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The first module of our three-part Advocacy & Water Protection in Native California training and certificate program will examine the fundamentals of water policy and law at the state and federal level with a focus on tribal nations. This installment will also provide critical updates on key policy initiatives in three watersheds including the Klamath River, the Eel River, and the Sacramento River.

June 5th, Understanding Water Policy, Law and Tribal Sovereignty


  1.  Dr. Cutcha Risling Baldy - HSU Native American Studies

  2. Regina Chichizola - Save California Salmon

This CORE Course is focused on the basics of water policy and law and how public policy works in California. The course discusses environmental law like NEPA & CEQA, current litigations and state water laws. We will also discuss how to advocate through public policy on the national and state level, community organizing, and how policy applies to Tribes. The course will include best practices for working with tribes and an introduction to case studies like Klamath dams FERC process. 

Course Documents

Understanding Water Policy, Law and Tribal Sovereignty, Dr Cutcha Risling Baldy 

Understanding California Law and Policy, Regina Chichizola

June 12th, State of the Salmon and Water Wars on the Klamath River 

Moderator: Regina Chichizola - Save California Salmon



  1. Micheal Belchik - Yurok Tribal Fisheries Program

  2. Tom Stokely - Save California Salmon, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Association

  3. Ka’ila Farrell-Smith - Klamath Tribal member, Rouge Climate, Signal Fire​​

The Klamath River watershed is home to California’s three largest Tribes all who still depend on it for food and ceremonies. The Klamath river is also relied on as part of the economies of California and Oregon as it is important for commercial fishing in both states. The Klamath River is also the center of one of the most contentious water wars in United States history due to diversions that are part of the Klamath Irrigation Project. The Klamath river’s largest tributary is the Trinity River which is being threatened by ongoing issues with the Central Valley water project. As the once plentiful Klamath salmon quickly decline and drought grips California, Tribes are fighting to protect the Klamath and Trinity River salmon from multiple new dams, pipelines and diversions, and to restore the Klamath River through what will be the world’s largest dam removal project.

Course Documents:

The Klamath Basin is a Complicated Watershed and Story - Regina Chichizola

Klamath River Basin Restoration, State of the Salmon

-Micheal Belchik

Threats to the Trinity River

- Tom Stokely

Understanding California Law and Policy, Regina Chichizola

June 19th, Trump Water Plan to the Shasta Dam Raise: The Fight for Sacramento River/Bay Delta Salmon

Moderator: Regina Chichizola - Save California Salmon



  1. Caleen Sisk - Winnemem Wintu Tribe

  2. Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla - Restore the Delta

  3. Morning Star Gali - Save California Salmon  

“Fish versus Farmers” is often the headline when the California Water wars are in the papers, but what about the Tribes that have depended on the fisheries of the Bay Delta and Sacramento River system for time immemorial? Many of these Tribes now live above the many dams on the Bay Delta watersheds and are fighting to restore their salmon.  This panel will discuss the movement to Bring the Salmon home to the Winnemem Wintu and Pit River Tribes above the Shasta Dam, along with threats to the fisheries in California’s most over appropriated watershed from the Shasta Dam Raise Trump Water Plan, Delta Tunnel and Sites Reservoir.

Course Documents:

Introduction - Regina Chichizola

Who Are We - Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla

June 26th, Bringing Salmon Home: Eel River Dam Removal

Moderator: Dr. Cutcha Risling Baldy - HSU Native American Studies


  1. Hilanea Wilkinson - Wiyot Tribal Member

  2. Scott Greacen - Conservation Director Friends of the Eel River

The Eel River is the third largest watershed in California. It is home to the Round Valley and Wiyot Tribes along with the Sherwood Valley and Bear River Rancheria. It is also a river where Tribes and fishermen have not been able to fish for salmon for decades due to dwindling salmon populations due to dams and diversions to wine grape vineyards on the Russian River.  This has led to food insecurity in one of California’s most remote watersheds. This panel will discuss efforts to take down the Eel River dams and to reduce the diversions to the Potter Valley Irrigation project on the Russian River. It will also touch on the needs to control diversions for marijuana to restore flows for salmon and efforts to return land to Tribes in Northern California.

Course Documents:

Bringing Salmon Home - Hilanea Wilkinson

Eel River Dam Removal - Scott Greacen

Module 1: The State of California Salmon

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