Sunday, March 23, 2008

SARSAS Overview and How Teachers Can Connect to SARSAS

SARSAS (Save Auburn Ravine Salmon and Steelhead)

Mission Statement: to return salmon and steelhead to the entire length of the Auburn Ravine

Organization: SARSAS is a 501c3m public benefit corporation, a non-profit, non-governmental organization, whose goal is to work collaboratively to modify the thirteen man-made barriers on the Auburn Ravine and the countless beaver dams, making them passable for fishes.

Vision: This undertaking will take much time, effort, coordination and money, but it will have a permanent, lasting effect on the quality of the lives of those in this area and on the participants who will achieve something unique. We have an opportunity to create something no other town in California has: an anadromous fish run with salmon spawning in the center of the city.

Collaborative Technique: SARSAS is working with volunteers, students, local businesses, government agencies and other Non-Government Organizations and donations of money, time and in-kind services to achieve its goal of returning salmon and steelhead with them ultimately spawning in Auburn School Park Preserve in the center of Auburn. SARSAS is currently working with several individuals and agencies to realize its goal.
Locally, we are working with Placer County Supervisor Robert Weygandt and Loren Clark and Edmund Sullivan from Placer Legacy and the California Department of Fish and Game, Auburn City Council. We have been given stream access by property owners along the AR for volunteers to do fish studies. Placer Legacy is working with Nevada Irrigation District to modify the Hemphill Dam below Gold Hill. Ron Nelson, NID General Manager, plans to continue working with SARSAS to modify other dams and gaging stations. Granite Bay Fly Casters places fish tanks in schools.
Operations: SARSAS plans to accept donations of cash and work and professional expertise and to work outside the usual channels of large financial grants. SARSAS has the ability to accept grant money as well as apply for grants through such non- profits as CABY (COSUMNES, AMERICAN, BEAR AND YUBA) and, which already have monies available for grants to work on several of the barriers describe in Auburn Ravine/Coon Creek Eco-System Resources Plan. (

Model: The greatest stream/fish restoration ever is Fossil Creek in Arizona. All facets of the community worked together. SARSAS intends to make the Restoration of the Auburn Ravine the model for the State of California.

Philosophy: Actions achieve goals but actions are preceded by a dream: Robert F. Kennedy said, “Some men see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say ‘Why not?’" Together we can make SARSAS the model fish restoration IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA AND ENJOY ALL THE TRIUMPH AND THE ACCLAIM ATTENDANT THEREWITH.

Comments and questions as well as donations made out to SARSAS can be directed to: Jack L. Sanchez, 3675 Larkin Lane, Auburn, CA 95602,530 888 0281,

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How Teacher Might Connect Students with SARSAS and Really, Really Have Fun

Science Teachers can include units on the life of salmonids, stream restoration, anadromous fishes' life cycle and instincts, and stream alteration. Units on aquatic habitat and predation and stream ecology can be included in the curriculum. Fish tanks can be placed in classrooms and fish eggs can be hatched, reared and placed into the Auburn Ravine with scientific and writing assignments attached to the observations. Surveys can be conducted on the size, weight and release date and the return of the salmon. Students can perform stream modification to enable fish to navigate barriers or do water quality and temperature studies related to aquatic life.

Senior Project Advisors can encourage students to undertake a project related to the Auburn Ravine and learn along with the students as they conclude their Senior Projects.

English teachers might assign the novel Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday ISBN 978-0-7538-2178-7 and use it as a vehicle to connect students to project s on the Auburn Ravine. Or assign Isaac Walton’s classic 1653 work The Compleat Angler. Students can be assigned research papers on anadromous fishes, the health of streams, the importance of pure water for aquatic life, the effect of contaminated waters on aquatic life in the Auburn Ravine. Journals or extra credits assignments can be based on observations of nuances such as water level, aquatic life in the Auburn Ravine through the four seasons, or countless other topics.

Students working in the elementary schools or those who wish to create a Senior Project for elementary students might use Come Back, Salmon: How a Group of Dedicated Kids Adopted Pigeon Creek and Brought it Back to Life by Molly Cone (ISBN 0-87156-489-0) to teach the younger students how to connect with the Auburn Ravine or any stream.

These are a fraction of the possible assignments and teachers of the caliber of those in the Placer Union High School District will immediately think of many others.

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