June 2019
We had a great turnout for river monitor training on May 30, and last weekend volunteers collected the second of four rounds of monitoring data for the year. Thank you to longtime and new river monitors!

Read on for ways to get involved with AWG this summer. We like to think we have something for everyone—from volunteering (highway litter pickup, Death Ride recycling sorting) to simply enjoying Alpine County (Hope Valley project tour, Red Lake walk). If you have other ideas on how your local watershed group can lead and support environmental stewardship, please contact Kimra.

Recyclers Needed!

Once again, AWG will be captaining the recycling program for this year's 2019 Death Ride at Turtle Rock Park.

We are currently recruiting volunteers to help with sorting trash and recycling. We have volunteer positions open on both Friday and Saturday throughout the day. Turtle Rock Park volunteers will help with sorting recycling. Additionally, we are looking for two to three volunteers to bike out to the lunch station near Centerville Flat and help pre-sort recycling there. Lunch stop volunteers would receive complimentary Death Ride bibs. If you would like to volunteer with AWG, please email Taylor

The Chamber of Commerce is still looking for more volunteers for the Skeleton Squad. Please visit the Death Ride volunteer page. If there are people who you think would be interested in riding, direct them here
Nature’s Song
Common name: Steller’s jay
Scientific name: Cyanocitta stelleri

When out and about you may hear the songs of surrounding wildlife. One of the most common calls that you will hear belongs to the Steller’s jay. While Steller's jays have been known to migrate down slope in the winter, these raucous birds are a resident species of Alpine County, meaning they can be spotted here year round. Steller’s jays are easily identified by their striking black mohawks and blue bodies. Known to be scavengers, you can normally find them around campgrounds and other areas where food might be left unsupervised. Like humans, Steller’s jays are very social and like to be around others. Most hatch during the months of May and June, so this is the perfect time to go out and see the newest feathered residents of Alpine County. If you come across any, and can snap a picture without disturbing the nest, please send photos to Shauna so we can share the wonders of our watersheds.

Woodfords Bleach Spill: One Year Later Update

On May 9, 2018, a tractor-trailer hauling approximately 4,900 gallons of 12.5 percent sodium hypochlorite (chlorine bleach) solution was travelling east on State Route 88 near Woodfords when it lost control and crashed on the north side of the highway. The trailer ruptured on impact, spilling the entire contents into the surrounding soils. Chlorine bleach also ran into the nearby West Fork Carson River.

Initial site assessments determined that this spill had no significant environmental impact on the West Fork Carson River due to dilution from high spring flows. However, the surrounding soil was determined to be impacted and required remediation. On May 29, 2018, the top three inches of affected soils and chemically burned vegetation were removed from the spill area. Studies after this initial effort determined that the spill site had not been cleaned up to background conditions. A secondary study determined that the maximum depth of impacted soil was eight feet. In response to this study, on September 24, 2018, 443 cubic yards of soil were removed from the spill area and disposed of at Lockwood Landfill in Reno, Nevada. Site restoration then began on October 8, 2018. The excavation area was backfilled with native fill, and erosion control measures were put in place to ensure that the new slope remained stable. The restored area has been monitored throughout this spring to evaluate the stability of the slope and to determine the success of revegetation efforts.  

To read the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board’s full spill response and cleanup update, click here.  

Upcoming Events
View on AWG website

Adopt-A-Highway Cleanup 
Sunday, June 23, 10 a.m.-Noon
Meet at the Markleeville Library
Please join us for our quarterly Adopt-A-Highway Cleanup! Help remove trash along a 4-mile stretch of Highway 89 from the base of Monitor Pass to Markleeville Campground. Please wear sun protection and bring a water bottle. If you have any questions or to RSVP, email Rich Harvey at rharvey123@gmail.com.

Red Lake Hike
Tuesday, June 25, 9-11 a.m.
Meet at Fire House in Hung A Lel Ti to carpool

Join Community Service Solutions and AWG for a .7 mile hike at Red Lake. This walk at Red Lake Beach is suitable for all skill levels. Please bring water and wear sun protection. If you have any questions please email Shauna.

Grover Hot Springs State Park Invasive Weed Workday
Monday, July 8, 8 a.m.-Noon

Big thanks to all of our wonderful volunteers because this event’s registration is already full! Volunteers will work on weedwhacking white sweet clover, an invasive species, and hand-weeding and providing general maintenance to the native plant garden by the hot spring pool.

Alpine Watershed Group Meeting  
Tuesday, July 9, 5:30-7 p.m. 

Meet at the "Fourth Crossing" Highway 88 bridge over the West Fork Carson River.
Join us on a site visit to discuss and visualize the latest plans for the Hope Valley Restoration & Aquatic Habitat Enhancement Project. Please bring water and dress accordingly to walk in Hope Valley meadow, where we may encounter standing water, tall grasses, and fluctuating temperatures. If inclement weather develops, the event will be rescheduled. See flyer.  

Events of Others 

Caples Ecological Restoration Project
El Dorado National Forest, California Native Plant Society, Sierra Forest Legacy, and other partner groups are preparing for a critically needed prescribed fire within the Caples Creek Roadless Area. Please see flyer for full details, including registration information and various workdays in June, July, and August. For more information, email ben@sierraforestlegacy.org.

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