Guides Get Educated at the American River RendezvousPosted June 21, 2007 by Tessa Sibbet
Seventeen of All-Outdoors’ guides spent their day off on Monday, June 11 learning about the American River watershed at the Headwaters Institute River Rendezvous. This was a great opportunity for our guides to learn about the plants, animals, people, politics, and history of the Sierra Nevada foothills. I’m admittedly a little biased because I organized the event, but I think everyone who attended the seminar would agree.
The day began with introductions from the river patrol and a detailed explanation from Julie Leimbach (Foothills Water Network) of the new FERC Relicensing on the South and Middle Fork of the American. Sue Britting (Native Plant Society) brought bags of native plants and discussed native vs. non-native species and told stories of the various plants found along the river. Many of the guides said the highlight of their day was the live animals presentation from Wild Things that included a beaver, mountain lion, rattle snake, bald eagle, and horned owl. Lunch was the perfect opportunity to engage in conversations about the topics covered and to meet guides from other companies, (and countries), and to ask the speakers questions.
Tim Palmer, the keynote speaker, did a very inspiring and beautiful slideshow after lunch about rivers, conservation, and his own personal river journey. He is a longtime river advocate, environmentalist, and a very successful photographer. Several had previously seen talks by Rich Silver on the Middle Fork Interpretive Trip, but listening to him explain his field of expertise (eco-psychology) is always a treat. He discussed the ideas of interpretation and the psychology of humans in nature. His presentation was fascinating and ended with a beautiful recording of crickets voices slowed down to sound like a Gregorian chant. We ended the day learning about Native American instruments and doing a snake dance.
Most of us headed to the Trailfest after the Rendezvous, a big community event that raises money to build the American River Trail. We danced the night away to live music from and relished in the fact that we spend our summers in such an incredible community.