River Restoration Adventure with Sierra Native Youth

We planted willows in the first snow of the season with the Sierra Native Alliance.

Last weekend brought the first snows to the Sierra. Julie and I were lucky to be out in it– at 8000 feet with the Sierra Native Alliance’s Native Youth Conservation Corps. We were at the very headwaters of the Mokelumne River, planting hundreds of willows in the restored portion of Indian Valley. The goals were to stabilize recovering portions of stream bank and to share restoration skills with Native American youth. I tried to postpone the trip on Thursday, when I saw the weather forecast, but the young workers were excited and all-in for a restoration adventure.

The trip by the numbers: We planted more than 500 willows along 1.5 miles of stream– 11 people, 2 nights camping and more than 3 inches of snow fell. Daily high temperatures dropped 30 degrees over the weekend. We were fueled by 5 dozen eggs, 10 pounds of hamburger, 40 cups of hot cocoa, dozens of peanut butter sandwiches and countless smiles.

This multi-benefit restoration project is the kind of investment the people of California would make by supporting Proposition 1 in November. Proposition 1 would provide funding for river restoration, water conservation, as well as groundwater and water supply projects.

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