Dan Olstein Is the New River Exchange Executive Director

Congrats to Dan! Here’s the press release from the River Exchange:

After receiving many qualified applications for the open Executive Director position, the River Exchange has hired Dan Olstein of San Francisco. Dan will replace Dea Knox of Mt. Shasta , and will round out the existing staff team, consisting of Robin Singler as Administrative Director and Phyllis Skalko as Finance Director.

Dan’s background includes extensive work over the past twelve years with the Nature Conservancy, an international non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of plants, animals and natural habitats for future generations. With the Nature Conservancy, Dan has served as a land steward, planner, and project manager in Florida , North Carolina and California . His most recent position was of Project Director of the Nature Conservancy’s 1.5 million acre Mount Hamilton Project in the Central Coast . In this role, Dan garnered experience in working with water districts, open space districts, land trusts, and local landowners to secure funding for floodplain easements and restoration programs. Dan also serves as the chair of the steering committee for the Central Coast Rangeland Coalition, where he promoted communication among diverse stakeholders regarding water quality, wildlife management and multiple-use land management.

“The River Exchange’s role in the Upper Sacramento River region is unique and expanding, especially in light of the two-year Integrated Regional Water Management Planning process that has just begun, “ says Dan Olstein. “I am excited to bring my skills and passion for conservation and community-building to the River Exchange’s dedicated team.”

Founded in 1996, the River Exchange is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting healthy watersheds through community involvement in education, stewardship and restoration. For more information about the River Exchange visit www.riverexchange.org, email mail@riverexchange.org or call (530) 235-2012.

Water Talks: Land Management and Restoration, September 22, 2011

Have you ever thought about how land is managed over time? Get a broad perspective on land management and stewardship actions with a panel of federal, state, private and nonprofit land managers at the next Water Talks. Water Talks: Land Management and Restoration will be held Thursday September 22nd 2011 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the Activities Room at the Sisson Museum located at 1 North Old Stage Road in Mount Shasta. The Talks are free and open to the public.

The Talks will include presentations from Steve Bachmann, Hydrologist with Shasta Trinity National Forest, Bob Smith, Land Manager with the California Department of Fish and Game, Arne Hultgren, California Resource Manager with Roseburg Resources Company and Chris Babcock, Field Scientist with the Nature Conservancy.

Attendees can expect to come away with a better understanding of the complexity of land management and restoration and how values, theory and practice change over time.

Water Talks are an ongoing series of informational and educational events with local and regional expert presenters sharing on a range of water related topics. Water Talks is a project of California Trout. California Trout is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and restoring California’s wild trout, steelhead, and salmon streams. For more information contact Meadow Barr, California Trout Outreach Coordinator at 530-859-1411 or mbarr@caltrout.org.

19th Annual Great River Clean-Up on the Upper Sacramento River

Here are the details of the River Exchange‘s annual Upper Sacramento River Great River Clean-up, September 17, 2011.

19TH ANNUAL GREAT RIVER CLEAN-UP ON THE UPPER SACRAMENTO RIVER ON SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17TH, 2011

Show the river you care and lend a hand to keep it clean

Prizes awarded for the best river garbage found

Complimentary lunch for river volunteers

 Dunsmuir, CA- The 19th Annual Great River Clean-Up will be held on Saturday, September 17th, 2011, from 9am to 2pm. All ages are encouraged to clear the Upper Sacramento River of garbage while earning prizes and a complimentary lunch at the beautiful Dunsmuir City Park.

For the past eighteen years, the River Exchange has hosted this annual event to bring people of all ages together to care for the Upper Sacramento River. River volunteers can register from 9am-10am on September 17th at the Dunsmuir City Park entrance, located on North Dunsmuir Avenue between the Dunsmuir City Pool and the baseball diamond. Volunteers will be supplied with river access maps, garbage bags and gloves to use. In return for their hard work, each river volunteer will receive a door prize ticket and a complimentary lunch at Dunsmuir City Park at noon.

Bring your kids along for the Golden Rock contest. Golden Rocks bearing the names of the event’s most generous sponsors will be hidden along the river. Each person that finds a Golden Rock will receive a prize. Prizes will also be given for the Most Humorous, Most Reusable, and the Most Unusual pieces of garbage collected, as well as for the Biggest Ball of Fishing Line found.

“A lot of garbage ends up in the river during the course of the year, but the river gets some personal attention each September through the Clean-Up,” says Robin Singler, the River Exchange’s Administrative Director.  “We encourage kids and adults to show the river they care and pitch in to clean it up on September 17th.”

This event is sponsored by “Businesses That Care,” local businesses and individuals that give to support the Clean-up and the River Exchange’s ongoing stewardship projects. Donations of prizes and sponsorships are still being sought for this year’s event. For more information about the Clean-Up or how to contribute, please contact the River Exchange at 235-2012 or at mail@riverexchange.org.

Trail to Mossbrae Falls in Dunsmuir Is Closed

Just found out from Paul Reichow that the route to Mossbrae Falls is closed for now. Get the details from the Redding Record Searchlight:

Though city officials have begun the process of securing land and funding to build an official trail to Mossbrae Falls, a pristine waterfall on the Sacramento River, it’s at least two years away, said Jim Lindley, Dunsmuir’s city manager.

The current path to the falls — long a locally held secret now widely publicized on waterfall aficionado websites — requires hikers to trespass along a potentially dangerous, milelong hike on Union Pacific Railroad tracks.

See this important update on the proposed Hedge Creek Falls to Mossbrae Falls trail.

 

River Exchange Hiring New Executive Director, July 2011

The River Exchange is looking for a new executive director. Here’s a press release with all the details. Pass along the info to anyone you think would do a good job.

Do you know someone who is interested in leading a respected conservation organization working to promote healthy watersheds in the beautiful Mount Shasta region? The River Exchange (REX) is accepting applications for our Executive Director position. We are a non-profit, 501(c)(3) watershed stewardship organization located in Dunsmuir, California. REX fills a unique role in the region – proactively working to support and improve the health of the watershed ecosystem, educate and empower the community to be effective watershed stewards and facilitate cooperation of stakeholders in collaborative watershed management.

This position is currently 70% time, although this may be negotiable. Salary will be dependent on qualifications and experience, with an expected range of $55,000 – $60,000 per year at the full-time rate ($38,500 – $42,000 at 70%). Application materials – including cover letter, resume, short writing sample and references – will be accepted in electronic format only through 9:00 p.m. on August 9, 2011. Please send application materials, or any requests for further information, to dea@riverexchange.org. See full job description below and additional information about the organization at www.riverexchange.org.

Job Description

The Executive Director of the River Exchange is the chief executive officer for the organization. The ED is responsible for all the day-to-day operations of the River Exchange and oversees the full range of activities normally conducted by a non-profit organization, including development of programs that meet the organization’s mission, policy development, financial management, fundraising, contract negotiations, grant compliance, public relations, agency partnerships and media relations. The ED is also responsible for the organization’s financial operations, including preparing and implementing an annual budget.

The ED manages the following staff: Administrative Director, Research Director and Finance Director. All employees currently work a part-time schedule. The Executive Director is responsible for employee recruitment, management and evaluation.

Reporting to a nine-member Board of Directors, the Executive Director is responsible for all Board relations and communications, plus preparation of agendas and reports for regular and special Board meetings.

The successful candidate for this position will demonstrate knowledge of non-profit operations, budget experience, excellent written and oral communication skills and a strong background in fundraising, grant writing and grant administration – particularly with public agencies. The successful candidate will also have management experience and experience working with a non-profit board of directors. Knowledge and understanding of water issues in northern California is desirable and a demonstrated commitment to the environment and to the non-profit sector is a must.

Water Talks: Local Fish and Fishing on June 16th, 2011

What is it about fish and fishing? Get a fish-eye-view on what is unique about fish in the region with a panel of local biologists, conservationists and fishermen at the next Water Talks. Water Talks: Local Fish and Fishing will be held Thursday June 16th 2011 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the Highland Room at the Mount Shasta Resort [Note: NOT THE SISSON MUSEUM THIS TIME] located at 1000 Siskiyou Lake Boulevard in Mount Shasta. The Talks are free and open to the public.

“Most people don’t know that salmon used to come all the way into Mount Shasta City to spawn in Cold Creek, Kid’s Creek and Wagon Creek,” explained local historian Craig Ballenger. “The McCloud River was once a prolific salmon stream, and the McCloud River rainbow trout has been exported all over the world,” he said. Ballenger will present on the History of the McCloud River Fisheries.

NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service biologist Don Flickinger will present on the Klamath River system anadromous fish and the habitats they require for their protection and recovery. “Over the past decade, I’ve been involved in annual salmon and salmonid habitat monitoring, fish habitat restoration work, and consultations under the Endangered Species Act for listed Southern Oregon Northern CA Coast (SONCC) coho salmon,” Flickinger said.

The Talks will also include presentations from Curtis Knight, Conservation Director of California Trout on the area’s unique fish species, John Rickard, fly fishing guide and photographer of Wild Waters Fly Fishing on Fishing the McCloud River, and Andrew Braugh, California Trout’s Mt. Shasta Conservation Manager on “Salmon 101.”

Attendees can expect to come away with a better understanding of the area’s unique fish species and fisheries issues.

Water Talks are an ongoing series of informational and educational events with local and regional expert presenters sharing on a range of water related topics. Water Talks is a project of California Trout. California Trout is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and restoring California’s wild trout, steelhead, and salmon streams. For more information contact Donna Boyd, California Trout, at 530-925-4750.

Raft and Restore the Upper Sacramento River on Saturday, May 21, 2011

Great event sponsored by our good friends at the River Exchange. Here’s the press release:

The River Exchange is hosting their 3rd annual “Raft and Restore the Upper Sacramento River” event on Saturday, May 21st from 9am to 4pm. With help from local rafting company River Dancers Rafting & Kayaking and the U.S. Forest Service, this event presents a unique opportunity for river lovers to get involved in hands-on river restoration work while rafting eight miles of exciting Class 3 whitewater rapids.

The target of this restoration event is the prolific, non-native plant Scotch broom that has taken a firm hold of the banks of the river over the years. Scotch broom was introduced in California during the Gold Rush as packing material for whiskey bottles shipped from Europe . Also known by its scientific name Cytisus scoparius, Scotch broom is a perennial shrub which grows in sunny sites with dry sandy soil, and spreads rapidly through pastures, borders of forests, and roadsides. This yellow-flowered noxious weed spreads aggressively and is highly invasive, crowding out native species that provide food and habitat for wildlife. Scotch broom seeds can remain dormant for up to 80 years, a fact which makes removing these plants before they go to seed a high priority.

“This event is perfect for those who care about river health and crave an exciting whitewater experience,” says Chantal Langenfeld , owner of River Dancers Rafting and Kayaking. “Those who attend will learn how non-native species impact riparian areas and will directly help restore the river while being treated to over 20 good-sized Class 3 rapids over an eight-mile stretch of river. The $50 fee is a fraction of the normal cost of such a river trip, so it’s a great deal for your pocketbook, too.”

River Dancers Rafting & Kayaking will generously provide all rafting gear for the day, and the U.S. Forest Service will provide all the tools needed for the restoration work. Volunteers will help dig out plants and bundle them up to be retrieved by Forest Service employees. The Forest Service will then dispose of the plants without further contamination to the river banks.

Pre-registration is required. A $50 fee goes to support ongoing watershed education programs by the River Exchange. To sign up for this exciting stewardship and whitewater opportunity, call River Dancers Rafting & Kayaking at (800) 926-5002 or (530) 926-3517, or email them at rafting@riverdancers.com. You can also visit River Dancers at www.riverdancers.com.

The River Exchange is a non-profit 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting healthy watersheds through community involvement in education, stewardship, and restoration. For more information about the River Exchange call (530) 235-2012 or visit www.riverexchange.org.

For more information about Scotch broom and other noxious weeds, visit the California Invasive Plant Council website at http://www.cal-ipc.org, or call the Siskiyou County Department of Agriculture at (530) 841-4025.

California Water Law and Policy — Talk at Siskiyou Museum on May 18, 2011

This is part of an excellent series of talks/discussions on water in the far north state sponsored by California Trout. Here’s the press release:

What are water rights? How does water flow through California? What is a water trust? What is a rights-based ordinance? Join a panel of local and regional experts to get down to the basics of California’s complex water laws and policies. Water Talks: California Water Law and Policy will be held Wednesday May 18th 2011 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Sisson Museum Activities Room located at 1 North Old Stage Road in Mount Shasta. The Talks are free and open to the public.

“I appreciate how willing local professionals are to share their knowledge with the general public. I’m pleased to host some incredibly accomplished local professionals at our next Water Talks including Etna-based water and watershed management consultant Sari Sommarstrom Ph.D., of Sari Sommarstrom and Associates and Executive Director of the Scott River Water Trust, Kathleen Hitt, J.D. in Environmental and Natural Resource Law and Conservation Director of Siskiyou Land Trust, Tom Stokely, retired Principal Planner with the Natural Resources Division of Trinity County and director of California Water Impact Network, and Angelina Cook, M.A. in International Environmental Policy and founding organizer of the Mount Shasta Community Rights Initiative,” said Meadow Barr California Trout Outreach Coordinator and Water Talks organizer.

“Governance of water in California is complex. I hope people will come away from my presentation really understanding what a water right is and which agencies govern different aspects of water,” said Kathleen Hitt, who will present on the basics of California water law.

Sari Sommarstrom has worked with her community in the Scott Valley over the last 10 years to develop the first water trust in the state of California. “I look forward to sharing the story of the Scott River Water Trust as a local case study in water rights and instream enhancement,” said Sommarstrom.

Tom Stokely will present on how water flows through California and Angelina Cook on rights-based approaches to local governance. The audience will be able to interact with the presenters during question and answer periods. Those attending can also expect a handout including terms and basic resources in California water law and policy.

Water Talks are an ongoing series of informational and educational events with local and regional expert presenters sharing on a range of water related topics. Water Talks is a project of California Trout. California Trout is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and restoring California’s wild trout, steelhead, and salmon streams. For more information contact Meadow Barr, California Trout Outreach Coordinator at 530-859-1411 or mbarr@caltrout.org.

Water Talk at Sisson Musem on April 20, 2011

California Trout is sponsoring a series of water talks that address important issues affecting the Siskiyou County area. Here’s a press release about the next event.

How do water, climate and forests interact in Mt. Shasta’s watersheds? Join area science and watershed experts for an evening of Water Talks: Water, Climate and Forests on Wednesday April 20th from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Sisson Museum Activities Room located at 1 North Old Stage Road in Mount Shasta. Water Talks are an ongoing series of informational and educational events with local and regional expert presenters sharing on a range of water related topics. The Talks are free and open to the public.

On April 20th, Water Talks is joined by Adam Henderson, Climate Change specialist at the Northern Region Office of the California Department of Water Resources, Christine Mai, Watershed Program Manager for the Shasta Trinity National Forest, and Carl N. Skinner, Geographer and Project Leader for the USDA Service Center Pacific Southwest Research Station.

Mai spent a significant portion of 2010 on a national climate change team looking specifically at watershed vulnerability to climate change. “The title of my talk will be “Shasta Trinity National Forest Watersheds Vulnerable to Climate Change”. I will be discussing the distribution of a number of aquatic resources that could be at risk with pending climate change. I will focus on resources likely to suffer from warming and drying and others that could be at risk from extreme weather events. Topic areas will include springs, small lakes and ponds, streams with greatest potential for solar exposure, snow pack losses, water rights and infrastructure,” Mai said.

Henderson will explain climate trends and models for temperature, water, sea level rise and carbon dioxide as well as general California level impacts on water and forests. Skinner will present on riparian and aquatic habitat in landscapes of frequent fires and associated patterns of fire severity in northern California.

Water Talks is a project of California Trout. California Trout is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and restoring California’s wild trout, steelhead, and salmon streams. For more information contact Meadow Barr, California Trout Outreach Coordinator at 530-859-1411 or mbarr@caltrout.org.

April 20th Water Talks

The River Exchange Gala on Saturday, May 7, 2011

The River Exchange does great work in the upper watershed of the Sacramento River, including trail construction and maintenance. Here are the details about the upcoming gala from a River Exchange press release:

The annual River Celebration gala is drawing near, and tickets are now available for purchase. The Celebration is Saturday, May 7th from 6pm-10pm at the Mt. Shasta City Park Upper Lodge. Call our office at (530) 235-2012 to order your tickets early, or you can pick them up at Village Books in Mt. Shasta .

This year’s Celebration marks our 15th year of promoting healthy watersheds. Join friends & community members for a delicious organic dinner from Mountain Star Cafe, live music by Tristan Behm, a no-host beer and wine bar, fabulous dessert auction goodies & unique silent auction items. The dinner menu consists of seared & baked chicken with a light rosemary seasoning, gravy, rice and salad with a creamy basil hempseed dressing. A vegetarian and vegan lasagna dinner with salad will also be available.

Seating is limited and this event sells out, so reserve your tickets early! Tickets are $35 each, or $65 for 2. Proceeds benefit the River Exchange’s watershed stewardship & education programs.