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December 21, 2012: Vol. 2, #12

The Voice of California's Rivers Since 1973

Your memories of 40 years of FOR

FOR volunteers meet to plan on-river work for 2013: Jan 5th in Sacramento
FOR Needs River Gear!

Write your Senator to Save the W&S Merced River

River Events: Tim Palmer - California Glaciers
show Jan 14 at Fox & Goose Pub in Sacramento
River in the Spotlight: South Fork of the Trinity River RiverSaving Tip: Save your rainwater


Your memories of 40 years of FOR
Johnnie Carlson, Operations Director

2013 marks the 40th anniversary of Friends of the River.  Founded in the struggle to save the Stanislaus River from the filling of the New Melones Dam, FOR has gone on to fight countless battles to save our wild and free rivers – and you have been a part of that history.

To help FOR mark our 40th birthday we are looking for your memories and photos to share on our website and at our upcoming events in 2013. If you have photos, memories of FOR river trips, or river activism experiences to share – please email them to us at  We will be building a page of memoires on our website beginning this spring!


Author Tim PalmerTim Palmer’s California Glaciers book tour comes to Sacramento on January 14th

SAVE THE DATE: On January 14, 2013 Friends of the River will host Tim Palmer in Sacramento at the Fox & Goose Pub from 6 to 8pm for a slide show of his latest book: California Glaciers.

Tim Palmer has written twenty-two books about the American landscape, conservation, adventure travel, and rivers. California Wild, a text and photographic book, won the Benjamin Franklin Award for the best book on nature and the environment in 2004. Palmer wrote the text for the Yosemite Association’s Yosemite: The Promise of Wildness, which
 received the Director’s Award from the National Park Service as the best book of the year in 1997. His other books include, Rivers of America, which features 200 color photos of rivers nationwide, Rivers of California, and Luminous Mountains, published by Heyday in collaboration with the Yosemite Association. Palmer has traveled extensively through the mountains of California by foot and on skis, with his canoe and whitewater raft, and in his well-equipped van.

Date: January 14th - Sacramento at the Fox & Goose Pub from 6 to 8 pm.


Rafting Program Retreat Sat. Jan 5th, 2013
Jonathan McClelland, Board of Elected Volunteers

If you are interested in helping to guide the rafting program into the near future, I hope you will attend our upcoming retreat at ETC's river camp on Saturday, Jan 5th. There will be the usual hot beverages and breakfast choices available from 9-9:30, so we can roll up our sleeves and get to work on defining a program that will be sustainable and fulfilling to achieve our goals of protecting rivers and having fun while doing so.

Several important components need serious attention if we are going to move forward. They include developing a viable option for training new guides and activists, and self-funding our on river infrastructure.

In the past, we have held fund drives to purchase new equipment, but in recent years that has been inadequate to meet our needs. We started a new equipment fund drive in August with a $3,000 goal. To date, we've collected $850, so unless that figure changes dramatically, we need to come up with something new to raise $$$.

We have not had an FOR guide training in two years (for those of you who are counting). Structurally it has become increasing more challenging for us to do so, since so many of our trainers are also trainers for other groups as well, and they have been far more pro-active in making their trainings happen. One option that we are looking at is to refer prospective guides to commercial outfitter trainings and doing either follow up or in conjunction with conservation components. Several interested outfitters are planning to attend the retreat to offer their ideas on how this might work out.

I think if we successfully tackle these two huge agenda items, and also establish our "major event" calendar for 2013, that we shouldn't preset additional agenda items prior to the retreat. That doesn't mean that if you have something that you think ought to be discussed you shouldn't email to us at and it will get forwarded to the Board of Elected Volunteers. It'll give us food for thought, and may lead to mutual interest break-out groups getting formed and discussions started pre-retreat.

If someone wants to commit to organizing lunch for the retreat participants, that would be also Johnnie at the FOR office at ...otherwise it's a brown bag affair. To RSVP email: info@friendsoftheriver.

I hope to see you there, Jonathan.


South Fork TrinityRiver in the Spotlight: The South Fork of  the Trinity River

Fed by melting snows in the North Yolla Bolly Mountains, the South Fork Trinity River flows for more than 81 miles northward to its confluence with the main stem of the Trinity in northwest California. The lower 55 miles of the South Fork were designated a California Wild & Scenic River in 1972 in recognition of its outstanding anadromous fishery. This segment was subsequently added to the federal system in 1981. But the upper 26 miles of the river, as well as the East Fork of the South Fork (a major tributary), remain unprotected all the way to the Yolla Bolly Wilderness.

The South Fork was once one of northwest California's premier steelhead and spring run Chinook salmon streams. But extensive road building and logging on the public lands in the South Fork watershed have taken its toll on water quality, fish habitat, and the fishery. Some years, only a handful of steelhead and salmon make their way up the South Fork to spawn.

South Fork Trinity River Locator MapDespite the years of road building and logging that have nibbled away at the watershed, the South Fork remains the Trinity's least developed tributary. One outdoor writer considers the South Fork to be "remote and obscure," but its very remoteness and obscurity makes it one of the most wild river canyons in California. The portions of the watershed along the river that remain undeveloped are suitable for wilderness designation, including the Underwood, South Fork, and Chinquapin roadless areas. In addition, the upper portions of the watershed encompass potential additions to the Yolla Bolly Wilderness.

VISIT FOR's South Fork Trinity River Page


rainRiver Saving Tip: Save your rainwater
By Johnnie Carlson

Now is the time of year when nature provides the water – but is your landscape set up right to retain it?  You can do a lot to make the most of the rainfall for your flowerbeds and garden as well as your lawn relatively inexpensively.

Tip#1: Use mulch: mulch helps to hold the rainwater in place giving it time to soak in to the soil.

Tip#2: Channel your downspouts: If the slope of your lawn and ground allow channel and direct your roof’s rainwater downspouts into low lying areas away form your home and allow some of the runoff to seep into your ground.  Don’t do this near your homes foundations – that’s one place to keep dry. A handy item to use for this is dryer vent tubes/hoses that have the right volume and are flexible – just put them away in the spring after the rains pass!

Tip#3: Rain barrels: Some home improvement stores and other online retailers make barrels that attach to your homes downspouts to collect rainwater that you can use later for watering gardens, potted plants, etc…

Learn about the 50 Ways to Save Your River!



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FOR Needs River Gear!
Scott Arrants, Board of Elected Volunteers

In September a group of valued FOR volunteers helped out with the annual "Gear Love Day" where we performed basic maintenance and inventoried the FOR rafting gear.  The gear is well used when promoting FOR and FOR's message.  The conclusion we came to is that the gear needs help!  We are looking for some help in the following areas:


  • Two rafts have leaks that need to be found and fixed. 
  • One raft has a leaky floor valve that needs repair/replacement. 
  • One raft has a repaired floor that needs to be installed (we have the raft, floor, and webbing). 

Contact Scott Arrants,  or Greg Gilmore (Big Bird),  and we would be happy to assist with arrangements for you to repair one or more rafts!

Other Gear:

  • PFDs - We need more!  We have 15 small/medium, 10 large/extra large, 3 adult universal, 26 child
  • Paddles - We need more!  We have 50 paddles and 2 guide sticks
  • Roll-a-table - We need 1-2 more, we only have one.

If you are willing to donate money specifically for gear, please contact Stacy Alyse Wieser,  who has graciously agreed to be the collection point for gear donations.




Park your old car on the River Bank - FOR's Bank that is!

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



Support Rivers by Giving at Work! To find out more email us at:

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Tim Palmer, Merced River ThumbnailAlert: Write your Senator to Save the W&S Merced River

The Merced Saga: Potential New Senate Bill to Inundate Reach of W&S Merced


Last summer H.R. 2578 passed in the US House of Representatives.  This measure is a compilation of many of anti-conservation bills, including Title I, Lower Merced River, that would roll back Wild & Scenic Rivers Act protections for a portion of the Merced River in California to allow the enlargement of Lake McClure Reservoir. A similar Senate-sponsored bill may be introduced, as well.

We do not know when, or in what form, this Senate Bill will emerge from the darkness and into the light of democracy.  Rather than wait until it is too late, we have sent a sign-on letter opposing the measure, signed by 56 environmental groups, to key Senators, including Senator Bingaman, (D, NM; Chair, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee) , Senator Wyden (D, OR), Senator Feinstein (D, CA), and Senator Boxer (D, CA).  The FOR led sign-on letter to Senators provides more background on the actual measure; the list and logos of signatories gives a sense of the breadth of opposition to this destructive measure.



Please ask your Senators to oppose this measure, go to Merced Letter for an easy way to send an email to key Senators including your own. 

View a video that provides an overview of the issues:  Threat to the Wild & Scenic Merced.



The River Advocate is published by
Friends of the River.






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