May 2022 Newsletter
Our May Group Meeting Has Been Cancelled
Please join us on July 12 for a tour of the West Fork Carson River – Fuels Reduction, Aspen, and Meadow Restoration Project. 
Details will be on AWG's website soon!
For more information, contact Rachel at (530) 694-2327 or
Our Awesome Project Partners
Workday Co-host: Alpine Trails Association
Public Lands Partner: US Forest Service
Hard Hat Lenders: League to Save Lake Tahoe, Great Basin Institute, California Alps Cycling, and Alpine Trails Association
AWG was able to help coordinate this workday thanks to funding from the Alpine County Tobacco Control Program and Trout Unlimited-Sagebrush Chapter.

River Monitors Needed!

Our yearly River Monitor training is back! Learn how to take dissolved oxygen, pH, and conductivity measurements and collect turbidity samples. Attendance is not required during the full two-hour period.
WHEN: Saturday, May 21, 
Between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: West Fork Carson River downstream of the Woodfords/Highway 89 Bridge.
Contact Rachel Kieffer to RSVP and for more information.
"We keep monitoring because it involves something we love doing: being out in nature observing. It sort of goes along with our lack of smartphones and television which (along with this computer) get in the way of that. Plus, there is the benefit of providing meaningful information to someone who needs it."
-Jim Dunn and Paula Pennington, River Monitors since 2004

Help the Watershed Through Trail Work

The Alpine Trails Association (ATA) is back to work in Alpine County.
Volunteers are needed now!
The Tamarack Fire affected a large portion of our US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Alpine County trail systems. It is imperative we get out in force now to protect these trails from further erosion. Mitigation work needs to be completed before summer thunderstorms create catastrophic damage. A little work now will save us a lot of work later on. This is your chance to be part of the Tamarack Fire recovery while getting to know your local trails and neighbors. Please contact us to get more information or to join us in our efforts. Contact Andy Lovell at

Faith Valley Project Update

We are excited to report that the first phase of American Rivers’ Faith Valley Meadow Restoration Project will start this summer. The purpose of this project is to reverse or halt channel incision, improve habitat, and improve recreation experiences in this popular recreation area. According to Julie Fair, Director of California Headwaters Conservation at American Rivers, “We were forced to postpone the first phase of construction at Faith Valley in 2021 due to the access restrictions and safety concerns posed by the Caldor Fire.” Phase 1 is scheduled for implementation this August to October and includes constructing the grade control structure at the downstream end of the project and a subset of pilot beaver dam analogs. Phase 2, planned for 2023, will include installing additional beaver dam analogs and repairs on the dirt road along the meadow.

You can watch Julie’s recent presentation about the project given at the Carson Water Subconservancy District Forum here.
For an in-depth read on beaver dam analogs, see this reference.

All Things Watersheds

  • Check out Carson Water Subconservancy District's latest Watershed Moment video, Foster Healthy Soil. Healthy soil will support an array of animal life, store water, reduce flood impacts, filter pollutants, and even regulate greenhouse gasses. Visit the "I am Carson River Watershed" Campaign website to learn more and to take the pledge to keep our waters healthy.

Recreation with a Purpose

It's that time of year again in Alpine County. During warm weather Harmful Algal Booms, or HABs, can proliferate in our lakes. The samples South Tahoe Public Utility District (STPUD) took at Indian Creek Reservoir in early April detected a microcystin toxin level above the State Water Board's "Warning Tier I" trigger level. There might be more blooms this year because of the ash from the wildfires creating nutrient-rich runoff. 
We need your help to track water quality. AWG is again planning to conduct HAB monitoring over the course of the season at Red Lake, and STPUD will continue to monitor Indian Creek Reservoir. But every time you visit a lake you can help by reporting what you see, good or bad. If you suspect a HAB, write down the date and time, location (latitude/longitude coordinates if possible), and a description of what you see or photos, then fill out the HAB Visual Survey to let us know. We are also looking for information on lakes that look good, so please also submit a survey if you don't see any HAB indicators!
For more information on cyanobacteria, you can visit the State Water Board's California Harmful Algal Blooms Portal.
Please contact Rachel Kieffer if you have any questions!

Register to Ride

The Death Ride® adventure cycling tour is coming back to Markleeville on July 16. Enjoy fully supported rest stops, closed roads, and our new route. Space is limited, so register today

Or Help AWG Recycle

AWG volunteers will again be responsible for sorting recyclables from trash at Turtle Rock Park. We need help all day Friday, July 15, and Saturday, July 16. We have to submit our volunteers' T-shirt sizes for the awesome Death Ride volunteer T-shirts by May 15, so please email Sierra now if you can help!

Upcoming Events

Washoe Earth Day — Saturday, May 7, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
AWG Adopt-A-Highway litter pick-up on Highway 89 as part of Markleeville Enhancement Committee's Spring Clean-up Day — Saturday, May 14, 9:30 a.m.
AWG River Monitor Training — Saturday, May 21
Upcoming Sugar Pine Foundation Planting Events — Dates TBD for Lake Margaret and Thunder Mountain trailheads

AWG is looking for community members with vegetation knowledge and interest in identifying invasive species in burned areas. Please reach out to Rachel Kieffer,, for more information.

Grass sprouting from last November's Musser and Jarvis Restoration Weekend—great work, volunteers!
Photo Credit: Bill Young
Do you want to honor someone special to you? Make a donation to Alpine Watershed Group in their honor, and we will let them know about your thoughtful gift!

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
Sierra Riker, Monitoring & Outreach Specialist
, Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership (SNAP)

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Until next time!

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