November 2022 Newsletter
On September 21, AWG’s board and staff gathered for a retreat to reflect on AWG’s accomplishments and set goals for our future work. We are excited to share AWG’s updated mission statement:
Alpine Watershed Group protects, conserves, and restores the watersheds of Alpine County by promoting sustainable community and science-based collaborative solutions.

Markleeville Creek Day 2022

We are so grateful for all the help and support we received from volunteers, volunteer site leaders, partner organizations, and local businesses for Creek Day 2022. On September 17, 52 volunteers worked at eight different sites yielding 72 bags of trash removed throughout the upper Carson River watershed, 25 bags of invasive weeds pulled from meadow habitat at Grover Hot Springs State Park, 102 willow stakes planted in Hope Valley, and a beaver dam analog created in Faith Valley! See our Markleeville Creek Day Outcomes for all the details on what was accomplished.

We are ecstatic that Carson Water Subconservancy District selected this annual AWG community workday to be featured in one of their Watershed Moment films. Check out the previous videos and look for the release of ours—Engage in Your Watershed—this month here

How does all that fantastic work get accomplished? 

AWG’s staff starts planning for Creek Day each spring, including seeking support from sponsors to fund our staff time, and asking local businesses to contribute coffee, lunch, and snacks to fuel our volunteers. Please thank these local businesses, agencies, and organizations for supporting your local watershed group.

We also receive grant support for the work on projects related to current grants. We are grateful to American Rivers for partnering with AWG on the Faith Valley Meadow Restoration Project, thanks to funding they procured from California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and California Wildlife Conservation Board. AWG’s ongoing maintenance of the latest project in Hope Valley is funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the CDFW Office of Spill Prevention and Response as part of the settlement of State Water Board enforcement actions.

No November Group Meeting

There will be no Watershed Group Meeting in November. Our next meeting is planned for January. Stay tuned for more details on topic and location.
Thank You, Sierra!
From helping plan the Musser and Jarvis volunteer workdays, to monitoring for harmful algal blooms and water quality, AWG was fortunate to have Sierra Riker’s assistance for the first year post-Tamarack Fire. If you happened to pass AWG’s table at an event or participated in one of our volunteer workdays this past year, you got to see Sierra in action. Behind the scenes, Sierra worked hard to set up the monitoring program for restoration work in the Musser and Jarvis watershed. As our Monitoring and Outreach Specialist, they provided assistance in all aspects of AWG’s work. Sierra’s AmeriCorps term ended at the end of September, but because of their love for the area, they hope to stay in the Tahoe Basin for at least the next year. Thank you, Sierra, for your dedication to our community and to Alpine Watershed Group. AmeriCorps is true service to the environment and its inhabitants, and we hope that this experience opens many doors for you!

Harmful Algal Blooms in Alpine County

On October 26, 2022, we received notice from Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board that the September sampling at Heenan Lake came back with a Caution Advisory for harmful algal blooms. Signs were posted later that week by California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Indian Creek Reservoir (ICR) continues to have harmful algal blooms, with test results from early October resulting in continuation of the Danger advisory. The results from the August sampling came back with the highest concentration of Microcystin toxin seen at ICR yet—338 ppb. Danger warnings are triggered by results being at least 20 ppb. Another sampling event is planned for early November.

As we enter into colder weather and begin to see more snow, HABs should also decrease, but recreational users should still use caution when recreating in these areas. Posted signage will indicate the most recent advisory recommendations and can also be found on the
California HAB Report Map.

All Things Watersheds

  • Tamarack Restoration Project Public Scoping – The US Forest Service is seeking input on the Tamarack Fire Restoration Plan. The public scoping process began mid-October and will close on November 17, 2022. To review the document and for instructions on how to submit comments, click here. For any questions or inquires on more information, contact US Forest Service Forester Annabelle Monti.
  • Free cooking classes are available on Wednesday evenings at Hung-A-Lel-Ti Community Center as part of a six-class series. The next one is November 9 from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. and the recipe will be Corn Pasta Soup. See the above flyer for more information, and contact Crystal Tovar to sign up ( or 760-616-4738).
  • The US Environmental Protection Agency is holding a public meeting with updates for the Leviathan Mine Superfund Site on Thursday, November 17 from 10:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at Turtle Rock Park Community Center. For more information and to register, see the flyer here.
As you gather with your loved ones and reflect on gratitude, please consider a year-end gift to Alpine Watershed Group. Our small nonprofit organization depends on the financial support of both residents and all who love Alpine County to lead our community in watershed stewardship!

More Ways to Support AWG

Do you enjoy Facebook? You can create a personal fundraiser on Facebook to benefit Alpine Watershed Group. Giving Tuesday (the Tuesday after Thankgiving) is a global generosity movement, but you can create an AWG fundraiser for your birthday or any other occasion!

Do you shop on Amazon? Have you designated Alpine Watershed Group as your charitable organization to support? Please visit now to get .5% of eligible purchases donated to AWG. Remember to go to AmazonSmile each time you check out!

Grateful for Local Support

In July, local artist Nick Sninkelletti had a show at Artsy Fartsy in Carson City, and he designated AWG as the recipient for a portion of his sales at the show. Thank you, Nick, for choosing AWG, and thank you, Artsy Fartsy, for supporting AWG through this program!

Ways to Connect or Help

We always love to hear from our watershed community! Below are email links to reach AWG's staff, or reach us at AWG's office at (530) 694-2327. Please follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.
Kimra McAfee, Executive Director
Rachel Kieffer, Watershed Coordinator 

Contact Us!

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Until next time!

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