TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Van duzen Watershed Plan
Sal Steinberg, Community Coordinator, Friends of the Van Duzen River
Ed Brenneman, Science Educator, Cuddeback School, Teaching in the field
Then very little happened to protect the Van Duzen River Basin. Except for the work of the Eel River Watershed Improvement Group and restoration projects in the parks, little was done to improve conditions. Then in 2002, Pacific Lumber Company released a Watershed Analysis of the Van Duzen River declaring that everything was OK, and that all critical buffer zones around streams would be reduced from 150 feet to 50 feet. In 2002, Friends of the Van Duzen River (FOVDR) in their Citizens’ Report disputed these findings. In 2004, Pacific Lumber Company and the California Department of Forestry approved 5000 acres of timber for harvest in one year within the basin. All approved plans were valid for three years. This represented 25% of the available harvest for PALCO holdings in the Van Duzen River Basin.
We are pleased to announce that our project “Toward a Working TMDL: Establishing a Watershed Plan for the Van Duzen River Basin,” has been approved for funding by the California Water Quality Control Board. We will be working through the Integrated Management Watershed Program Planning Division with the goal of developing a watershed plan to provide the Water Quality Control Board with recommendations for the recovery of the sediment impaired Lower Van Duzen River Basin.
Over a two-year period, teams of scientists, community members, and students will monitor water quality at ten specific sites along the main stem and tributaries of the Van Duzen River. Stakeholder and landowner meetings as well as community workshops will be conducted to establish priorities and to provide recommendations for project protocols. Students from four elementary schools, including Scotia, Hydesville, Cuddeback, and Bridgeville, will study local streams, incorporate these studies into classroom science projects, and generate empowerment to become stewards of their local environment. Chris Ramsey of CDFG and Kristina Darby of Scotia Scientists in the Schools GATE Program will continue to work closely with FOVDR in organizing educational projects. On October 18, residents will participate in a Citizens Monitoring Training Session in honor of World Water Monitoring Day.
With Ed Brenneman as Science Educator, Cuddeback School will serve as a central collection site for samples and data analysis for turbidity. More intensive analysis of suspended sediment will be conducted at the Salmon Forever Laboratory directed by Clark Fenton. Jesse Noel, also of Salmon Forever, will serve as a water quality consultant and help establish critical monitoring stations. Samples representing extreme turbidity will be further analyzed at Redwood Sciences Laboratory. Karen Bromley, working at the Waste Water Utilization Laboratory of Dr. Kristine Brenneman at Humboldt State, will conduct additional tests for water quality. Dr. Brenneman and Clark Fenton, as well as Randy Klein from Redwood National Park will serve on our Technical Advisory Committee. Additional studies of the Van Duzen River Basin will include macro invertebrate sampling conducted by entomologist Nick Simpson, stream cross sections by geologist Dave Heaton, and habitat typing by scientists from CDFG. We will also be counting on fisheries consultant Pat Higgins to provide help with the TMDL and the development of our watershed plan.
We are pleased to have Dr. Paul Trichilo as the Director of our project. A native of Humboldt County, Paul has developed an expertise in population biology, geographic information systems (GIS), and watershed management. He is also a long time supporter of Friends of the Eel River and Friends of the Van Duzen River. Some of the GIS analysis will include digitizing roads from orthorectified aerial photographs, and using these data to calculate the density of roads and road-stream crossings. Analyses will be conducted to correlate water quality with upslope conditions including tree size, riparian habitat, timber harvest, road density, geology, soil type, and other variables – all of which will be necessary to demonstrate watershed conditions and movement toward recovery and adaptive management. As a co-writer of the Water Quality grant proposal, Dr. Trichilo brings vision and an organized strategic plan to the Project.
As the other co-writer of the Project proposal, Sal Steinberg is the Community Coordinator for Friends of the Van Duzen River, and he will serve as Field Manager. Mr. Steinberg has 30 years of experience in education and will collaborate with landowners, stakeholders, scientists, and schools to share information regarding conditions in the Van Duzen River Basin. He will also organize work-related efforts in the field. Reports and photos will be made available through our WebMaster Tom Travis at “http://www.fovd.org” A documentary of the project will be filmed through the lens of Barbara Domanchuk, an experienced videographer and local resident. Doug Renwick of Copia Group will provide technical expertise.
Friends of the Van Duzen River and Friends of the Eel River are currently seeking office space in Fortuna to facilitate mutual projects and to establish an environmental center. We are looking forward to this opportunity.
We are pleased to have Ms. Janet Blake from the North Coast Water Quality Control Board as our grant manager on this project. We will be working closely with her to reach a final grant agreement and hope to make a significant contribution toward a working TMDL and a watershed plan for the Van Duzen River Basin.
For any further questions or if you wish to volunteer for projects implemented by the Friends of the Van Duzen River, please contact us at either email: “firstname.lastname@example.org” email@example.com or