August 2022 Newsletter

Markleeville Creek Day

Join us for our annual Markleeville Creek Day community workday! Our projects this year include Markleeville community beautification, invasive weed removal, Adopt-A-Highway cleanup, and more.
When: Saturday, September 17, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Where: Meet at the Markleeville Library at 270 Laramie, Markleeville, CA 96120
Please RSVP here for our waiver and lunch information.
Bring water and sun protection, and wear long sleeves, long pants, and closed-toed shoes.
Please share our flyer!
For more information, visit or email with any questions.

Thank you to our sponsors!

Thank you to our generous sponsors who are making Creek Day 2022 possible! It's a lot of work to organize our biggest volunteer workday of the year, and we couldn't do it without their financial support.

Markleeville Road Closure and GoFundMe

As many of you already know, there was heavy rainfall in the Markleeville area on August 3 that caused a debris flow into Markleeville and impacted the integrity of SR-89 between Turtle Rock Park and Markleeville. On August 18, after being completely closed for two weeks, the road was opened to one-way traffic, ahead of Caltrans' originally proposed schedule. You can find updates and drone footage of damage on the Alpine County website. There is a list of ways to support local businesses created by Alpine County Chamber of Commerce here.

Musser and Jarvis Update

Last November, AWG, in partnership with Markleeville Water Company, Alpine Trails Association, and Friends of Hope Valley, hosted a post-fire restoration weekend in the Musser and Jarvis watershed. In hopes of preventing erosion, 49 volunteers raked the dirt above the ash, spread native grass seed, and filled in the soil on the upslope side of felled trees. CAL FIRE California Conservation Corps (CCC) crews had felled these trees perpendicular to the slopes for erosion control and installed wattles.
Although Markleeville was heavily impacted by the recent large storms, Bill Young reports that the wattles, chinked trees, and planted grasses did a very good job. Bill said, “We could see some small debris flows that came down from upper untreated slopes, but these mostly were stopped by the wattles/trees. And the grasses really helped also.” He noted that there were lots of piles of floating charcoal bits along the stream, but the creek was clear. Thank you again to all of our volunteers that helped with the project!

Faith Valley Project Update 

The first phase of American River's Faith Valley Meadow Restoration Project started this month. Construction is anticipated through mid-October of this year. Some campsites and roads are now closed due to construction and staging. Sites that are impacted are marked with appropriate signage. If you are planning to visit Faith Valley this fall, please use caution and do not block construction vehicles. More information about the project can be found in our May 2022 Newsletter or in the most recent press release here.

For information about the project and closures, please contact Julie Fair at or the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, Carson District Office at 775-882-2766.

A Win-Win: Reducing Fuel Loads and Helping Aspen

AWG, National Forest Foundation, and the Carson Ranger District of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest have teamed up to address work needed around Hope Valley. The objective of the “West Fork Carson - Fuels Reduction, Aspen, and Meadow Restoration Project” is to improve forest health by reducing fuels, enhancing aspen stands, and restoring meadows on 349 acres. This portion of the project is funded by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife through their Watershed Restoration Grant Program. AWG is helping by monitoring aspen regeneration success and with public outreach.

For our last group meeting on July 12, we hosted a tour to one of the project sites and an area that was previously worked on by the US Forest Service. We had a great turnout and a wonderful conversation. We learned about the beautiful and unique aspen, and how fuels management work can improve the health of aspen stands. Alpine County Fire Coordinator Clint Celio helped broaden the discussion to larger management objectives, continuing the ongoing discussion in Alpine County on how we can move toward forest resiliency.

Thank you to those who attended! You can see the press release for more information here.

All Things Watersheds

  • Interested in learning about historic mining activities, current site infrastructure, and ongoing remediation actions at Leviathan Mine? Hear from the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board at an online presentation on Monday, August 29 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. Email to register.
  • The Alpine Trails Association and the Hung-A-Lel-Ti community are hosting an event to dedicate the Da-ek Dow Go-et Mountain on Sunday, September 11 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. For more information see their event page.
  • At the recommendation of the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, "Caution" signage was put up around Red Lake due to the physical markers of a harmful algal bloom (HAB) when AWG collected samples on August 16. However, the Regional Board notified us on August 24 that lab results indicated that the cyanobacteria cells did not contain genes that have the ability to produce toxins, so California Department of Fish and Wildlife will remove the signage. The HAB at Indian Creek Reservoir detected on June 22 has been downgraded from a danger to a warning level. As this month's sampling at Red Lake shows, not all algal blooms are HABs, but caution is still advised when recreating. You can learn more about what HABs are here
  • Carson Water Subconservancy District has released their August Watershed Moment: Stop Invasive Species in Your Tracks. By brushing your shoes and pets, and washing your vehicles before recreating, you can prevent the spread of invasive weeds. Learn more on CWSD's website.
  • The next Alpine Biomass Collaborative (ABC) meeting on Tuesday, September 6 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Turtle Rock Park Community Center will feature Dr. Malcolm North speaking on what a resilient forest is, why we need it, and how we are going to get there. You can find the August ABC meeting notes, recording, and presentation slides on prescribed fire and what options landowners have on employing this technique here.
  • UC Cooperative Extension Forestry Advisor Susie Kocher is hosting a Post-fire Forest Resilience Workshop. This low-cost workshop is meant for landowners affected by recent wildfires and others working in fire-impacted areas. It runs online weekly on Tuesday evenings from September 6 to October 4, followed by three in-person field trip options. You can learn more about the workshop and register here.

Upcoming AWG Events

Markleeville Creek Day — Saturday, September 17
AWG depends on donations to help support our monitoring and restoration programs, like sampling for harmful algal blooms and hosting Markleeville Creek Day.
Please make a mid-year donation today!

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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