Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Beginning of SARSAS November 2007

DCC Membership Request November, 2007

Members of the Dry Creek Conservancy,
I am delighted to once again talk to this group and share an idea I have about returning the runs of salmon and steelhead to the Auburn Ravine. I spoke to this group last January and then family responsibilities took up much of my time, but I am now ready to proceed and to provide you with a very general overview of my Plan. I wish to establish a group which will be called SAVE AUBURN RAVINE SALMON AND STEELHEAD (SARSAS), whose general goal will be to work toward returning the Auburn Ravine to a navigable stream for salmon and steelhead so they can spawn along its headwaters.
One of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen is the salmon spawning run in Juneau, Alaska, with salmon filling Juneau Creek from bank to bank, swimming on each other's back to get up stream to spawn. This Juneau run goes through the heart of the town. And a personal goal is to return salmon and steelhead to the city of Auburn to spawn in the newly daylighted Lincoln Creek, which is really the South Fork of the Auburn Ravine. Auburn School Park Preserve is located in the center of Auburn, and Lincoln Creek flows through this park. The creek bed is landscaped to accommodate spawning.
Mission of SARSAS: to restore and protect Salmon and Steelhead Runs in Auburn Ravine by providing a navigable waterway from the Sacramento River to the city of Auburn and to improve their habitat so they can spawn. Much work has already been done and set forth in the Auburn Ravine/ Coon Creek Ecosystem Restoration Plan Projects (2004).
I would request that SARSAS become a part of the Dry Creek Conservancy to raise funds donated to DCC and have these funds used by SARSAS to fund the projects necessary to achieve our goal. I have met with several people, Dave Antonucci from Lake Tahoe, former Manager of the Tahoe Municipal Water District, Edmund Sullivan of the Placer County Planning Department, and Rich Gresham of Placer County Resource Conservation District. I have talked with and emailed Greg Bates, Heath Wakeley and Bill Templin and Einar Maisch. I have an appointment to talk with Placer County Supervisor Robert Weygandt, who like me is a creek side landowner, and with Alex Ferreira, PCWA Board Member, with David Breninger, Director of PCWA. Edmund is here today to answer your questions, but Rich unfortunately is attending a forestry forum in Placerville. They have all suggested I request working under the auspices of the DCC. Edmund has supplied a video of a helicopter flight over the AR from the town of Verona on the Sacramento River, the mouth of the Auburn Ravine, to the Wise Powerhouse near Auburn, which details the barriers including beaver dams. Rich Gresham has provided a copy of the Auburn Ravine/Coon Creek Restoration Plan.

In Appendix D – “Fishery Resources” is an outline of the barriers and impediments on the Auburn Ravine. I flew over the course of the Auburn Ravine with a friend and counted at least six beaver dams as well as the ten barriers outlined in Appendix D. Edmund Sullivan is working with shareholders on the Hemphill Dam near Turkey Creek Golf Course. One of the most prominent barrier, the NID Auburn Ravine Dam #1 near Chili Hill needs attention. Another major barrier is the Cataract on the AR adjacent to Ophir Tunnel and the NID Gaging Station downstream from Hwy 65. Identification of these barriers with priorities listed for dealing with each is already completed. The general objective and priorities for restoration are outlined under Objectives (page 5). My focus will be under Fisheries Resources and specifically on the Auburn Ravine but Public Outreach, Water Quality, Plant Communities and Wildlife Resources are all part of the general plan for stream restoration.
Since the barriers have all been identified and recommendations have been made and prioritized for dealing with them, public outreach to meet and work with landowners to implement these recommendations is a primary activity. Securing funds to monitor the current migration runs of salmon and steelhead to determine the location where our stream work should begin is another essential step.
Another initial step for SARSAS is the collection of data on fish migration as it currently exists. Enough work exists for all who wish to help return the Auburn Ravine to a stream friendly to anadromous fishes.
Our goal for SARSAS is to do all necessary work to return salmon and steelhead runs to the Auburn Ravine. So doing will take a long time but to achieve our goal, we must get started.
I am asking that the Dry Creek Conservancy accept us as a part of the organization so we can use the expertise of this group to achieve our goal, and so we can raise funds and direct them to SARSAS to fund the projects necessary to achieve our goal. Several of you already volunteered to help with this group, but we ask for anyone who would like to help us achieve our goal to volunteer now to help. I don’t know if we have to be voted into DCC or what the procedure is.
I look forward to working with you all on this useful and enjoyable project.

SARSAS was accepted as a sub-committee of DCC in November of 2007 and has non-profit status.

Jack Sanchez 530 888 0281

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