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Save Auburn Ravine Salmon and Steelhead (SARSAS) is an all-volunteer non-profit 501(C)3 corporation in Placer County, California whose mission is to enhance salmon and steelhead populations in Auburn Ravine with the ultimate goal of restoring them to their entire historic range within the watershed, including two parks in the center of Auburn (Ashford Park and the Auburn School Park Preserve).
When SARSAS was founded in 2007, salmon and steelhead faced many barriers as they attempted to migrate upstream from the Sacramento River. There were 7 seasonal diversion dams below Lincoln that were not consistently removed on October 15 as required by regulations, and the Nevada Irrigation District (NID) Gauging Station in Lincoln blocked migration except at very high water levels after winter storms.
SARSAS believes that the progress it is making to help salmon and steelhead thrive in Auburn Ravine will inspire other similar organizations to use the SARSAS model to enhance migration and spawning successes on other streams in California. This will produce a remarkable gift to the ecology and to people of California now and for generations to come.
Since many tributaries to the Sacramento/San Joaquin Rivers are partially, and sometimes totally, blocked by diversion dams, salmon and steelhead currently cannot spawn in them in any significant numbers. Other organizations using the SARSAS model for Auburn Ravine can open their streams to salmon and steelhead which will have significant benefits for all Californians. Unemployed commercial fishermen will be back in their boats. Sport fishing businesses will be rejuvenated. A nutritious food source will be protected. And Californians will have done something to help themselves, their children, the fish, and the environment.
SARSAS is asking all agencies (public and private), and the citizens of Placer, Sutter, and Nevada Counties to collaborate to eliminate impediments to salmon and steelhead migration in Auburn Ravine.
If salmon are saved by the people of California working cooperatively, not only will the gift to our fellow citizens be significant, but the gift to our children will be of historic magnitude and nothing less than heroic. As Norman Maclean wrote in A River Runs Through It:
"Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. ... I am haunted by waters."
- Jack Sanchez
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