Since discovering the trash problem on the ‘Chamberlain Falls’ run on the North Fork of the American River a month ago River Runners, a rafting outfitter in Coloma put the call out to other outfitters and private boaters to help in the clean up effort by contributing river guides and rafts.
The North Fork of the American River is usually a relatively pristine place so it was disturbing to see so much human impact in that river corridor. Much of the trash was most likely washed downstream from mining camps upstream of Mineral Bar Campground.
On Monday April 16th river guides from River Runners, All Outdoors, Motherlode River Center and a handful of private rafters came together to spend the day wrangling sleeping bags, tarps, and tents from trees and picking up piles of pvc pipe, hoses, metal and other trash from the banks of the river. With the river flowing at 2000 cubic feet per second, the rain coming down and the temperature at a high of 45, it was hardly a choice day for a river clean up! But this crew was not to be deterred, spirits were high and every time a big piece of garbage was collected, the others cheered.
Much of the garbage was within the 4 miles of class IV rapids and as the trash cans filled they became quite cumbersome particularly when one raft got ‘wrapped’ in the class IV rapid ‘Bogus Thunder’. The crew worked tirelessly in the rain and cold, filling the boats before they even got to Ponderosa Bridge. Overall the clean up was a great success and River Runners is planning a follow up event to collect any trash that had to be left behind between Ponderosa Bridge and Upper Lake Clementine.
Thanks to Motherlode and All Outdoors for sending boats and guides, thanks to California State Parks for picking up the trash at the end and most of all thanks to all the folks who showed their love for the river by participating:
Sarah Vardaro (River Runners -Vice President)
John Kosakowsky (River Runners – President)
Andrew Kosakowsky (River Runners – Guide)
Chris Wilson (River Runners – Guide)
Ben Hernandez (Motherlode River Center – Manager)
Erica Nelson (Motherlode River Center – Guide)
Luis Escobar (All Outdoors – Guide)
Tyler Tschirgi (All Outdoors – Guide)
Aaron Root (private boater)
Jeff Wasielewski (private boater)
Emily Donaldson (private boater)
Bryan Casey (private boater)