doing registration, working the auctions, and helping guests enjoy the evenings.

Communications Volunteers: We need you to blog, tweet or post for Friends of the River! We are looking for volunteer "communicators." Help our staff get the word out about critical river issues or threats to the greater community across the state that care about and depend on clean, healthy, and free flowing rivers.

Policy Volunteers: Do you have an interest in rivers and water policy and some free time on your hands? FOR needs folks who can delve into technical reports and box loads of research and prepare summaries or analysis for FOR staff, our stakeholders and the general public. Topics include the American River, flood control, levee vegetation and more.

HOW TO APPLY: To apply for any of our volunteer openings, contact – be sure to include the title(s) of volunteer position(s) you are interested in and be sure to tell us why you want to help save California’s rivers!


Come to the FOR annual Gear Swap!
By Greg "Big Bird" Gilmore, Board of Elected Volunteers

September 8 & 9, 2012 at Henningsen Lotus Park in Coloma-Lotus.

Need river gear or got too much? Maybe you just want to make some money off that old bucket boat to buy your own self-bailer. Come to FOR’s annual river gear swap at American River Festival, September 8 & 9, 2012 at Henningsen-Lotus Park in Lotus, California. We are looking for used kayaks, rafts, boat frames, lifejackets and paddles to count and any thing you might like to pass on to our river lovers! Help keep the tradition alive by signing up to bring gear or volunteer. A committee of experienced Gear Swap types are coming together to make this happen. If you would like more information or want to get involved, please email See you on river and at the swap!






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