Notes from the San Joaquin River Conference
By Jordan Bottorff, Outreach Volunteer
There was a great turn out for the San Joaquin River Conference on Oct. 2, 2010 in Fresno, CA. Booths lined the hallways of the event hall and all talks throughout the day were filled to capacity, including those given by River Partners' ecologists, Tom Griggs and Julie Rentner.
At lunch, participants listened to an inspirational talk by Gary Ferguson, which brought many to tears. A video, "Take me to the River: Fishing, Swimming and Dreaming on the San Joaquin" showcased fond memories locals had about the San Joaquin River. It was a great touch to help tie in everyone who is attending the conference and supporting the restoration. The attendees ranged from local students and teachers, agency and nonprofit groups to local landowners and friends of the San Joaquin. The conference ended on an uplifting note with a local band, Strange Vine.
The second day of the conference opened with breakfast at the River Center in Friant, CA and a heartfelt talk from members of a local Western Mono Indian tribe, Julie Dick Tex and Mandy Marine. Dave Koehler of the San Joaquin River Partnership and coordinator of the conference led a talk at Cottonwood Creek about the hope and plans of having salmon returning to the San Joaquin. Gene Rose spoke about our utmost need to "stay involved" throughout this process and in such endeavors in life. Greg Poole and Rodney Olsen spoke about the geology of the local area and how that influences our abilities to restore it. Coke and James Hallowell hosted a beautiful and delicious lunch on their property and shared how restoration efforts on their property influence Cottonwood Creek and the San Joaquin River.
The above article originally appeared in the December 2010 issue of the River Partners Journal.