Tuolumne River Trust

The Tuolumne River Trust promotes the stewardship of the Tuolumne River and its tributaries to ensure a healthy watershed, from Yosemite National Park to the San Joaquin River and the San Francisco Bay-Delta. Founded in 1981, the Trust is the only organization working throughout the watershed, linking Sierra and Valley conservation issues and forging strong ties between rural mountain regions, valley regions and Bay Area urban communities. The Trust has an annual budget of more than a million dollars, 8 employees, a cadre of consultants, and offices in San Francisco, Modesto, and Sonora.    The Trust won permanent protection for 83 miles of the Tuolumne River in 1984 and defeated a proposed hydroelectric project on the Clavey River in 1994. We expanded our scope in 1995 to include the lower reaches of the Tuolumne by playing a major role in winning higher river flows for wild salmon runs and pursuing several floodplain restoration projects. In 2001, the Trust launched the Bay Area Program and convinced the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to drop plans to expand the Hetch Hetchy system that would have increased their ability to divert water from the River by as much as 50&.    Current projects include: a) on-the-ground restoration of fisheries and riparian habitat along the Tuolumne near Modesto, b) seeking Federal Wild and Scenic River designation of the Clavey River, c) leading a collaborative Clavey Watershed planning process, d) promoting sustainable alternatives to San Francisco’s ongoing efforts to divert more water from the Tuolumne, and e) building public support for watershed stewardship by connecting the public to the River through education and outreach.    By linking mountain, valley, and Bay Area conservation issues, and connecting people to the River through outings and education, the Trust is building broad support for watershed stewardship. Our strategic approach melds advocacy, education, collaboration, scientific inquiry, and litigation when necessary to address threats and take advantage of conservation and restoration opportunities.