August 2023 Newsletter
Alpine Watershed Group protects, conserves, and restores the watersheds of Alpine County by promoting sustainable community and science-based collaborative solutions.

Volunteer with Us!

Markleeville Creek Day will be Saturday, September 23, 2023, with projects in Hope Valley, Faith Valley, Grover Hot Springs State Park, and more. This year, not only will we be part of the Great Sierra River Cleanup, but also National Public Lands Day and Alpine County Washoe Mountain Gathering. 
When: Saturday, September 23, 8:30 a.m.11:30 a.m.
Where: Meet at Turtle Rock Park and then carpool to restoration sites in surrounding area
Snacks will be provided. Please bring a water bottle and sun protection.
For more information visit or contact Rachel Kieffer.

RSVP Today!

Forest Health Field Trip

The Forest Health Community Working Group will be leading another field trip and discussion on forest health and restoration on Saturday, August 26. This time we are going on a bus tour of various locations both inside and outside of the Tamarack Fire burn area to learn about treatment options. Transportation and lunch will be provided; RSVP required. Your contribution to this discussion about what is important in our forests and how we can achieve a resilient condition is vital.
When: Saturday, August 26, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Where: Turtle Rock Park Community Center
The Forest Health Community Working Group works to create fire-safe communities and restore our forests and watersheds to a healthy and resilient state. We engage community members and local groups to provide educational opportunities and civil discourse so that we can make progress on living amidst a more resilient forest.

New Board Member January Riddle

We are thrilled to announce that Markleeville resident January Riddle has joined AWG’s board of directors. Thank you, January, for contributing your expertise in communications and outreach and your passion for our magnificent environment to AWG’s leadership team.

Read bios for January and the other AWG board members here.

Musser and Jarvis 2022 Monitoring Report

In November 2021, AWG, Markleeville Water Company, CAL FIRE, and community volunteers completed a restoration project in the Musser and Jarvis watershed to prevent erosion into Markleeville Water Company’s intake infrastructure. The Musser and Jarvis Watershed Restoration 2022 Monitoring Report tracks the restoration efforts made in the drainage along with monitoring observations within the first year after restoration.

This year’s initial survey conducted at the start of July shows great promise for the area and vegetation health. The planted grasses are doing extremely well with flourishing growth, and observed seedlings display excellent survivability. Natural regeneration of both Jeffrey pine and white fir instills hope of overall forest health into the future. The Musser and Jarvis Watershed Restoration 2022 Monitoring Report can be found here.

River Monitoring Training

Welcome to our four newly-trained River Monitors! We are very excited to bring on new volunteers and keep our longest running volunteer program going. If you missed the training but are interested in learning more about becoming a River Monitor, reach out to Headwaters Coordinator Rachel Kieffer, or (530) 694-2327.

Thank You to Our Death Ride Volunteers!

AWG volunteers sorted the recycling for Death Ride, ensuring the materials made it into the right container for proper disposal. Thank you to our volunteers, Douglas Disposal, Alpine County, and Alpine County Chamber of Commerce.

Volunteers, please check your email for information on the appreciation celebration.

West Fork Carson River Vision Plan Draft Released for Comment

Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board has released a draft of the West Fork Carson River Vision Plan to the public for comments. This plan was created in place of a plan that would require total maximum daily loads but still identifies sources of pollutants and goal targets for a healthy watershed. This plan will also meet EPA’s 9-element criteria and create more funding potential for restoration projects and implementation of best management practices. AWG has helped host stakeholder meetings over the last few years to discuss the different aspects of the plan. To watch the recordings, visit AWG's webpage. To learn more about the Vision Plan and sign up for updates, visit the Regional Board's webpage. Comments are due August 23, 2023, and can be submitted to

Harmful Algal Blooms

As the temperatures heat up and our snow runoff is slowing down, you may start to hear more about harmful algal blooms (HABs). HABs can present serious consequences to animals, as well as to people recreating in the impacted waterways. Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, with the help of partnering agencies, has been monitoring waterbodies in Alpine County that have previously had HABs. How can you identify HABs, and what do you do if you think you have seen a HAB? Not all algae contain the toxic cyanobacteria that causes the harmful algal bloom. The photos below can help you determine if what you are seeing is a toxic bloom.
To learn more, view where HABs have been detected, or to report a HAB, visit the California Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) Portal.

Faith Valley Meadow Restoration

American Rivers will be continuing the meadow restoration project in Faith Valley this fall. Faith Valley was identified as a priority meadow for restoration because of channel incision and other impairments. Located in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in California, this project aims to re-establish the hydrological connectivity between the West Fork Carson River and the surrounding meadow. Several large, stable beaver dam complexes have helped to keep the meadow intact but have had trouble persisting long enough to provide long-term restoration outcomes. This project is constructing beaver dam analogs (BDAs), which mimic natural beaver dams, to slow down the energy of the water as well as capture sediment. The structures will raise the water table, reconnecting the channel and the meadow floodplain.

Fourteen BDAs were installed in the fall of 2022, and a large rock grade-control structure was constructed at the downstream end of the meadow. Work this summer and fall will include repairing features impacted by last winter’s heavy snowfall and high flows and constructing approximately twenty-five new BDAs. Work will also include repairing and upgrading the dirt road along the meadow to reduce erosion and better disperse flow entering the meadow, and keep vehicles on the designated road and out of the meadow.

Want to learn more? Volunteers will help build BDAs during AWG’s Creek Day event on Saturday, September 23. You can contact Julie Fair at for project information.

The dirt road and associated dispersed camping areas will be closed during construction this fall, beginning September 5th. Signage has been posted in Faith Valley to indicate the sites to be impacted. We appreciate your patience while road improvements are implemented.

All Things Watersheds

  • The Hope Valley Restoration and Aquatic Habitat Enhancement Project Annual Report is now available for public review on our website. Each year AWG submits a report to Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board to provide updates from the year on monitoring and any adaptive management. In 2022 we met all criteria and received land owner approval that the access routes met post-construction expectations. Read the full report on the Hope Valley Restoration and Aquatic Habitat Enhancement Project webpage.
  • Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board released the Leviathan Mine 2022 Year-End Report at the beginning of June. You can find more information about the site, including additional reports from previous years, here
Upcoming Events
Saturday, August 26, 9:00 a.m. – Field Trip on Specific Projects in Eastern Alpine County, starting at Turtle Rock Park
Saturday, September 23, 8:30 a.m. – Markleeville Creek Day

Our small nonprofit organization depends on donations to help support our water quality monitoring and restoration programs.


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, Headwaters Coordinator
Wes Mosley, Forest Health Coordinator

Contact Us!

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Until next time!

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