Join the Truckee River Watershed Council for the 28th annual Truckee River Day. Nearly three decades ago, concerned citizens began to take notice that the history of the land surrounding the Truckee River was threatening the course of its future. While the region’s storied industrial past is widely celebrated, decades of mismanagement and overuse were harmful to the watershed. Thus, the Truckee River Watershed Council was born.

The Truckee River stretches 121 miles from Lake Tahoe down the rugged peaks of the Sierra Nevada, until it flows into Pyramid Lake in Nevada’s Great Basin. Along the way, it ambles through meadows, along roadsides, and abuts residential properties. According to the Truckee River Watershed Council, “a century of logging, grazing, mining, and later, mismanagement of our water resources for downstream use led to stranded fish in dry streambeds, degraded rivers, meadows and forests, and damage to our beloved recreational resources. Our streams were empty, meadows were draining, our soil cracked and dry, and native fish and wildlife were disappearing.”

It wasn’t long before the Truckee River Watershed Council jumped into action and launched the inaugural Truckee River Day. “Our community stepped up, put their heads and hands together, created vital changes in water policy, and made a commitment to protect and restore our wild places — indefinitely,” says the council.

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Despite its stunning clarity and sections with colors shimmering in blue and green hues, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rates the Truckee River as polluted due to its volume of excess sediment. The watershed council works to rectify the damage done by years of abuse, erosion, invasive species, climate change, and detrimental policies throughout time.

This year’s Truckee River Day and Fair will be held on Oct. 15. Projects include restoring and enhancing creeks, wetlands, and meadows, and improving recreational access by assisting with upland revegetation, seeding, mulching, building beaver dams, stabilizing streambanks, building meadow boardwalks, and erosion control on trails.

Trained leaders will guide volunteers at various worksites throughout the Truckee River watershed area. Specific sites will be announced in mid-September. Volunteers should sign up online at truckeeriverwc.org. There are scheduled start times at 9 and 11 a.m. with the workday wrapping up around 2:30 p.m.

And because the day shouldn’t be all work and no play, when the laboring is done the party starts. Join the water council at the Granite Flat campground on Highway 89 for the Truckee River Day Fair. Celebrate everyone’s hard work with fun for the whole family. Enjoy live entertainment, environmental education activities, art projects, and more.

So grab your buckets, shovels, work gloves, and boots and be a part of preserving the Truckee River watershed area for generations to come. Pre-registration is highly recommended as the number of volunteers is capped so as to ensure a positive experience for all.

Info: truckeeriverwc.org 

~ Juliana Demarest/Moonshine Ink    

Author

  • Juliana Demarest

    Juliana Demarest is a Jersey girl with ink in her blood. She fell in love with print journalism at a young age in the '80s when her Uncle Tony would take her to "work" at his weekly paper. In 1997, she co-founded a weekly newspaper in North Jersey. One day, she went to photograph a local farmer for a news story. She ended up marrying him and leaving journalism to become a farmer's wife. In 2010, they packed up their two children and headed to Truckee in pursuit of the outdoor life. She didn't realize just how much she missed journalism until she joined Moonshine in 2018 after taking time off to be mom. Connect with Juliana juliana@moonshineink.com

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