Stewards of the Yuba River

“It takes a village” to protect the Yuba watershed. Here are some of the locals who have been part of the effort—from all walks of life:

JOHN OLMSTED
Naturalist and Conservationist
Inspired by John Muir, Olmsted worked tirelessly to create wild areas, open space, trails and parks in our region. He preserved parcels that became the South Yuba River State Park and founded the Independence Trail, the nation’s first wheelchair accessible wilderness trail. Olmsted died in 2011 at the age of 73.

GARY SNYDER
Pulitzer Prize-winning Poet
A poet, Zen Buddhist and deep ecology philosopher, Snyder is one of the major literary figures of our time. He wrote about the Yuba in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Turtle Island, among others. “Nature is not a place to visit,” says Snyder. “It is home.”

BARBARA AND MIKE GETZ
Del Oro Theatre Owners
The Getz’s restored the Art Deco-style Del Oro Theatre in downtown Grass Valley, which hosts films for the Wild & Scenic Film Festival. The theater also has a mural of the Yuba. Barbara is president of SYRCL.

MICHAEL AND ALICIA FUNK
Business Leaders and Donors
Michael Funk is co-founder of United Natural Foods Inc., the nation’s largest independent organic food distributor. Its predecessor Mountain People’s Warehouse was started by Funk in 1976 out of the back of his Volkswagen van before there was even a legal defini- tion of what organic meant. Alicia Funk is co author of Living Wild—Gardening, Cooking and Healing with Native Plants of California.

SHANA MAZIARZ AND DAVE COWIE
Restaurant and Brewery Owners
Shana and Dave are co-owners of Three Forks Bakery & Brewing Co. in Nevada City, a craft brewery, bakery and restaurant named after the three forks of the Yuba. Last summer, Three Forks cooked dinner at the Yuba for singer Joan Baez when she came to Grass Valley to perform.

CALEB DARDICK
SYRCL’s Executive Director
Caleb is executive director of the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL). He grew up on the San Juan Ridge in the early ‘70s. Snyder is a close family friend. Caleb graduated from UC Santa Cruz and helped his father, Sam, a disability rights activist, get elected to Nevada County Supervisor in 1994.

(Photo: Heather Hunt)

—Sierra FoodWineArt magazine

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

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