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After the Holy Fire in 2018, the Trabuco Creek watershed in the Cleveland National Forest was heavily damaged. Over the wet winter, heavy rains washed large amounts of soil, rock and debris from the burn area downstream.

In collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service, we are proud to announce a brand new research and restoration project to assess the damage and develop restorative solutions

Our monitoring effort will attempt to answer questions such as: How was the stream was impacted by the debris flows? How did the existing stream crossings affect the debris moving downstream? With the data collected, we will create a plan for site restoration.

In order to complete this project, we need your help!

Learn more about what you would be doing and how to get involved below.

What would I be doing?

We are doing stream profiles in three areas of the creek located between the forest boundary and the Holy Jim Volunteer Fire department. As a volunteer, you would be marking survey locations, taking longitudinal and cross section measurements using survey rods and a laser level, and doing pebble counts along cross sections of the stream. The research sites are off-trail located in brush and water.

Do I need any experience?

No prior surveying experience is required though it would be helpful. Volunteers must be in good physical shape and be okay with getting dirty. There is also the possibility of typical hiking hazards such as rocks, logs, vegetation, poison oak, bugs, snakes and other wildlife. All sites have been scouted and marked to avoid mishaps.

When will you need me there?

We are still in the process of setting dates but we expect most of them to land on weekends in July and August. The work will start early at 7 a.m. to avoid the heat and may go as late as 3 p.m.

Do I need to bring anything?

You must dress in sturdy shoes, pants, long sleeves and gloves. We would also reccomend you bring a hat. You are also responsible to bring your own lunch, though water and snacks will be provided.

How do I sign up?

Email Ray Hiemstra at with your full name and email. He will add you to the list of volunteers we are gathering for this project. Once the field days become finalized, he will send you an email to check your availability.