Cleaning Up The North Fork of the American River

In March of 2018 River Runners  discovered a trash problem on the  ‘Chamberlain Falls’ run on the North Fork of the American River near Auburn. The North Fork of the American River is normally a  pristine place so we were disturbed to see so much human impact in that river corridor. Much of the trash was most likely washed downstream from mining camps upstream of Mineral Bar Campground. River Runners organized a clean up event and put the call out to other outfitters and private boaters to join in the clean up effort by contributing additional river guides and rafts.

On Monday April 16th river guides from River RunnersAll OutdoorsMotherlode River Center and a handful of private rafters came together to spend the day wrangling sleeping bags, tarps, and tents from trees and picking up piles of pvc pipe, hoses, metal and other trash from the banks of the river. With the river flowing high at 2000 cubic feet per second, the rain coming down and the temperature at a high of 45, it was hardly a choice day for a river clean up. Spirits remained high however and every time a big piece of garbage was collected, everyone cheered. 

Much of the garbage was within the 4 miles of class IV rapids and as the trash cans filled they became quite cumbersome particularly when one raft got ‘wrapped’ in the class IV rapid ‘Bogus Thunder’. The crew worked tirelessly in the rain and cold, filling the boats before they even got to Ponderosa Bridge. Overall the clean up was a great success and River Runners is planning a follow up event to collect any trash that had to be left behind between Ponderosa Bridge and Upper Lake Clementine.


Sarah Vardaro (River Runners -Vice President)

John Kosakowsky (River Runners – President)

Andrew Kosakowsky (River Runners – Guide)

Chris Wilson (River Runners – Guide)

Ben Hernandez (Motherlode River Center – Manager)

Erica Nelson (Motherlode River Center – Guide)

Luis Escobar (All Outdoors – Guide)

Tyler Tschirgi (All Outdoors – Guide)

Aaron Root (private boater)

Jeff Wasielewski (private boater)

Emily Donaldson (private boater)

Bryan Casey (private boater)