Mokelumne River Wild and Scenic Campaign
What Can Be Done
Sign on to support California Wild and Scenic River designation for the North Fork and main Mokelumne River.
The Mokelumne is a sparkling gem of nature where the sights, scents and sounds of nature prevail. Its dense forest, giant boulders, abundant trout, fragrant azaleas and wildlife share the river with people searching for solitude, excitement, or family fun.
The Mokelumne River was home to the northern Mi-Wuk people for more than 2,500 years. It also played an important role in the development of hydroelectric power in California in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, it provides high-quality drinking water for local residents and the East Bay.
Click here to learn more and help make sure there's a river in our future.
What the Result Will Be
California Wild and Scenic River designation will protect nearly 37 miles of beautiful, free-flowing river from further dams and diversions. It will protect the Mokelumne River's water quality, cultural and historical resources, and scenic beauty for generations to come.
The Mokelumne River is beautiful and wild. It is a door to lasting wonder we can share with our children, and theirs—part of our priceless natural and cultural heritage.
This statewide distinction will allow continued use of the river for recreation, hydropower generation and water supply while ensuring that our beautiful river keeps flowing for people and wildlife. It also ensures continued use of the river for fishing, kayaking, gold panning, and camping, and prevents outside interests from building new dams on our river. It also protects the river’s high water quality and its scenic beauty such as the impressive geologic formations including Calaveras Dome and the Devil's Nose, protects the river’s fish and wildlife, and provides places for children to learn about nature, culture and history.
And, it recognizes and protects important cultural and historical resources, such as:
- The Mi-Wuk people and their ancestors called the river canyon home for more than 2,500 years.
- The river is a historic trade route that linked the indigenous people of the western Sierra with Eastern Sierra and Great Basin tribes.
- Local native people continue to use the river for plant gathering and other traditional uses.
- The North Fork Mokelumne canyon below Salt Springs Dam is unique because of its "extensive archaeological sites," with remains of such antiquity considered "rare in most of California." (U.S. Forest Service Wild and Scenic Study/Draft EIS, 1990).
- The river is home to some of the earliest and most important hydroelectric project sites in California, including the site of the original Blue Lakes Powerhouse. The BLM study document says, "electrification of the region as a result of those early projects is significant, with far-reaching implications for American society and culture."
- The lower segments include well-preserved early mining sites and the remains of gold processing facilities.