Wild & Scenic Mokelumne Update

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Spring and summer events were fun for all
Conservancy President Katherine Evatt addresses our annual dinner while Vice-President Pete Bell looks on.
Foothill Conservancy benefits from O.A.R.S. rafting trips

On Sunday, June 3, and again on Sunday, June 11, O.A.R.S., an international adventure outfitter based in Angels Camp, took 84 happy rafters down the Mokelumne River’s Electra-Middle Bar Run. This is the ninth year O.A.R.S. has so generously donated these trips to raise money for the Foothill Conservancy. This year’s trips generated nearly $6,000 to benefit our programs.

The rafters, many new to the Foothill Conservancy came from as far as Oakland, Sacramento, and San Francisco in addition to our own backyards. They greatly enjoyed the beauty of California’s newest designated state Wild and Scenic River and the comradery of rafting with friends old and new.

We’d like to thank our Director Clavey Wendt, O.A.R.S. Vice-President for Community Development, O.A.R.S. California Operations Manager Chris Moore, and their fine guides for donating the equipment, transportation and expertise that have enabled so many people to experience our local river first-hand.

2018 Annual Dinner: An evening of fun in the Shenandoah Valley

This year’s Foothill Conservancy fundraising dinner was held on May 19 at Karmère Vineyards & Winery in Amador County’s beautiful Shenandoah Valley. The dinner honored Foothill Conservancy President Katherine Evatt and Vice-President Pete Bell for their contributions to local and regional conservation. The Volcano-area residents are among the Conservancy’s founding members. Evatt is the past president of the Sierra Nevada Alliance and the 2015 recipient of Friends of the River’s Capitol River Award for her work on Mokelumne Wild and Scenic designation. Bell serves as a director of the Pacific Watershed and Forest Land Stewardship Council and with the Conservancy, is a past recipient (rewrite) of Friends of the River’s Peter H. Behr Award.

The event was both profitable and fun, netting more income for our work than any previous dinner! Popular local band Wicked Sisters played tunes for the diners. Guests gave a big thumbs-up for the delicious ginger-marinated chicken, spring pasta, and side dishes prepared by Taste Restaurant and Wine Bar. Hayley Hoopes, who owns and operates Karmère with Marilyn Hoopes and Todd Pickens, provided a selection of fine wines for everyone to enjoy. Kevin Brady, Reuben Childress, and Jay Karutz held down the bar duties serving the wine and refreshing Lagunitas beers, all donated to us. And for dessert? By popular request, Conservancy Director Susan Bragstad’s tasty biscotti and Administrative Assistant Carolyn Schooley’s bright, tangy lemon bars.

Katherine Venturelli’s and Susan Bragstad’s talent for acquiring auction and raffle items provided guests with a wide variety of tempting items, including local and Sierra lodging, beautiful pieces created by local artists, and of course, a dazzling selection of wines from Amador and Calaveras counties. We are very grateful to all of the individuals and businesses who donated goods or services to help us raise funds for our work, as well as those of you who came to the dinner.

The event included the Conservancy Annual Meeting, during which the following directors were re-elected: Pete Bell, Katherine Evatt, and Bob Leitzell. Big thanks are due to the annual dinner coordinating team of Susan Bragstad, Marta Johnson, Amanda Nelson, and Carolyn Schooley, as well as Reuben Childress (designated photographer), and volunteers Greg Motch, Howie Webb, Jay Karutz, Trisha and Emily Iley, and Lily and Lexi Himmel.

Volcano celebration in July

On Sunday, July 8, a few weeks after the Wild and Scenic bill was signed, a group of 58 well-wishers crowded the Volcano Union Inn’s game room to enjoy each other’s company and truly celebrate this historic designation. Speeches were given, delicious hors d’ouerves were heartily eaten, and glasses were raised -- all to toast and revel in the successful culmination of our 29-year effort. Thanks to everyone who came to celebrate our victory!

Celebrate your local Wild and Scenic Mokelumne River and the 50th anniversary of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act As this newsletter is developed, we’re in the midst of planning another local party to celebrate not only the newly Wild and Scenic Mokelumne River, but the 50th anniversary of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. We’ll be joining with CalTrout and Sierra CPR for an evening of films, beverages, and music from The Risky Biscuits bluegrass band in the Volcano Armory Hall, on Friday, October 5, beginning at 7 a.m. Mark your calendars now and watch for more information on our website, in your in-box and on Facebook.

River of Song returned the Mokelumne to Berkeley

On Thursday June 7, Bay Area musicians joined together to celebrate California’s life-giving waters at the 2nd Annual River of Song concert at Berkeley’s Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse. The event was produced by East Bay musicians Laurie Lewis and Suzy Thompson as a benefit for Foothill Conservancy and Friends of the River. It featured Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum, Thompsonia (Suzy with husband Eric and daughter Allegra), Blame Sally, and Jenner Fox.

Conservancy President Katherine Evatt spoke to the audience about the Mokelumne River, the source of 90 percent of the East Bay Municipal Utility District’s water. Toby Briggs, Friends of the River’s engagement director, talked about some of FOR’s efforts to protect California rivers from new dams.

We’d like to thank Laurie and Suzy for putting on this great show for the second year, and volunteer Alison Brantley for helping us out at the Freight.

THE FOOTHILL CONSERVANCY  |  35 Court Street, Suite 1   Jackson, CA  95642  |  209-223-3508