The Fall River Conservancy (FRC) organizes work around fundamental program areas. In 2011, FRC will identify measurable conservation objectives with specific time lines for each of the following program areas:
- Habitat Restoration
- Scientific Research and Monitoring
- Conservation Partnerships
Habitat Restoration Strategies
- Partner with the Fall River Resource Conservation District and other stakeholder groups to begin identifying priority restoration projects and sources of potential funding
Habitat Restoration Objectives
- Improve and protect water quality and quantity
- Sustain and improve aquatic and riparian (river bank) habitat
- Restore and improve stream channel and river bed
- Improve health and abundance of wild trout populations and other priority species
Anecdotal evidence from around the Fall River Valley suggests that habitat conditions and trout populations in the Fall River continue to deteriorate at an alarming rate. Two to four feet of fine sediment (275,000 cubic yards) degrades much of the upper river bed, while invasive aquatic plants continue to spread throughout the lower portion of the river.
Numerous assumptions exist about the various factors limiting wild trout populations and healthy habitat in the Fall River. Unfortunately, the bulk of existing literature dates back almost ten years (Fall River Resource Conservation District, 2002) (Tetra Tech Inc, 1998) (Department of Water Resources, 1998). The absence of updated research, data, and assessment make it difficult to assess current conditions, and prioritize limiting factors, or design effective short-term conservation projects. Consequently, in 2011, FRC will work with UC Davis, California Trout, the Fall River Resource Conservation District, the Department of Fish and Game, the State Water Board, and other partner organizations to identify priority threats, design viable restoration projects, and begin identifying funding sources.
Scientific Research and Monitoring
Research and Monitoring Strategies
- Partner with the UC Davis Watershed Center and the Dept of Agriculture to begin comprehensive monitoring and assessment of existing conditions
- Partner with California Trout to begin statewide advocacy for the Fall River
- Partner with the Fall River Resource Conservation District to begin identifying priority restoration projects and sources of potential funding
Research and Monitoring Objectives
- Establish baseline scientific assessments and monitoring program
- Determine existing conditions of target species and key habitat
- Identify biological limiting factors of ecosystem function
- Develop metric indicators for measuring success of future conservation actions
FRC is currently working with local landowners and new partner organizations to improve the quality of scientific monitoring and assessments. Through a new partnership with University of California Davis and California Trout, FRC is helping facilitate objective, credible, and useful science throughout the valley.
The Center for Watershed Sciences at UC Davis proposes to establish permanent survey sites on the Fall River in order to collect key biological and physical baseline data. Data collected by UCD will be used to initially monitor hydrologic, geomorphic, and ecological conditions on the Fall River over a two year baseline study period with the intention of 1) identifying existing conditions of the Fall River 2) directing future restoration priorities.
Community Outreach Strategies
- Form network of public, private and non-profit partners
- Make accessible to all stakeholders, community members, and decision makers, existing management plans, latest research reports, scientific findings, and policy information
- Involve community in conservation planning and educate community on conservation issues
- Strengthen and Preserve the Fall River culture, heritage, and community
- Unite community around a common vision of the future of the Fall River Valley
- Inform and educate community about resource management and policy issues
We believe that lasting conservation solutions originate from the ground up –from individuals and groups that care about the natural resources that impact their lives. In this sense, successful community building is about connecting places with community and people.
The Fall River community consists of diverse groups of individuals linked together by the intrinsic values of the Fall River Valley. These groups range from third generation ranchers, to recently established wild rice farmers, business owners, second-home owners, hunters, fly-fisherman, river guides, and other outdoor recreationalists. While these groups differ significantly in demographics, they share a common interest in the general economic, cultural and ecological well-being of the valley.
The Fall River Conservancy is devoted to bringing these groups together to build a common vision for the future of Fall River Valley. In our first year, we’re working to build our capacity and local credibility in order to facilitate dialogue, provide information to the community, and develop workable strategies for protecting the river and valley.