October 2020 Bulletin
"In November of 2000, with assistance from the Alpine County Resource Conservation District and the Sierra Nevada Alliance, a collaborative stakeholder-based watershed group was formed in the California portion of the Upper Carson River Watershed. This collaborative group became known as the Alpine Watershed Group."
Upper Carson River Watershed Stream Corridor Condition Assessment (2004)

Please join Alpine Watershed Group in celebrating 20 years of working to preserve and enhance the natural system functions in Alpine County's watersheds for future generations through collaboration, education, and proactively implementing stewardship projects. Your support helps us:
  • seek and secure funding for large restoration projects like the one wrapping up in Hope Valley
  • conduct critical monitoring programs, like sampling for harmful algal blooms and leading River Monitor volunteers in water quality sampling
  • expand our staff capactiy to be better equipped to advise on, research, promote, and steward watershed health
$20 for 20! Or $200 or $2,000—we will put your donation to good use. Whether you are a long-time donor or a first-time supporter, we appreciate you marking this anniversary with a gift of any size. Thank you for helping Alpine Watershed Group reach two decades.
Upcoming Meeting
Please join us for the next virtual bimonthly
Alpine Watershed Group meeting!
Restoration Projects in the West Fork Carson River Watershed
Tuesday, November 10, 5:30 p.m.
We will be using Zoom, so you can tune in from either your computer or your phone.
This meeting is part of the West Fork Carson River Vision Project process led by the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board. We will have a panel of speakers discussing completed and planned restoration projects in the West Fork Carson River watershed. Don't miss Mo Loden's report on the recent bank stabilization project construction in Hope Valley! US Forest Service (USFS) staff will also present on USFS roads and projects to address road issues, continuing the discussion started at our September forum.
You can find more information on this innovative framework for improving water quality here.
For more information, contact Ky at (530) 694-2327 or awg.ky.osguthorpe@gmail.com.
A Warm Welcome
We are thrilled to welcome Ky Osguthorpe to our staff and our watershed community as AWG's Watershed Program Assistant. Ky was born and raised at the base of the Wasatch Mountains in Ogden, Utah, where she developed a love of outdoor recreation and public lands. After moving to Hong Kong to finish her last two years of high school, she decided to pursue further education in a field that could keep her away from busy metropolitan life. In 2019, she received a B.A. in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic in Maine focused on Natural Resource Management and Environmental Law. In 2018, she served as the student liaison for the Maine Water Security Summit and worked as research assistant to the Public Law and Policy professor, supplementing academic work with jobs on vegetable and livestock farms in her free time. Between school years, Ky worked as a whitewater raft guide on the Wind River in Wyoming and as a commercial salmon fisherman in Alaska. After graduating, she returned to Alaska and spent the better part of a year living on fishing boats. She enjoys backcountry skiing, rock climbing, writing, and playing the banjo, and she is working on gaining a private pilot’s license.
Ky will intially be focused on community outreach, partnership building, and data assessment as part of the watershed planning process funded by AWG's US Bureau of Reclamation WaterSMART grant.
It's a Wrap on the
Hope Valley Bank Stabilization Project!

A huge thank you to the hardworking crew from Hanford Applied Restoration and Conservation and the fastidious engineer from Waterways Consulting for helping AWG accomplish the latest restoration project in Hope Valley over the last two weeks. At Site 1 near Highway 88, the newly created floodplain bench behind the failing bank is planted with salvaged sod, transplanted willows, and willow stakes. At Site 2 downstream, pine slash has been woven around the newly installed anchor logs, and willow stakes near the logs are sunk down to rest near groundwater levels. Hanford's project manager continues to be on site this week watering and working on willow fascines with AWG staff.

With permits requiring construction be completed by October 15, it was a stressful time leading up to construction given the terrible air quality from forest fires and related public lands closures. Despite these obstacles, we are pleased to report that all went according to plan. Thank you to AWG partners and stakeholders for helping spread the word about the project; with construction so visible from the highway and the timeline so tight, it helped work to progress smoothly.

Tune in to AWG's November 10 meeting to see more construction photos. You can find more project details on the project web page. As AWG continues to carry out the project Monitoring Plan over the next several years, we will share the photo and video documentation. If you have any questions, please contact Mo at awg.mo.loden@gmail.com.

Red Lake shoreline on September 15, 2020

Be Aware of Harmful Algal Blooms

On September 25, Alpine County Public Health Officer Dr. Richard Johnson issued a Public Health Brief advising lake users to avoid water contact at Red Lake and Indian Creek Reservoir. Please distribute this information to keep people and pets safe and healthy. You can also help by pointing out sign postings to other lake users.

AWG's final 2020 sampling at Red Lake is scheduled for October 20.

Wander Your Watershed

DeɁek Dawgó∙Ɂit Mountain (Da-ek Dow Go-et Mountain — formally Jeff Davis Peak)

By Herman Fillmore, Washoe Culture/Language Resources Department
The Waší∙šiw (Wašiw people from here), that now make up the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, have resided within the Sierras and western edge of the Great Basin since the beginning of time.
Within the last 100+ years the changes to the Sierras have seen the Wašiw people removed from the lands they once called home as foreigners staked claims to an area they saw as untouched by human hands. However, the forests, rivers, and valleys so many have come to enjoy for their pristine beauty were once shaped by the Waši∙šiw, and the Waši∙šiw people themselves were shaped by the lands themselves.
Not only did these newcomers to the region bring with them new technology, but they also brought a new language and worldview from a place far removed from Wašišiw ɁitdeɁ (the Washoe people’s homeland). They gave new names to plants and animals they had never seen before. They gave names to rivers, mountains, and lakes but quickly changed this new landscape forever as they clear cut forests, choked and overfished the lakes and rivers, and dug minerals from the soil.
Yet, the Wašiw people remain and have never stopped working to reclaim and restore the aboriginal lands to what they once were. Recent efforts to remove the names and likeness of confederate soldiers, and other historical figures whose beliefs and actions were oppressive and racist, have renewed conversations about returning traditional Indigenous names to not only acknowledge the Indigenous peoples who once navigated these lands but to correct the mistakes of white forefathers by no longer celebrating the accomplishments of those who caused harm to others for their own benefit.
The changing of the name from Jeff Davis Peak to DeɁek Dawgó∙Ɂit Mountain (Da-ek Dow Go-et Mountain, or “a saddle between two points” mountain in English) signifies for the first time in generations the return of the Wašiw language to its aboriginal lands but this time it is forever. This change in name was championed by the Huŋalelti Community, Woodfords Community Council, Wašiw Elder Dinah Pete, Woodfords Community Chairman Irvin Jim, and numerous allies to the Wašiw people. This further acknowledgement of the Wašiw people may seem insignificant to many outside of the Washoe Tribe, but for a people that have fought so hard to keep their language and culture alive, this is a small reminder that we can do better for the next generation and that we will always be here.

Donations for Fire Victims

On September 8 there was a serious fire in the Hung-A-Lel-Ti Community resulting in one death and several individuals that lost everything. Monetary donations are still welcomed to help the victims.
Online donations can be made using the Chamber of Commerce’s PayPal link. Your donation will be collected by the Chamber of Commerce and sent to the Woodfords Washoe Community Council. Please mark your donation "For Fire Victims."
Checks can be made out to the Woodfords Washoe Community Council, marked "For Fire Victims”, and mailed to 96A Washoe Blvd., Markleeville, CA 96120 or dropped at these local businesses:
Alpine County Chamber of Commerce in Markleeville
Mad Dog Cafe and Market in Woodfords
Markleeville General Store

Thank you in advance for helping our watershed community members in their time of need.

Missed Meetings are History

One advantage to virtual meetings is you can now watch (or re-watch) meeting presentations on AWG's YouTube channelThe September 8, 2020, Roads & Water Quality meeting video includes an overview on the West Fork Carson River Vision Project, details on the State Water Board's ongoing culvert study, an insight on Caltrans' approaches, and photos of road damage on Alpine County roads. 

Ways to Be Green & More to Explore

Make your home fire safe by taking your natural vegetation cuttings, pine needles, grasses, and leaves to the Biomass Pile for Alpine County residents.

Explore EPA's interactive history of the Carson River Mercury Superfund Site through the Geoplatform Story Map.

Until next time!

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