"Will Evans is a dynamic force for environmental protection and scientific study. As President of CLERC, he has facilitated the acquisition of a $1M grant from the State of California to assist in wildfire resistance and recovery. He has played a prominent role in the work to protect and restore the unique Clear Lake Hitch, an endangered native fish of Clear Lake, working on the prevention of the invasion of quagga mussels into the lake, and established an organization, CLERC, to carry out and increase the amount of scientific research being conducted on Clear Lake and using the research as a way to promote economic development for the local community.
Will has worked with the Middle Creek Restoration Coalition and in cooperation with Assembly Member, Cecilia Aguiar-Curry who was instrumental in securing $15M to complete property purchases for the Middle Creek Flood Damage Reduction and Ecosystem Restoration Project. This project will eventually create 1600 acres of restored wetlands on the north end of Clear Lake that will serve to filter out nutrients that encourage algae growth in the lake. The project will also created unlimited recreation opportunities for the county's growing eco-tourism efforts.
Will works with the Lake County Resource Conservation District (RCD) and other organizations county-wide to assure that Lake County and Clear Lake sustain their environmental and habitat values while at the same time improving the economy of Lake County. In his fire resilience and restoration efforts, he balances the need to provide safe and secure living spaces with the value of the county's unique habitat. Will is an important environmental leader and worker in Lake County and deserves to be honored for his efforts. He is truly an asset to Lake County's environmental community."
Check out the full Stars of Lake County award ceremony below:
In case you missed it - Frank Aebly and Hinda Darner of the Upper Lake Ranger District of the Mendocino National Forest discuss the impacts from the 2018 Ranch Fire and the efforts to restore the landscape.
By: Laurel Bard, CivicSpark Fellow
The sun was already setting behind Mt Konocti and the Black Forest was deep in shadow by the time I started the climb. There was no official trail, but someone had left hints: cairns stacked atop decomposing douglas fir logs, or balanced precariously on huge boulders; and, best of all, a sturdy branch carved on one end into the perfect walking stick. I have a habit of following social trails, but this one was particularly steep, and the rocky dirt under my feet meant that for every two steps I took, I slid back one. Whenever I was about to give up, turn back – surely only deer had gone farther than this, any person would have stopped by now – I would see another cairn, another sign that my determination wasn’t unique. I kept on.
I was trying to reach something that I’d seen from the ground: a tall bluff of exposed rock on the side of Mt. Konocti, which juts out into the Black Forest like the figurehead of a ship. I have a condition called being a climber, and it means that when I see rock, I must touch it. And that was some big rock. The only trouble: as soon as I entered the Black Forest, that bluff disappeared. The trees stood so thick that when I looked behind me as I climbed, I couldn’t see Clear Lake, despite the severity of the slope and how close the Black Forest is to the lakeshore. Forget seeing above me to the bluff – I had no hope of that at all. I just had to imagine that whoever set the cairns was also interested in getting to where I was going.
The Clear Lake Environmental Research Center (CLERC) is a nonprofit organization in northern CA with a mission to bring permanent science to Clear Lake, the largest freshwater lake in CA and oldest lake in the Americas. On our way to complete our mission we are creating an accredited environmental laboratory for wastewater and drinking water. After a short time, it became clear there was no forum for the professionals working in laboratories and so we formed the California Society of Environmental Analysts (CSEA).
CLERC Executive Director Provides Update at the Sierra Club Lake Group Community Meeting - November 19, 2020
The CivicSpark program is an Americorps program designed to help build capacity in local governments in an effort to increase resiliency in the face of climate change. CLERC is sponsoring the Fellow for 1 year to help the Lake County Community Risk Reduction Authority and Lake County Resource Conservation District increase fire resilience capacity. The Fellow and CLERC will be completing a GIS-based prioritization plan for fuel reduction projects, which will help streamline completion of projects listed in the Community Wildfire Protection Plan.
On March 11, 2020, CAL FIRE announced that it was awarding $3M to CLERC and a group of partners to complete the Lake County Hazardous Fuel Reduction Project Phase 1. The project includes:
The latest news, views, and perspectives from the Clear Lake Environmental Research Center (CLERC)