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The Upper San Joaquin River Watershed Program

The Upper San Joaquin River Watershed Program is a CALFED-funded program actively engaged in a watershed study.  The study is being conducted by the Upper San Joaquin River Stewardship Council and volunteers within the watershed to bring together baseline data and a comprehensive program to evaluate and assess the condition of the watershed. The web-based watershed portal can be found at 

What is the Stewardship Council and why was it formed?
The Council is a voluntary community-based organization.   It is an outgrowth of the Millerton Area Watershed Coalition program operated from 2001 thru 2007.  It is managed by the Sierra Resource Conservation District of eastern Fresno County which received funding provided by the  California Department of Water Resources through the CALFED Bay-Delta Watershed Program.

Who are  the members of the Council?                                                              The Council membership includes landowners, businesses, environmental, natural resources, Tribal and other organizations from our foothill and mountain communities in eastern Madera and Fresno Counties.  It includes the participation of local, state and federal agencies — as well as research institutions as technical and policy advisors.

Why are they conducting a study or assessment of the watershed?
65 % of the water in California comes from the Sierra Nevada – for cities, farms and the environment.  The Upper San Joaquin River has some of the highest quality water in California.  28 Million people depend on water coming through the delta for drinking purposes.  The delta is highly impaired—and the San Joaquin River is also impaired further downstream.  The  Watershed Program equates to protecting higher quality water at its source.

What will happen once the study is completed?
The assessment includes the collection, analysis and synthesis of the watershed’s condition.  There will be public meetings to discuss what the issues are — and possible solutions.

What can I do to get involved?
That’s easy just come to one of our monthly meetings held the 2nd Tuesday  from 6-8 pm.  We alternate between the US Forest Service District offices in North Fork and Prather.  We are looking for as much public involvement as possible.  Your ideas, suggestions and concerns are welcome.

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