Yuba River Waterkeeper


Melinda Booth
[email protected]
(530) 265-5961

The Yuba River Watershed stems from the west slope of the Sierra Nevada at Donner Pass to the Feather River near Yuba City.Most of the Yuba River’s flow comes from its three main tributaries: North Yuba, Middle Yuba, and South Yuba Rivers. TheYuba River Watershed includes a diverse array of environments and conditions— from snow-covered subalpine zones near the Sierra crest to dry oak woodlands in the lower watershed. Compared to other Sierra Nevada watersheds, the Yuba has been rated in “fair” to “poor” condition based on native fish populations despite having one of the most important wild steelhead fisheries in the Central Valley. 

After six years working for SYRCL as the Director for the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Melinda was promoted to Executive Director and is currently the acting Waterkeeper.  Melinda brings more than 16 years of experience in environmental conservation and advocacy to her new position. Before joining SYRCL, she focused her career on saving iconic species like bears, wolves, and salmon in the American West.  At Defenders of Wildlife, she led campaigns to keep bears alive and wild in the Tahoe basin and helped on the reintroduction of the California Condor back into the wild. As Development Manager at the California Wolf Center, Melinda led education, conservation and research on the North American gray wolf, and specifically the reintroduction of Mexican gray wolves to the Southwest. Her passion for wildlife drew her next to the Sequoia Park Zoo Foundation where she served as Development Director, securing millions of dollars for their red panda habitat and an award-winning Native Predator exhibit featuring river otter, bald eagle, and salmon.Melinda holds a M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana, where she studied human-bear interactions in the wildland urban interface. Her publications span scientific journals, periodicals, and books. On a personal note, the Yuba River is central to Melinda’s everyday life.  She and her husband purchased land overlooking the South Yuba. Not only is she professionally motivated to protect and restore the Yuba River watershed, she is personally invested as a Yuba River homeowner to do all she can as well.


313 Railroad Ave. #101
Nevada City, California 95959