A world without rivers

Dry river bed in the Sierra Nevada of CA | Austen Lorenz Imagine a world without rivers. No digging in with your raft paddle as you shoot rapids. No guiding a canoe quietly downstream. No diving into deep river pools or standing in the mist of a waterfall. No casting fly lines into flowing water… Read more »

Stanford on Verge of Momentous Dam Decision

The 60 foot Searsville Dam from below | Matt Stoecker After 15 years of pushing by American Rivers and partners such as Beyond Searsville Dam (BSD), Stanford University could finally start taking responsibility for the harm its water system causes to endangered steelhead trout and local streams. For over 100 years, Stanford has operated multiple… Read more »

Fighting Erosion from Forest Roads

The forested Yuba River watershed in the Sierra Nevada | Gary Reedy Picture a tranquil dirt road through the forest, sloping downhill until it crosses a dry stream bed and winds away through the trees on the other side. There’s a good chance that the next time it rains, that road won’t be quite so… Read more »

Restoration, Stormwater, and Flood Management in the Sierra Foothills

Starting this month, American Rivers is launching a new multi-benefit project in the Wolf Creek Watershed, a major tributary to the Bear River in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Wolf Creek has historically been neglected and under-appreciated, in a community where the local waterway has not been a priority. Years of rapid urbanization in… Read more »

72 Dams removed in 2014

Download the 2014 Dam Removals list [PDF] Download a comprehensive list of dams removed 1998-2014 [PDF] Explore the interactive map of all dam removals (Washington) — Communities in 19 states, working in partnership with non-profit organizations and state and federal agencies, removed 72 dams in 2014, restoring more than 730 miles of streams for the… Read more »

Raingarden, Country-style

“What’s a raingarden?” our three-year old Giles asked over breakfast. “Perfect timing buddy, I just borrowed grandpa’s tractor, and we’re going to dig up the center of the driveway. Yeeha!” Instead of putting rainwater in pipes or letting it run down our driveway, I’m working on setting up a zero-runoff homesite: collecting and banking precious… Read more »

The California Drought – Has Year 4 Begun?

Folsom Lake reservoir in January 2014 | Jacob Dyste As much of the US is in the grip of a frigid arctic air mass, California is in the grip of a ridge of high pressure that has blocked the procession of drenching storms we had in December. A similar pattern, dubbed the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge,… Read more »

Get Wild and Scenic in California

South Yuba River, whose protection inspired SYRCL’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival | Leslie Elias Mid-January is one of my favorite times of year in Nevada City, which is home to American Rivers’ main California regional office. It’s the time of year when, thanks to the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, our little mountain town… Read more »

The Klamath and Killer Whales

Algae bloom behind Klamath dam | James Norman The rivers of the Pacific Coast once teemed with wild salmon, providing nourishment for humans, wildlife, and ecosystems from the mountains to the sea—including many communities of orca whales. But for the last century, dams, habitat loss, and excessive harvest have pushed salmon to the brink. Dams… Read more »

Enter the Rainy Season

Assessing a meadow in the Kern Watershed, 2013 | Julie Fair Last week, our California headwaters restoration team geared up to assess the health of mountain meadows in the Pine Creek watershed in Lassen National Forest, and identify the ones most in need of restoration. Maps, GPS, cameras, and rubber boots in place, we were… Read more »