On average, more than 60 percent of California’s developed water supply originates in the Sierra Nevada and the southern spur of the Cascade Range. Our water supply is largely dependent on the health of our Sierra forests, which are suffering from ecosystem degradation, drought, wildfires and widespread tree mortality.
This tour ventured into the Sierra to examine water issues that happen upstream but have dramatic impacts downstream and throughout the state.
This 2-day, 1-night tour traveled through the Sierra foothills, into the mountains and around the Lake Tahoe Basin to explore the impact of fires on California water supply and quality in the American and Yuba watersheds, as well as forest management and tree mortality, meadow restoration and climate change. Tour stops included the Yuba and American rivers, Tahoe and Eldorado national forests, meadow and river restoration sites and Lake Tahoe.
Tour participants were also able to register for a whitewater rafting trip on the American River the day before the tour - Tuesday, June 20. Led by experienced guides from Environmental Traveling Companions, the tour wound through the South Fork Lower Gorge where participants learned about the rich and diverse history of the surrounding lands and its people, explored the riparian environment, and developed a new understanding of the local watershed.
What did you like best?
“Great speakers and participants. Kept the conversations flowing throughout the trip. I loved this trip!”
“I liked meeting people in the field and hearing about their work. Helpful to get a better understanding of the interconnection of fire, water and forest health.”
“The sites were beautiful and the speakers were highly qualified. I learned so much!”
The tour started at 7:30 a.m. on June 21 and ended at 6:30 p.m. on June 22 at the Water Education Foundation office, 2151 River Plaza Drive, Suite 205, Sacramento, CA. Free parking was available.
The tour included an overnight stay in Stateline, Nev. on the shores of Lake Tahoe, which was arranged by the Foundation and covered by the registration fee.
The optional pre-tour whitewater rafting trip on June 20 also started and ended at the Water Education Foundation office, 2151 River Plaza Drive, Suite 205, Sacramento, CA. Check-in began at 8:30 a.m. with departure at 9:00 a.m. and returned by 5:00 p.m. Free parking was also available during the rafting trip.
The day of rafting included approximately 12 miles on the Lower Gorge Section of the South Fork American River. This stretch started with mellower Class II whitewater and then to exciting Class III whitewater for fun waves and rapids.
8:30 a.m. – Check-in began at Foundation’s office
9:00 a.m. – Departed for outfitter’s in chartered bus
10:00 a.m. – Arrived at outfitter’s on the American River
11:00 a.m. – Put-In with lunch stop downstream on the river
3:00 p.m. – Take-Out near Folsom Lake
5:00 p.m. – Arrived back at Foundation’s office
Environmental Traveling Companions was the outfitter for the rafting trip.
General – $675 (one person, single-occupancy room)
Fee included all tour meals, transportation, materials, snacks and hotel accommodations once the tour began Wednesday. Meals covered by the registration fee included lunch on Wednesday through lunch on Friday. Participants were responsible for their own transportation to and from the tour’s beginning and end point.
Optional Pre-Tour Whitewater Rafting – $225 (included transportation, lunch & outfitting service)
Please note: The optional rafting trip was only available to those who also register for the bus tour the following two days.
A limited amount of scholarship funding was available to pay for a portion of the tour. Scholarships were awarded based on a few factors, including:
The Foundation continues to monitor developments with COVID-19. Precautions were implemented during the tour including enhanced sanitation protocols and an itinerary that maximized use of outdoor/open-air spaces when feasible.
Despite these mitigating circumstances, an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any place where people gather. All participants considered their personal choices around harm reduction and risk tolerance in the face of current variants and the likelihood of additional variants emerging in the future.
Acceptance of an assumption of risk waiver was required during registration for the tour.
We asked participants not to attend if, within 72 hours of the tour start date, they had experienced symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., a fever of 100.4F or higher, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking muscle pain/achiness, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, nasal congestion, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue or any other symptoms associated with COVID-19 identified by the CDC).
Regardless of vaccination status, participants had to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of the tour start date IF they have tested positive or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within 5 days of the tour start date.
Deadline to cancel and receive a refund was three weeks prior to the first day of the tour due to hotel, meal and transportation commitments. Substitutions were allowed up to five business days before the tour. Eventbrite fees are nonrefundable and the remaining amount was subject to an additional processing fee.
We recognize that unexpected conflicts with our tours can occur from time to time. The Water Education Foundation recommended consideration of travel insurance from a provider of your choice soon after tour registration to protect against such unfortunate events.
MCLE credits were available only for California attorneys for an additional fee, and may have been available for water plant/wastewater plant operators and other vocations/professions.