Friends of the Shasta River is a grassroots group that was formed in November, 2020 by a group of concerned local citizens who live, work and recreate in the Shasta River basin. Several of us are riparian property owners, some of us have worked, in various capacities, on Shasta River issues for decades.
We are a non-profit organization registered with the State of California and are currently in the process of applying for 501c3 tax exempt status.
It’s time to share
Friends of the Shasta River is supportive of improving the quantity and quality of water in the Shasta River so that salmon and other species can recover and thrive. We recognize that ranching and farming are essential to the economic vitality of Siskiyou County and very important to the livelihoods and food security of many people. We hope agriculture can be productive here long into the future.
But right now things are out of balance. Agricultural water diverters take virtually all of the Shasta River’s historical summer flows, leaving far too little for other beneficial uses—including downstream users, endangered coho salmon, other fish and wildlife, and commercial and recreational fishing. There must be a more equitable division of our precious water sources. This will require some reform of irrigation practices on large ranches in the Shasta River basin, including reductions in the amount of water that is diverted. In a river basin where, through historical mistakes, water has been over-allocated, water rights cannot be absolute. They must be balanced with other public rights and uses and the need to protect nature and endangered species. However, we believe this can be accomplished while also allowing for the continuation of Siskiyou County’s long agricultural tradition.