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SYRCL - South Yuba River Citizens League

South Yuba River Citizens League

SYRCL (pronounced “circle”) is the leading voice for the protection and restoration of the Yuba River and the Greater Yuba Watershed. Founded in 1983 through a rural, grassroots campaign to defend the South Yuba River from proposed hydropower dams, SYRCL has developed into a vibrant community organization with over 3,500 members and volunteers based in Nevada City, CA.

SYRCL is the leading regional advocates for creating resilient human and natural communities throughout the greater Yuba River basin by restoring creeks & rivers, regenerating wild salmon populations, and inspiring & organizing people—from the Yuba’s source to the sea—to join in its movement for a more wild & scenic Yuba River.

Ongoing programs include: Yuba Salmon, "River People", River Science, the Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival, and the Annual Greater Yuba River Clean-up and Restoration Day.


Since the 1990’s SYRCL has spearheaded numerous efforts resulting in the protection and recovery of Yuba Salmon. SYRCL efforts are now coalesced into a comprehensive Save Yuba Salmon campaign with the goal of recovering an abundant Wild Salmon population to regenerate the ecological, economic, and cultural foundations of the local bioregion.

The Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival is the largest event of its kind in the United States with the goal to become the premiere environmental film festival in the world. Each January, SYRCL screens the most important and inspirational environmental films available today, as well as hosts a variety of environmental activists, filmmakers, and celebrities. Wild & Scenic® works to inspire audiences to make positive changes for a healthier world. The On Tour program began in 2004 because of the many requests to share the festival beyond Nevada County. Today Wild & Scenic® On Tour is shown in communities across the United States … reaching over 85 towns and cities in 2008-2009.

Since 1997, SYRCL has spearheaded successful annual river cleanups in partnership with the California Coastal Commission’s Cleanup Day, the state’s largest volunteer event. SYRCL’s Greater Yuba River Clean-Up and Restoration Day has stewarded sites ranging from the high Sierra mountains of Donner Summit to Parks Bar on the Lower Yuba, covering over 80 miles of shoreline.

How to Support

The success that SYRCL has had over the last 25 years is largely due to the commitment of the local community. Through membership and volunteering, SYRCL’s “River People” have done and continue to do all that it takes to protect their beloved Yuba River. The River People program produces SYRCL’s people-powered projects, including membership, volunteering opportunities and events.

Volunteer opportunities include:

In the Office - Assist SYRCL staff with mailings, data entry, garden upkeep, research, and special projects. River Monitoring - Since 2000, SYRCL has been sending out 80-100 volunteers monthly to conduct water quality testing to over 40 sites throughout the Yuba Watershed. We will give you all the tools to collect accredited scientific data. At Events - SYRCL promotes its mission by a collective of community awareness and education events, watershed stewardship opportunities, and membership fundraising events which all help to protect the Yuba River and the Greater Yuba River watershed.

On September 15, 2012, SYRCL will participate in its 15th annual cleanup and restoration day as a participant in the 4th Annual Great Sierra River Cleanup, supported by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy promoting good stewardship of local waterways in the Sierra Nevada. The Yuba River watershed, 1300 square miles of diverse lands, waters, and habitats, flows westward eventually reaching the sea.

Nearby Places