River Rally Program

Every year, we work hard to put together a program that delivers rich content, engaging speakers, and great field trips in an open and supportive atmosphere conducive to connecting with old colleagues and making new friends.

River Rally 2017 Field Trip (c) Gail Heffner

Check out the 2018 Program Brochure for a full listing of workshops, field trips, and other programmatic highlights!

Looking for a sneak peek at the day-to-day schedule?  See this summary of the current conference agenda.

River Rally 2018 Field Trips

During the afternoon on Tuesday, May 1st, we’ll be putting away our computers and heading out to explore the beautiful Olympic Valley and beyond!  At the moment, we have spots left in the following trips(subject to availability), so add one to your registration today!

  • Wild and Scenic River Study: Identifying, Evaluating, and Protecting River Values($25)  Enjoy the western and southern shore of Lake Tahoe while learning more about the Wild and Scenic River Evaluation Process and river interpretation with visits to: Eagle Creek, with spectacular vistas of Eagle Falls, Emerald Bay and the Desolation Wilderness; Taylor Creek Visitor Center, Stream Profile and self-guided walk; and the Meiss Portal into the Upper Truckee River watershed.
  • Lake Tahoe Water Trail ($110)  The Lake Tahoe Water Trail circumnavigates the 72-mile shoreline of the largest alpine lake in North America.  Our afternoon paddle will begin at the lake’s outflow, the Truckee River. Working with Willard Sports Shop, a multi-sport shop family run for almost 40 years, our hosts will teach safe paddling skills and share stories about Lake Tahoe and the Lake Tahoe Water Trail. The Lake Tahoe Water Trail is notes for their successes with signage, a paddler water safety brochure and water safety campaign, and a user-friendly mobile map tool. As we paddle along the shore (direction will be dependent on the wind), we will talk all things water trails: accessibility, popularity, safety, successes and challenges.
  • North Fork American Whitewater Trip ($169)  The Wild & Scenic North Fork of the American River near Sacramento, CA provides an extraordinary California whitewater rafting experience. With Class IV rapids, the North Fork delivers nearly non-stop, white-knuckling whitewater, followed by a stretch of more moderate Class II-III rapids. On the trip we will discuss the history of the effort to designate the North Fork as Wild and Scenic.
  • Source to Sink: Tracing the Truckee River from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake ($45)  Follow Lake Tahoe’s waters as they flow from California’s eastern Sierra Nevada basin across the state line into the high desert of Nevada on a trip to Pyramid Lake. Stopping at key sites throughout this transboundary watershed, we’ll learn about water rights, river restoration and flood control, tribal perspectives of water development, and other important water issues.
  • Integrating River Recreation Improvements with Instream Habitat and Economic Development ($30)  The Reno Whitewater Park has revitalized a once deteriorating section of the City and become Reno’s greatest natural attraction, igniting downtown renewal efforts. This trip will expand your knowledge of instream recreational structures, river access design techniques and the associated permitting, design and construction challenges related to river and greenway projects.
  • Meadow Assessment and Restoration on the Tahoe National Forest($20)  Participants will learn about the history and current state of meadows in the Sierra Nevada and efforts to restore them — and the creeks and streams within them — to their former functional glory. Your tour guide will be the Tahoe National Forest’s resident meadow restoration expert. You will visit one meadow that is in need of restoration and one that has been restored to pristine ecosystem function over several years by a coalition of partners. On the way, you’ll inspect a road to understand how roads can impact water quality and what we can do to mitigate that damages.
  • Using R for Geospatial Mapping and Dynamic Visualization ($5)  Analyzing and mapping data is a critical step in telling a story for any project. There are many spatial/statistical tools available, however, the advent of open-source (free) software such as R and RStudio provides a powerful and flexible approach to reproducible mapping and visualization. Even better, it’s easier and more efficient because you can re-use your code, and see all the steps that took place. This workshop/field trip aims to provide an introduction into how you can use R and RStudio as excellent GIS and data visualization tools. No prior programming knowledge is required, but individuals will need a laptop computer with R & RStudio installed. We will demonstrate how to download spatial data from several sources, read in spatial data, perform spatial operations commonly used in GIS programs (intersect, clip, buffer), and finally how to plot/map that data both in a static printable map and in a dynamic leaflet map you can share or post on a website. We can also provide a short demo on how to put these into a reproducible document or report using Rmarkdown. By the end of this session, participants will have the basic skills required to work with spatial and tabular data, create static and dynamic maps, and write a short summary report of the code they used.

Questions?  Email our registration coordinator at riverrally@rivernetwork.org.

River Rally 2018 Workshops Themes

River Rally provides unique spaces in which river and water champions from across the country come together to learn from experts and one another, especially through concurrent workshops. This year’s workshop themes are:

Reconnecting to Rivers Through Restoration and Recreation – In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, we invite workshops that highlight the many ways communities and individuals are connecting rivers through recreation and taking action to protect, restore, and conserve water for people and nature. Learn more about the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act 50th anniversary, and join us for a Wild and Scenic Rivers meeting on April 29th, right before River Rally kicks off.  (Sign up to attend when you register for Rally.)

Mobilizing For Change Through Policy, Advocacy, and Civic Engagement – Workshops under this theme will focus on protecting bedrock water laws, like the Clean Water Act, highlighting innovative state and local policies, and illuminating local community-led efforts to expand a national water protection movement in times of political turmoil.

Making Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Real – Building on an evolving national conversation on diversity in the environmental movement, we invite workshops that show how to create inclusive and equitable solutions to water problems and approaches for diversifying organizations.

Expanding Impact Through Science, Technology, and Monitoring – Workshops in this track will share innovations, best practices, and success stories about scientific and technical approaches, highlighting tools and resources river and water champions can use to expand their impact on the ground and in their organization.

Sustaining Strong Leaders, Organizations and Coalitions – Workshops under this theme will offer information and skill-building opportunities on leadership and professional development, organizational and financial health, and topics in management, fundraising and communications to help nonprofit board and staff members be more effective in their river and watershed work.

Workshop Formats

90 minute sessions – will include time for presentation and interactive or group activities, as well as opportunities for audience Q&A.

25 minute sessions – fast-paced presentations on highly focused topics.

Workshop + field trip – workshop with a coordinated hands-on activity or site visit.