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The Nature of This Place Education Series


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Yuba Watershed Institute

The Yuba Watershed Institute is a group of citizens who are concerned with the sustainable use of natural resources and the protection of long-term biological diversity within the Yuba River watershed.  About YWI

Aspen Research With Bobette Jones

Friday, March 7, 2014; 7:00-8:30 PM

Madelyn Helling Library Community Room, Nevada City

Suggested Donation: $10

Quaking aspen are an iconic and keystone species of mountain forests in the West. They are famous for their stunning white bark, fluttering leaves and brilliant fall colors. The Basque shepherds in the Sierra used them for their carvings of female fantasies. Their well documented decline in the Rockies and Sierra Nevada mountains is a worry to those concerned with the long-term biological diversity of the alpine areas of these mountains.

New research published on December 20, 2013 describes several efforts by the US Forest Service to reverse the trend of decline at two research sites in the Sierra.

Bobette Jones of the Pacific Southwest Research Station will be in Nevada City March 7, 2014, at the Madelyn Helling Library Community Room to make a presentation about her work in the Lassen area.

She will describe the natural history of aspens, the causes of their decline and the 10 year studies she has been involved with in restoring trembling aspen in their native habitat.

SYRCL is involved locally in a restoration project at Loney Meadows and this will be an opportunity to reflect on how PSW Research Station’s studies are relevant to our local aspen forests.

The 2013 study called Aspen Stands: Restoring and Managing was published in the online peer-reviewed scientific journal PLOS and is available on line at:


Fungus Foray Follow-up

Though conditions were less than ideal (no rain, recent freezing weather), it was still a beautiful day to be out on the Ridge.  One new species to our area was discovered - continuing our citizen scientist focus - and the variety of lovely specimens gathered and documented was truly astounding.

Thank you to all of the wonderful volunteers who helped to make this a successful event - we couldn't do it without you! Also much appreciation to our supporters and sponsors, The Miners Foundry Cultural Center, Briar Patch Co-op, Natural Selections/Mother Truckers, and the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center.

We're already looking ahead to next year...


Tree Rings #25 is Here!

The 25th Edition of the ever-eloquent journal, Tree Rings is available NOW. The theme of this edition is "The Importance of Water." The journal is chock full of essays, poems, articles, and artwork related to this topic of utmost importance, with contributions from Gary Snyder, Kelly Patton, Hank Meals, Sara Rabkin, Tom Van Wagner, Kurt Lorenz, Corey Hitchcock, and more.

Make sure your membership is current so you don't miss out on this latest, extremely relevant issue!


Melony Vance Steps Down as YWI Executive Director

We wish her all the best as she steps into her role as Community Programs Manager for Bear Yuba Land Trust.


The Nature of This Place: Book & Curriculum Guide

The Nature of This Place: Investigations and Adventures in the Yuba Watershed

Bruce Boyd and Liese Greensfelder, editors with foreword by Gary Snyder


In June we published The Nature of This Place Curriculum Guide developed for K-8 natural science education by the Yuba Watershed Institute, and written by Rachel Durben of the Sierra Streams Institute, in partnership with the Twin Ridges Elementary School District. This project was inspired by the field studies YWI has provided for Grizzly Hill Elementary School students over the years. Now this curriculum is an open source so everyone can benefit from it. The development of the curriculum guide was funded by the Teichert Foundation and published by Flicker Press. Illustrations by Randy Griffis.