Monty Schmitt: Water for the Navarro

In this episode, we hear from Monty Schmitt, senior project director of The Nature Conservancy’s Water Program. Monty’s years of creek hopping and frog chasing in his youth led him into a career as a water resources scientist and well-known specialist in salmon ecology.  We’ll hear how his experience and expertise is translating into successful strategies for increasing flows and wild salmon populations in our California coastal watersheds. 

Monty Schmitt, Senior Project Director, The Nature Conservancy’s Water Program

Monty began his career in river reforestation projects and these experiences fostered his deep interest in river science, which in turn led him to earn his Masters of Science in Watershed Management from Humboldt State University. Then from 2000 to 2016, Monty was a water resources scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council and a key member of a team leading successful efforts to put water and salmon back into the San Joaquin River. 

Monty’s work is now focused on California’s coastal watersheds and we learn why The Nature Conservancy is prioritizing its work on the Navarro River. Salmon and steelhead are fundamental to the health of the Navarro’s watershed, but their falling numbers tell a troubling story. We’ll hear from Monty about what’s being done to reverse this unacceptable trend by developing solutions that preserve water for salmon and people. Plans are in place to take proven strategies that work for the Navarro and implement them in other river systems as well. 

Our episode concludes by taking a road trip with the Schmitt family to waterways in the Pacific Northwest and we’ll gain a little insight into the ripple effect of river lovers. 

We’re excited to bring Monty’s story to you and discover the Navarro River. To learn more about his work, go to The Nature Conservancy’s website and see their feature story on “Protecting Salmon and Steelhead in the Navarro River.”

Visit RiverSpeak Podcast for photographs and other news and information related to our episodes.

All rivers have stories that ripple.  

I’m Dave Koehler. Be well, and do good work.

Julie Rentner: Bringing Life Back to Rivers

Photo: Dos Rios, reforestation at the confluence of San Joaquin and Tuolumne Rivers, courtesy of River Partners

In this episode, we hear the story of Julie Rentner, president of River Partners and discover her work of bringing life back to rivers in California. Through projects like Three Amigos on the San Joaquin River, we’ll hear how her work with rivers’ natural systems is restoring floodplains and regenerating riparian forests.

Julie Rentner, President, River Partners

Julie’s story starts in the forest along Marsh Creek on Mount Diablo and evolves into leading fundamental redesign of California’s approach to water management.  Her passion for forests early in life set her on a pathway to groundbreaking large-scale wildlife habitat restoration. 

We’ll step inside her approach and learn the details of uniting cutting-edge science and agricultural practices to undertake massive restoration projects in a way that nourishes ecosystems and communities of California. Riparian forests are powerful protection at the front lines of climate change. 

Intrinsic to Julie’s nature, and to the culture of River Partners, is to do this work alongside a wide-range of interests and organizations. She exemplifies collaboration and puts the word “partner” in River Partners. 

We’re excited to bring Julie’s story to you, discover some of the rivers she works on and share her trips to forests, pick-up rides and swimming holes. To learn more about her work and organization, including photographs, videos and news clips, please check out River Partners website.