community watershed restoration since 1983

Volunteer Day at the Native Grass Farm!

Our Earth Day volunteer event was postponed…our new date is May 23rd! Join us at the Mattole Valley Community Center at 9am on Monday, May 23. From there, we’ll walk as a group down to our native grass farm and spend the morning (until noon) weeding, and tending the grasses. To further celebrate Earth Day, we’ll send everyone home with a Mattole native tree to plant.

Where: Meet at Community Center

When: 9am-12pm, Monday May 23

To Bring: Gloves, water, hat, sun protection (please leave your dogs at home)

For more info, email



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Win a Year’s Supply of Gold Rush Coffee!

What does coffee have to do with native plants? The Mattole Restoration Council and Gold Rush Coffee are partnering to bring you the opportunity to support your local native plant nursery AND win delicious, locally roasted coffee.





Win 3 lbs Gold Rush coffee per month for 12 months ~$400 value
Available for local pick-up, or shipped to you monthly

How: Buy tickets online here or come by our Petrolia office

When: Drawing will be held at the MRC Hoophouse Hoedown at our new nursery site on July 9th
*You don’t need to be present to win

All proceeds will support the Mattole Restoration Council’s new, larger capacity native plant nursery

Gold Rush Coffee is a local, family business roasting premium coffees from around the world. Our small-batch roasting process ensures freshness, while 25 years of experience enhances each blend. We think our coffees are among the best available.IMG_8570

The Mattole Restoration Council is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, FID 68-0037149.

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Cannabis Farmer’s Compliance Workshop

The Cannabis Farmer’s Workshop Series is coming to the Mattole Grange
Sunday, April 3rd 11am-6pm

Workshops, Music, Food, and Social Hour

*Learn how to get into legal compliance and grow your cannabis business

*Presentations by the Regional Water Quality Control Board, Department of Fish and Wildlife, and experts on Humboldt County cannabis laws

*Gain knowledge on how to apply specific practices to ensure regulatory compliance


What: A workshop designed to provide educational resources for farmers to achieve responsible land stewardship and come into compliance with state, regional and local laws!
When: Sunday, April 3rd, 2016 / 11am to 4:20pm educational workshop; 4:20+ social hour with drinks, food by Calamity Coast Catering and music
Where: Mattole Grange in Petrolia (56512 Mattole Rd. Petrolia)
Tickets: A Free Event

Learn how to Grow Green and Grow Legal at the Cannabis Farmers Workshop brought to you by EPIC, Mad River Alliance, Humboldt Green and California Growers Association. Sponsored by Mattole Restoration Council and Mattole Sustainable Farmers Guild.

  • Attendees will hear how to participate with California water quality and wildlife laws directly from the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board and California Department of Fish and Wildlife;
  • Learn the steps necessary to be permitted under Humboldt County’s Marijuana Land Use Ordinance. County Planning & Building Dept. staff and a County Supervisor may be present to answer questions;
  • Find out how to implement best management practices to ensure legal compliance with presentations by Pacific Watershed Associates and High Tide Permaculture; and
  • Receive your free copy of the 2016 Compliance Handbook.
11:00am Welcome & Intro
11:30am-12:15pm Jennifer Olson, California Dept. of Fish & Wildlife
12:15pm – 1:00pm Tom Leroy, Pacific Watershed Associates, “Transitioning from Growing to Farming”
1:00pm – 1:30pm Lunch Break, food available- Tamales from Luz!
1:30 – 2:15 Connor McIntee of the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board Cannabis Cultivation Waste Discharge Regulatory Program
2:30 – 3:30 Natalynne DeLapp, of EPIC “A Citizen’s Guide to the Humboldt County Commercial Medical Marijuana Land Use Ordinance”
3:30 – 4:20 Dan Mar “Water We Doing, Where are We Going, and How to Get There”
4:20 – 7:00 Study Session. Stay, ask questions, and hang out. Food by Calamity Coast Catering!
more info at:
tabloid 3-17-16 Mattole

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Help us build our new Native Plant Nursery


We have outgrown our current location and are moving our native plant nursery. Our new facility will be operational in April, 2016. The new nursery will be located on Chambers road just past the school. Currently we grow about 50,000 native grasses, shrubs, and trees. With our new facilities we will be able to grow up to 200,000 native plants. Our new facility will have two greenhouses, an expanded parking area, a shade structure, outdoor work space, and an expanded native plant demonstration garden.IMG_0745

We have broken ground on our new site! We still have a lot of work ahead of us and there are a variety of different ways you can become involved and help us make this transition.

How to Support Us

There are several upcoming events in which you can help.

March 25th AND 27th The Great Nursery Migration Volunteer Events! We will meet at the Mattole Valley Community Center at noon on Friday, 3/25 and at 10am on Sunday, 3/27. Come be a part of a big change at the Mattole Restoration Council. Click here for more details.

July 9th Hoop House Hoedown! We will have a barbecue, music, dancing, and more. There is also a raffle with the opportunity to win great prizes. Click here for more details.


We are trying to raise $40,000 for nursery move and upgrades. We need your help.

Click here to support us

$50 will help us buy nursery propagation benches

$100 will help us buy greenhouse plastic and greenhouse building materials

$500 will help us buy lumber, water tanks, building materials

$1,000 will help us buy a solar system

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Mattole River Estuary Project Update

Thanks to The Nature Conservancy for this great piece on the Mattole Estuary Project!

Restoring the Mattole River Estuary – Defense for the Drought?

Large wood structures have been added to enhance salmon habitat in the Mattole River estuary. In the foreground, construction equipment helps build the deep trenched willow baffles on the upstream side of the newly restored slough channel. © Abi Queen

Slough excavation site during project work. © Nathan Queener

Close-up of a large wood structure and the slough excavation. © Abi Queen

Yellow marks show where whole trees are added at the mouth of the slough. Upstream of the main slough excavation site, blue lines represent the first 50 feet of the trenches where whole trees with root wads were placed. Black lines represent the remainder of the trenches, where logs and willow cuttings were placed. © Mattole Salmon Group

Last winter’s drought impacted many things, including the coho, Chinook salmon, and steelhead that live in the Mattole River. A significant portion of the returning adult coho and Chinook this past fall and winter were limited to the lower Mattole River downstream of Honeydew due to low flows. The result? Fish spawned where they could in the lower river, rather than heading further upstream where the normally go and where stream habitat is better for growing fish. So what can we do about this situation? What will the young fish do?

What can we do?

We accelerate our efforts to restore the habitat they can reach – by returning the Mattole estuary back to a healthy estuary/lagoon with deep pools and extensive riparian and slough habitat.

The “Cohotel” – Side-Channel Refuge for Coho

There is a complex of elevated slough channels along the south bank of the Mattole River estuary that were disconnected from the river after the 1992 Triple Junction earthquakes uplifted the area by 3-5 feet, and subsequent deposition from over-bank flows filled in the old river channels. This slough restoration project excavated 250 feet of one of these historic channels to create off-channel habitat for juvenile salmonids in the summer of 2014. This slack-water habitat will have cooler water temperatures than the main river and an abundance of insects (food for juvenile salmonids) from the extensive over-hanging riparian vegetation. It will serve as a refuge from high water velocities in the winter and be a veritable paradise of cool water temperatures and abundant food in the summer. The work dredging the old, filled-in and uplifted slough channel was finished in early July. We have also completed extensive terrace margin treatments with willows, whole trees, wooden posts and logs, and thousands of willow cuttings. The willow and wood trenches are designed to lengthen the life of the slough excavation area by providing hardness (vegetation and logs) upstream. When the terrace gets inundated with water, the willow will also help to settle fine sediment upstream of the slough channel.

Helicoptering in “Log Cabins” for Fish

Two hundred Douglas fir trees were helicoptered into the estuary to accelerate the rebuilding of fish habitat. In summer, fish can rest in these deeper, cooler pools created by these log structures (see close-up on left) when flows are low, and in winter, shelter from the high flows. Flying in the logs took only 11 hours! This restoration project was fast and actually cheaper than trucking them in.

Now we wait for the fish to grow fat and healthy in their new homes.


Project Partners

In 2012, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), working with local landowners, watershed groups, and numerous other state and federal agencies, developed a 5-Year Restoration Plan for the estuary/lower river on BLM lands.

The slough project partners are the Mattole Salmon Group and the Mattole Restoration Council who are completing all of the associated willow planting work, and Patrick Queen, a local heavy equipment operator and problem solver. Funding comes from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, The Nature Conservancy, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, with funding and staff support from the Bureau of Land Management, and tree donations from Ellen Taylor and Michael Evenson.

The helicopter wood project was led by the Mattole Salmon Group, with funding and technical support from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, The Nature Conservancy, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Read more about the slough project and helicoptor wood project.



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LOCATION UPDATE Community Meeting – Sudden Oak Death in the Mattole

Join the Mattole Restoration Council and UC Davis Cooperative Extension for a meeting on the current status of Sudden Oak Death (SOD) in the Mattole Watershed.

Existing in coastal California from Monterey to Humboldt, and a small portion of southwest Oregon, Sudden Oak Death has killed more than 1 million oak and tanoak trees in the last decade.

  • Learn to identity Sudden Oak Death symptoms on your land
  • Learn to collect samples for Sudden Oak Death verification

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Cannabis Waste Discharge Waiver Enrollment Clinic

Guest post: North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board

JANUARY 27, 2016 12-3PM AND 5-8PM
Petrolia Community Center
29230 Mattole Road, Petrolia, CA

By February 15, 2016, private properties with 2000 square feet or more of cultivated area of cannabis* must be enrolled for coverage under a new water quality regulatory program, either directly with the Regional Water Board, or via an approved third party program.
Staff of the Regional Water Board are hosting a clinic to answer questions and assist cannabis growers with enrollment for coverage under Order No. R1-2015-0023, Waiver of Waste Discharge Requirements and General Water Quality Certification for Discharges of Waste Resulting from Cannabis Cultivation and Associated Activities or Operations with Similar Environmental Effects in the North Coast Region.
The clinic is designed to offer growers and other interested parties information and assistance:

– Guidance on determining whether enrollment is required
– General questions about the Order
– Information on how to file enrollments
– Information on the Order’s tiers
– Information on third party programs
– Assistance in preparing the enrollment package (Notice of Intent and the Monitoring and Reporting Program)

Growers may bring site maps, sketches, images, or other information for discussion
Questions about the order or this event?
Contact us at: or at (707) 576-2676
* The Order does not apply to any parcel with a cumulative area of cannabis cultivation or operations with similar environmental effects of less than 2,000 square feet where there is no potential for discharge of waste

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Water System Discussion

Live with a well, spring, or use surface water to irrigate? Drought running your water sources dry? Join Evelyn Soltero, MS, for a discussion on improving water retention, local hydrogeology, and dialing in your water system operations.

More info at:

Evelyn is also available for land specific consults. Contact her directly for more information.


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Riparian Planting at the Estuary

Want to help restore one of California’s remaining wild salmon runs? Come help the Watershed Stewards by planting along the Mattole River! This event will be hosted by the Watershed Stewards Program with help from the Mattole Restoration Council, and will take place Saturday January 16th. Volunteers are encouraged to arrive at 9:30 a.m. at the Mattole beach campground, located approximately 6 miles west of Petrolia at the end of Lighthouse Road. Work will include planting native riparian vegetation and removing invasive vegetation in a newly restored floodplain along the Mattole River. The volunteer day will run from 9:30 a.m. through 1:30 p.m. with breaks for lunch and snacks.

Volunteers will enjoy the beautiful Mattole estuary while helping to plant 300 native riparian plants. This vegetation will help secure sediment, as well as provide biodiversity to the newly restored floodplain. Parking for this event will be available at the Mattole beach day use area. Volunteers should bring appropriate clothing for a variety of weather, including rain gear, layers, and appropriate footwear. Light snacks and water will be provided and volunteers should bring their own water containers.

See flyer below for more info:
Estuary Planting Flyer

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