community watershed restoration since 1983

Grass Farm Volunteer Day

Spring is coming, and that means there’s lots of work to do at the farm! Join us Monday, March 9th for a day of maintenance, including weeding and mulching, at the MRC’s native grass farm. Our farm produces seed for use in restoration projects in and around the Mattole watershed. You’ll learn about native grasses and organic agriculture techniques, while supporting watershed restoration.


Meet at the MRC office on Mattole Rd. at 10:00 a.m., and we’ll carpool to the grass farm. We’ll be working until 3:30 p.m., but volunteers who can only work a partial day are welcome! Please bring water, a lunch, and sun protection.


If you’d like to be updated on other upcoming volunteer events,
send your info to

Thank you – your support makes all of our work possible!


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Welcome NER Crew Leader John Summers!

JohnPhotoWelcome John Summers, our Native Ecosystem Restoration Program’s new Field Crew Leader! John started last month, and has wasted no time diving in to his new duties.  His work will focus on leading crews in invasive species removal, riparian ecosystem restoration, native plant propagation,  and Sudden Oak Death (SOD) monitoring.

Prior to joining the MRC, John worked as a forestry technician and did several terms with AmeriCorps programs that focused on habitat restoration and environmental interpretation.

We’re thrilled to have him on our team!


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MRC Internship Opportunity

The MRC’s Native Ecosystem Restoration (NER) program
is seeking volunteer interns
for two 2015/16 internship sessions.

NER interns enjoying the view from an invasive plant project site

Position Duration: 6/01/2015 – 8/ 31/2015
Available Positions: 2-4

Position Duration: 10/01/2015 – 3/ 31/2016
Available Positions: 4

Full details about the NER Volunteer Internship can be viewed HERE

Questions? Email

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Our Native Grass Seed Farm has Grown!



The 9,000 grass plugs we installed at the farm were grown at the MRC nursery from seed we collected from local wild populations.

With the cooperation of some friendly landowners and the hard work of restoration technicians and AmeriCorps volunteers, the MRC’s native grass seed farm has expanded by an acre! The seed produced by our farm will be used in future restoration projects in and around the Mattole watershed.

An organic grass farm requires lots of maintenance, and we could sure use your help! If you’d like to be updated on upcoming volunteer work days at the grass farm, or any of our volunteer events, send your contact information to  The support of our community is what makes all of our work possible. Thank you!


Mulching and weeding are some of the routine maintenance tasks that will keep the grass farm healthy and productive.



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Water Conservation and Coho Salmon Recovery Workshop

The South Fork Eel River and the health of its tributaries is key to recovery of threatened coho salmon. The coho salmon were listed as threatened species in 1996 due to sharp decline in wild populations because of loss of habitat. Limiting factors affecting coho salmon include sediment, high water temperatures, lack of water, and refugia. In North Coast watersheds a primary factor impacting coho salmon are insufficient instream flows. The Southern Oregon Northern California (SONCC) Recovery Plan was recently finalized which provides a blueprint for recovery for coho salmon populations. This workshop will provide an opportunity for landowners and residents to learn about the Recovery Plan and how it will be implemented in key watersheds. This will also serve as an open house to provide an opportunity for residents to discuss stresses and threats to salmon, and brainstorm strategies to improve habitat conditions in order to conserve local salmon populations.

The workshop will also explore water conservation measures and community-based solutions to water scarcity. We will focus on water conservation techniques in a time of drought, resources for rural landowners, navigating water rights, and local and regional water conservation programs. Speakers include Matt Clifford, water rights attorney with Trout Unlimited, Julie Weeder, SONCC Coho Recovery Plan Coordinator, Jane Arnold, water rights specialist with CDFW, and Tom Leroy of Pacific Watershed Associates. Tasha McKee of Sanctuary Forest will discuss innovative water conservation efforts, pilot programs and landowner incentives.

Despite recent rainfall, California is still experiencing a historic drought — the worst this state has seen in the 163 years since record keeping began. The state’s “Drought Declaration” is still in effect and so is the opportunity for landowners to register their water storage through an “Emergency Tank Registration Program,” which enables landowners to register their storage without a 1600 Agreement or a site inspection from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife as long as they are forbearing from pumping for sixty days, have rigid water storage, and filing their small domestic use paperwork. Many landowners would like to participate in community-based water conservation efforts and it is important to understand that establishing your water rights is a general criteria that must be met for landowners to qualify for a grant-funded water conservation program.

“Water stewardship is an issue that affects all residents and landowners on the North Coast. Since we live in endangered species habitat, it is imperative to understand that water is a shared public resource and our choices affect our neighbors and all species that inhabit these watersheds. Cool water tributaries provide critical spawning and rearing habitat. As we weather this extended drought, we must work together to create sustainable water conservation programs,” stated Dana Stolzman, Executive Director of Salmonid Restoration Federation.

For more information about the Redwood Creek, South Fork Eel River low flow study or water conservation efforts being conducted by Salmonid Restoration Federation, please visit the Redwood Creek Water Conservation Project website:


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MRC Annual Meeting

The Mattole Restoration Council will be holding its annual meeting of the membership on Saturday, November 15 from 2:00-5:00 pm at the Ettersburg School (4500 Ettersburg Rd, Ettersburg). As a community based non-profit, we greatly value the input and concerns of our community. This meeting will include a description of our previous and current year financials, program updates, and a discussion of Mattole restoration priorities.

Members who wish to run for a seat on the Board of Directors for the 2015-2017 term will also be announcing their candidacy at the meeting. If you are interested in running for the Board of Directors, please contact John Williams at .

This is a free event, and will include a potluck dinner after the meeting (from 5:00-6:00 pm). Please bring a dish to share, as well as your own plate and utensils. Note that there will be no refrigeration or ability to heat food at the event.

If you have any questions about the event, please contact Cassie Pinnell at or 707-629-3514.

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Keyline Design for Drought Resiliancy

Jen Gilda and Monica Scholey present a free workshop for land managers, ranchers, land owners and community members on a whole systems design approach to hydrating the landscape.

Keyline design addresses:

– Understanding the landscape
– Capturing, storing and using water

– Strategic placement of infrastructure
– Water saving crop layout
– Utilizing beneficial species and building soil


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Welcome WSP Members Kate and Kristy!

Welcome Kate Finnigan and Kristy Smith! Kate and Kristy are Watershed Stewards Project members (a program of the CA Conservation Corps) who have joined the Mattole Restoration Council and the Mattole Salmon Group for the next 10.5 months. Though they only started two weeks ago, they’ve already been out pulling invasive species, tending plants in our native plant nursery, and working with local students both in the classroom and in the field.

Both are native Californians who graduated from Humboldt State University. Kate just spent a summer as a park interpreter in Mesa Verde Colorado and Kristy worked extensively with HSU’s natural resource department.

To learn more about the Watershed Stewards Project, visit their website here.

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Nursery Volunteer Day

Interested in native plants? Join us every Thursday at the Mattole Native Plant Nursery to help grow native plants for local restoration from locally sourced seed.  Learn native plant ID, propagation techniques, and support watershed restoration.  All ages welcome.  Please bring water, a lunch,  comfortable clothing, and sun protection.


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