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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.
Join us as we head 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 travels 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 include the Yuba and American rivers, Tahoe and Eldorado national forests, meadow and river restoration sites and Lake Tahoe.
Tour participants are also welcome 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 will wind through the South Fork Lower Gorge where you’ll learn about the rich and diverse history of the surrounding lands and its people, explore the riparian environment, and develop a new understanding of the local watershed.
Contact Programs Director Nick Gray via email with any tour questions.
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 starts at 7:30 a.m. on June 21 and ends at 6:30 p.m. on June 22 at the Water Education Foundation office, 2151 River Plaza Drive, Suite 205, Sacramento, CA. Free parking is available.
The tour includes an overnight stay in Stateline, Nev. on the shores of Lake Tahoe, which is arranged by the Foundation and covered by the registration fee.
The optional pre-tour whitewater rafting trip on June 20 also starts and ends at the Water Education Foundation office, 2151 River Plaza Drive, Suite 205, Sacramento, CA. Check-in will begin at 8:30 a.m. with departure at 9:00 a.m. and will return no later than 5:00 p.m. Free parking is also available during the rafting trip.
The Courtyard Sacramento Airport Natomas is next door to the Water Education Foundation and also offers a shuttle to/from Sacramento International Airport (SMF). We have a discounted room rate arranged there and self-pay booking options are provided upon registration for the tour.
Our day of rafting will include approximately 12 miles on the Lower Gorge Section of the South Fork American River. This stretch starts with mellower Class II whitewater and then builds to exciting Class III whitewater for fun waves and rapids.
8:30 a.m. – Check-in begins at Foundation’s office
9:00 a.m. – Depart for outfitter’s in chartered bus
10:00 a.m. – Arrive 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.* – Arrive back at Foundation’s office
*exact timing depends on river flow day-of
Environmental Traveling Companions is the outfitter for the rafting trip. Completion of a Health & Liability Release is required to participate and is provided upon registration.
General – $675 (one person, single-occupancy room)
Fee includes all tour meals, transportation, materials, snacks and hotel accommodations once the tour begins Wednesday. Meals covered by the registration fee include lunch on Wednesday through lunch on Friday. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the tour’s beginning and end point.
Optional Pre-Tour Whitewater Rafting – $225 (includes transportation, lunch & outfitting service)
Please note: The optional rafting trip is only available to those who also register for the bus tour the following two days.
A limited amount of scholarship funding is available to pay for a portion of the tour. Scholarships are awarded based on a few factors, including:
Contact Nick Gray via email to apply or for more information.
The Foundation continues to monitor developments with COVID-19. Precautions will be implemented during the tour including enhanced sanitation protocols and an itinerary that maximizes 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 should consider 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 is required during registration for the tour.
We ask participants not to attend if, within 72 hours of the tour start date, they have 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).
If a participant tests positive or is exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19 within 5 days of the tour start date, they must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of the tour start date regardless of their vaccination status.
Deadline to cancel and receive a refund is three weeks prior to the first day of the tour due to hotel, meal and transportation commitments. Substitutions are allowed up to five business days before the tour. Eventbrite fees are nonrefundable and the remaining amount may be subject to an additional 10% processing fee.
We recognize that unexpected conflicts with our tours can occur from time to time. The Water Education Foundation recommends you consider arranging travel insurance from a provider of your choice soon after tour registration to protect against such unfortunate events.
MCLE credits are available only for California attorneys for an additional fee, and may be available for water plant/wastewater plant operators and other vocations/professions. Contact Nick Gray via email with any questions.