December 2020 Bulletin
Amidst the pandemic, we are proud of the large, multi-year projects that our small staff accomplished this 20th anniversary year. Thank you, volunteers and supporters, for your dedication to Alpine Watershed Group. We look forward to connecting with you virtually and, eventually, in person in the new year.
We greatly need your insights as we identify our next priorities. Please take 5-10 minutes to complete AWG's Watershed Project Ideas Survey, and plan to join our discussion at our next watershed group meeting on January 12—details below.
As you are able, we much appreciate you considering a year-end donation to support our conservation efforts. Thank you for entrusting our organization to lead in watershed stewardship. We are so grateful.
Donate Now!

Upcoming Meeting
We will be using Zoom, so you can participate from either your computer or your phone.
What's Next? A Discussion on Looking Forward
Tuesday, January 12, 5:30-7:00 p.m 
Please share the FLYER!

Please join us for our next watershed group meeting focused on the future of our watersheds. We will be watching a short film about river conservation and then diving into the results of the AWG Watershed Project Ideas Survey. Thank you for taking time to answer this short questionnaire! This meeting will be a live channel for you to offer feedback and thoughts on areas of watershed health within Alpine County.

Please register in advance to receive the information needed to access the Zoom meeting. 

For more information, contact Ky at (530) 694-2327 or

Harmful Algal Blooms: Ever a Hot Topic

In coordination with the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, AWG completed our second year of Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) data collections. Due to COVID-19 restrictions and funding limitations in 2020, the program was scaled down from last year. AWG prioritized Red Lake monitoring because of its long-suspected HAB history and easy public access. HAB sampling was planned for and conducted once a month from May to October at five sites in and around Red Lake this year.

The lake was looking and measuring much better until September. (Learn more about Red Lake's good 2020 conditions here.) Unfortunately, in September Red Lake measured more than 100 times the State Water Board established Danger trigger level at 2,389 ug/L. This was the highest recorded cyanotoxin measurement to date at Red Lake. As expected, toxin levels decreased as temperatures and daylight did too in the following month's monitoring. And even though t
he October results were good news in that the cyanotoxin levels dropped significantly, the two reservoir sampling sites were still measuring in between the Warning and Caution trigger levels at 9.62 and 16.87 ug/L. These results were higher than expected in comparison to the previous year's data.

Consequently, the Red Lake HAB monitoring team tried to fit one more additional sampling event in to better gauge the lake's winter status, but unfortunately the lake froze over before this was accomplished. Currently, there is advisory signage posted at the lake, and the State Board’s HAB Incident Reports Map is up-to-date to inform potential lake users.
Without another set of samples to confirm cyanotoxin levels, it is recommended to throw away guts and clean fillets before cooking fish from Red Lake until further notice.
This incredibly important project wouldn’t be possible without the support of the above organizations. The State Water Board has funded extensive lab analyses for the last two years totaling over $27,000. The California Alpine Club Foundation, The Strong Foundation for Environmental Values, and the Sagebrush Chapter of Trout Unlimited were essential to funding AWG staff time. Alpine County Public Health Officer Dr. Johnson provided mentorship and critical public health communication. We are forever grateful for all of our partners' time, efforts, and support. 
We want to continue our harmful algal bloom monitoring program next year. Our goal in collecting data is to hone in on the causes of HABs and keep residents and visitors, humans and pets, safe. 
For more information or if you have questions, please contact Mo at
The AWG Team is Growing
Christine Aralia joined our Board of Directors this past November. Christine is a Landscape Conservation Coordinator and Senior Environmental Scientist with the California Tahoe Conservancy. Christine is currently focused on increasing the pace and scale of forest and watershed restoration on the entire west shore of the Lake Tahoe Basin in partnership with the USDA Forest Service and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. Prior to working for the California Tahoe Conservancy, she worked for 13 years for Save the Redwoods League as a land project manager on forest and watershed restoration in coastal redwood forests, and for six years as a planner for Humboldt County. Christine has a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Planning and a Master’s degree in Environmental Systems from Humboldt State University. She is currently a full-time resident and homeowner in Alpine County. Thank you, Christine, for your willingness to serve!

Short on Time, but Big on Adventure?

Check out these videos of some of our favorite Alpine County restoration and recreation places. 

Two Weeks of Construction
in Two Minutes
The Hope Valley Restoration and Aquatic Habitat Enhancement Project­­­'s timelapse video is available on both AWG's YouTube Channel and AWG's Project Webpage.
Meadow Interpretive Nature Trail at Grover Hot Springs State Park 
Thanks to a wonderful collaboration between AWG, Alpine County 50+Club, Alpine County Behavioral Health Services, and filmmaker Ethan Craik, you can view hundreds of acres of meadow and over a mile of ADA accessible trail in only a few minutes here.
A quick note for Gmail users:
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Until next time!

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