Youth and Family Help With Klamath River Restoration which Ended With Indigenous Science Camp

Native youth over looking Iron Gate Dam

Youth over looking Iron Gate Dam. [Photo from Save California Salmon. For more images go here]

Press release from Save California Salmon:


Klamath River Tribes,  Save California Salmon, and the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) wrapped up two months of youth and family focused field trips and events with an Indigenous Science Camp at the former Iron Gate Reservoir. The camp featured tours of the dam removal work and a removed dam, a camp out at a restoration site, and science and culture based activities such as bark skirt and plant-based medicine making, acorn processing, and traditional art creation. The camp came after the coalition hosted seven field trips for Klamath and Trinity River elementary and high school students.

“It’s an astonishing accomplishment to have achieved dam removal on our precious Klamath River,” explained Taralyn Ipina, COO of the Yurok Tribe, who attended with her family. “It’s heartwarming to engage our youth with the monumental process. Seeing their eyes widen and their hearts strengthen is wonderful.”

The camp and field trips come after a successful 20 year movement to take down four dams on the Klamath River. This fight was led by Klamath River Tribes and Native people and has helped  inspire efforts to remove dams, restore flows to rivers, and bring back traditional fire and other traditional practices locally, nationally, and internationally. This work is also interconnected with movements to create better curriculum and education opportunities for Native youth in California and advance truth and healing for Native people.

Save California Salmon says they are dedicated to advancing environmental initiatives that center Native people, and include rural communities, in Northern California. They say that along with restoring rivers and forests they believe in sharing the importance of Traditional Ecological practices and knowledge in today’s world. As part of this effort, Save California creates free curricula and lessons for high school, university, and middle school students, and hosts free outdoor education events on the state’s most endangered rivers.

 “It’s imperative that we include local families and youth in these monumental movements. These efforts have, and will, directly impact the river, people, wildlife and land,” explained Star Gibbens, Save California Salmon’s Youth Coordinator. “We hope that sharing this experience and information will influence and encourage a way of thinking and behaving related to  environmental issues that directly affect the river people and impact their futures. By including families and youth in restoration efforts we hope to strengthen and encourage the people’s relationship with the land and the water. Education is a powerful tool.”

During the earlier field trips to the Klamath dam removal sites, students planted seeds harvested by the Yurok Tribe in the drained Klamath with Resource Environmental Solutions, SCS and the Mid Klamath Watershed Council. In total, an estimated 133 million native seeds were planted by students during these seven field trips. During yesterday’s camp, students were able to see the old reservoirs blooming from these restoration efforts and the Klamath River flowing through its original channel.

Over the next month, Save California Salmon will be hosting camps, raft trips, and river clean ups with Tribes and other partners on the Eel, Sacramento, American, Klamath and Trinity Rivers. The public is welcome to sign up for these events, and to get involved in water protection efforts. Contact [email protected] or check out Save California Salmon and California Rivers on social media to learn more.


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8 days ago


Sandy Beaches
Sandy Beaches
8 days ago

When those families and young people see the results of their planting in years to come it will be very meaningful. Best wishes for success.