Scott Valley, Siskiyou

Final Thought: SWIF ’23 We Want Forest Healthy And Vibrant

Charnna Gilmore

Hi Everyone! Actually there were more than 12 other private landowner’s work represented at the 3-day forum that consisted of a full day of tours to ~10 private lands to view all the work happening around the Valley for groundwater recharge, fuel reductions, fisheries, and more. I am thankful for Scott Valley News for trying to get the word out before the event along with our own efforts using social media and papers like Siskiyou Daily News. Avery Theatre also promotes the heck of of the activities held there so I apologize if you didn’t see any of the numerous feeds. Our attendance was one of the best ever for this annual event. We had interested Tribal members, community, ranchers, agencies, and other NGOs. Thank you to everyone involved and next year we will continue to make the information available to everyone. The presentations will be recorded and available soon on

Scott River Watershed Council


Scott River Watershed Council

Scott Valley attracts and produces amazing people. On display at this event thanks to Charnna Gilmore and the Scott River Watershed Council were the fruits of our valley in examples such as Eric Yokel, Theo Dowling, and Will Harling. Joining them were the older generation helping to keep the flame alive such as Jim Morris, Gareth Planck and Sari Sommarstrom (albeit keeping a low profile). You don’t have to agree with everything they are doing or saying, or what was presented at the SWIF, but all these people are trying to preserve the culture that turns out home-girls and home-boys like Theo and Will, and attracts people like Eric.

There was stuff at the SWIF that pissed me off. F’rinstance what is happening with the proliferation of wolves and the failure of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to complete a study of deer on the west side of I5 that was funded 7 years ago to the tune of $1.5 million with no explanation other than a shoulder shrug. But overall, the quality of the scientific effort being put in to understand the science and politics affecting natural resources in our valley was very encouraging. When the assaults on communities like ours kicked into high gear, we were almost caught flat footed, other than limited early proactive efforts that had been put in by the Resource Conservation District and folks like Sari Sommarstrom. Fortunately, thanks to the spirit that binds Scott Valley residents together, the spirit that had one manifestation as the “Scott Valley Wave,” rapid and effective responses were made that have helped stop (or at least significantly slow) well-intended, but ill-conceived onerous regulatory reaction. If we are to continue to succeed in the continued output of exceptional young people to perpetuate our unique Valley, “youngsters” that also include the likes of Sparrow Tang, and Cole Laustalot who have helped inject vital energy into our community, we need not only support efforts like the SWIF, but attend them. Following the bouncing ball lest it end up running over the top of us is mandatory for survival and is best widely shared amongst us.

I know from personal experience how hard it is to make a living, raise a family, and attend things like this. It’s an over-worked cliche, but it’s true. Freedom ain’t free. Time, thought and participation aren’t very expensive when compared to the blessings we have and all that has gone in to providing them.

Ric Costales

Charnna Gilmore

Ric Costales Thank you Ric, your involvement in these complex and often difficult issues for the past several decades has served as an inspiration to me. This recent forum, the Scott Watershed Informational Forum (SWIF), is an annual forum designed to bring information about issues that face our community and our region. The hope is that this information, thoughts and conversations will serve as a foundation to help shape our collective future. As you know, we are all in this crazy ride together, even if we like it or not. I loved that we had tribal members, ranchers and farmers, timber managers, fire managers, federal and state agencies and lots of other restoration practitioners, oh yeah, and a few old loggers. 😉

Natalie Kelly

Thank you Charnna Gilmore and the Scott Watershed Council for putting on this event. Danika Carlson and I really appreciated being invited and we will plan on putting together a presentation for next year so count us in. I also plan on inviting all our staff next year since we see a large benefit for all program areas. Many complex issues and information sharing took place, I really encourage everyone that lives in Scott Valley to attend because for better or worse everything that was shared is the true reality of what is taking place on the landscape.

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