community watershed restoration since 1983

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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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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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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Sudden Oak Death Commmunity Meeting

Sudden Oak Death and the Mattole Watershed

Please join the Mattole Restoration Council and the University of California Cooperative Extension for a community meeting on the current status of sudden oak death (SOD) in the Mattole watershed. The presentation will be followed by a Q & A session and field training to teach participants how to identify SOD symptoms and collect their own samples for SOD verification.

Please bring your own lunch. If you suspect to have SOD infected trees on your property, feel free to bring bay leaf samples for lab testing. For more information on identifying SOD symptoms, please visit:

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MRC Upgrades and Staffs Grasshopper Fire Lookout

MRC Works with CalFire and PG&E to Staff and Repair Grasshopper Fire Lookout

Grasshopper Lookout was built in 1958 to spot wildfires in the densely-forested communities of Southern Humboldt County. It has served as an essential fire communications outpost for the communities of Petrolia, Ettersburg, Redcrest, Weott, Myers Flat, Fruitland Ridge, Honeydew, Miranda, Garberville, and Redway. Situated at 3,381 ft. above sea level on top of Grasshopper Mountain in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, the lookout additionally protects the resources of one of the most popular vacationing areas on the northcoast. Currently, Grasshopper Lookout is not operational due to a broken water system, rotten deck boards and no radio, among other maintenance issues. Because of its remote location, the lookout needs to provide accommodations for daily and overnight staff. Bringing this facility up to a standard that will include overnight staffing for the 2014 fire season is the goal of the project.

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Local Students Remove 49 lbs of Trash from Beach for CA Coastal Cleanup Day

Thank you local students who participated in the California Coastal Cleanup on Saturday September 19th! The students took part in a greater statewide effort that in Humboldt County alone cleaned up 62 locations. This coastal cleanup is an important step to changing our relationship with the ocean and keeping as much human made marine debris out of the ocean as possible. The students cleaned two main sites. The team from Triple Junction High School included 9 students and two teachers and Cassie Pinnell,  ED of the Mattole Restoration Council cleaned the North Fork site just upstream from the Mattole Estuary.

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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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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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King Range Organizations Form Alliance

Four organizations that have worked for decades to protect the King Range National Conservation Area have formed a new partnership that will result in better care for the region and better coordination between organizations. The new King Range Alliance (KRA) is composed of The Mattole Restoration Council, Sanctuary Forest, Mattole Salmon Group, and the Lost Coast Interpretive Association. We look forward to collaborating with our partners to promote education, science, and restoration in the King Range National Conservation Area. Read the full story here .

          Keep up with the KRA at the King Range Alliance website, or by liking us on Facebook !


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