2024 Volunteer Gathering Recap


First and foremost, THANK YOU to everyone who joined us for the 2024 Volunteer Gathering at Camp Yale! The stories and insights shared over the weekend were nothing short of inspiring. As we continue our journey together, know that your dedication fuels our mission.

Here are a few highlights from our time together:

  • We had a great mix of experienced river stewards, newer river stewards, and folks just starting their volunteer involvement with NFS. It made for a great exchange of ideas and learning all weekend.

  • Our gathering was enriched by the diverse mix of experienced river stewards, newcomers, and even a couple of young enthusiasts - aged 7 and 9! Witnessing their engagement, especially during activities like macroinvertebrate sampling and dissolved oxygen testing, was a testament to the future of conservation.

  • From Friday's socializing to Saturday's informative sessions, the weekend was full of shared insights and updates. Volunteers and staff provided valuable updates about what was going on in their watersheds and regions.

  • NFS Southern Oregon Coordinator Kirk Blaine led a discussion on grassroots organizing and provided tips for effective action.

  • We took a field trip to Cougar Dam on the South Fork McKenzie, where NFS Policy and Legislative Director Jennifer Fairbrother provided background about the issues with the USACE “Willamette Project” dams generally and talked through some issues specific to Cougar. Liz also gave a brief overview of current happenings with Leaburg Dam and how it is expected to result in an end to stocking the river with hatchery spring Chinook (as there will no longer be any way to control pHOS in the upper river).

  • After some free time (including a soak in the hot springs for most!), we watched “Undammed: Amy Bowers Cordalis and the fight to free the Klamath” and got inspired by the power of collective action in safeguarding the homewaters we all love.

  • We finished off with a short trip to Deer Creek, where Liz gave a brief talk about stage 0 river restoration and how it can make ecosystems more fire-resilient. Then we finished off by looking at some macroinvertebrates from Deer Creek (and a sculpin!--see photo below) and talked about DO testing and what levels of DO we want to see for salmonids.

As we reflect on the camaraderie and shared passion during our time together at Camp Yale, we want to express our deepest gratitude for your unwavering commitment and advocacy for wild fish and rivers. The dedication of our volunteers and supporters is the driving force behind our collective vision for a wild, abundant future. Thank you!

Check out a few fun photos from the 2024 Gathering!

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