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.

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.


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.

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.

River Adventures of the West and Beyond Presentation in Mount Shasta on March 16, 2011

The Mount Shasta Trail Association encourages you to attend this River Exchange event. The River Exchange does great work in the Mount Shasta area, and this program should be very interesting. I know there’ll be at least one MSTA board member in attendance — me.

The Details…

As part of their Sustainable Watershed Series, the River Exchange is hosting a “River Adventures of the West and Beyond” images screening on Wednesday, March 16th, from 7pm to 9pm at Mt. Shasta City Park’s Lower Lodge. Local river enthusiasts Rick Demarest and Jack Moore will present unique river pictures and answer questions from the audience.

Jack Moore is a local outdoor enthusiast and retired businessman who travelled to the remote Asian monarchy of Bhutan in search of new whitewater adventures. Enroute, he encountered pristine rivers amidst tropical jungles and Himalayan peaks, the coronation of Bhutan’s last king and ancient Buddhist fortress monasteries that are still inhabited today. Jack will share images from his experiences during this once in a lifetime kayaking adventure in Bhutan.

Rick Demarest is the owner of Turtle River Rafting Company, and has been running the rivers in our local area for over 30 years. His expanded interest in western rivers began back in 1985 with his first trip through the Grand Canyon.  From February 6th to March 7th of this year, Rick is co-leading a group from the western US & Canada down the Colorado River. Traveling for 280 miles below Glen Canyon Dam from Lee’s Ferry to Lake Mead, their trip combines river running with canyoneering. Each day will find them climbing high above the river to access the incredible slot canyons seldom seen on a standard river journey. Rick will share photos from this latest Grand Canyon river journey.

”Between both of them, Jack Moore and Rick Demarest have decades of river adventures under their belts,” says Robin Singler, Administrative Director of the River Exchange. “By giving these local river lovers a chance to share their experiences with the public, the River Exchange aims to inspire a deeper appreciation for the role water plays in our lives and the need to instill watershed stewardship in our youth.”

The Sustainable Watershed Series is an on-going River Exchange program that provides public educational events in the community. The River Exchange is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting healthy watersheds through community involvement in stewardship, restoration and education. For more information, call the River Exchange at (530) 235-2012, or email mail@riverexchange.org.

Dog Trail Clean-Up and Maintenance this Saturday, October 2 2010

Late-breaking news. You can help the River Exchange do some needed cleaning and trail maintenance on the Dog Trail, which accesses the Pacific Crest Trail from the south side of Castle Crags near Castle Creek.

Here are the details:

The River Exchange is reaching out for help from the community for a Dog Trail Clean-Up and Maintenance Day on Saturday, October 2nd at 9:00 a.m. The Dog Trail is a popular access trail to the Pacific Crest Trail in the Castle Crags Wilderness Area. Helpers of all ages and abilities are encouraged to participate in performing some much-needed maintenance on Dog Trail, with direction from local U.S. Forest Service Recreation Officer, Kai Allen.

Volunteers are being asked to lend a hand to clean up the Dog Trail trailhead parking area, perform basic trail maintenance and to place new signs marking the Wilderness Boundary. The need for this work was identified by the survey team who inventoried the recreation impacts in Castle Crags Wilderness Area this summer. The survey was funded by a National Forest Foundation -Wilderness Stewardship Challenge grant awarded to The River Exchange to partner with the U.S. Forest Service.

A limited number of volunteers will be able to participate in this event, so prospective volunteers are asked to contact The River Exchange to register. Volunteers are asked to wear sturdy boots, long-sleeved shirt, long pants and work gloves. Volunteers should also bring a lunch, water and sunscreen. Garbage bags and all of the required work tools will be provided by The River Exchange and the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

For more information and to register for the Dog Trailhead Clean-up Day, contact The River Exchange at 235-2012 or at mail@riverexchange.org.

The River Exchange is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting healthy watersheds through education, stewardship, restoration and community involvement.

Robin Singler,

Administrative Director

The River Exchange