The public is invited to join key stakeholders to share ideas and concerns

ATASCADERO — The “upside-down river,” as the Salinas is known, will be the focus of a one-day gathering at the Atascadero Library on Friday, May 5, of key policymakers, scientists, and educators. 

Speakers from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, County of San Luis Obispo, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Creek Lands Conservation, CSU Monterey Bay, and the Central Coast Wetlands Group will address a variety of subjects on fire prevention, water law and ecological sustainability, adaptive management, and watershed coordination. Senator John Laird will provide closing remarks on managing the Salinas River in a changing climate.

The symposium is a follow-up to the 2016 symposium that saw the creation of a working group focusing on exploring the possibility of a watershed-wide management program for the Salinas River. Following that effort, the Upper Salinas-Las Tablas Resource Conservation District received a large grant from Biodiversity First to fund a two-year study of the Salinas. 


“Creek Lands Conservation performed the study for the RCD, and we are excited to have them present the results of that study at the symposium,” said Stacey Hunt, CEO of Ecologistics, Inc. The study was completed in 2019, but the pandemic delayed the presentation of the results.

Ecologistics has been bringing attention to Salinas River issues since its Central Coast Bioneers Conference in 2011 and has goals of creating an oral history of the river and establishing a river center near the headwaters in San Luis Obispo County.

The public is welcome to attend the event, which will begin at 9 a.m. on Friday, May 5, at the Atascadero Library, 6555 Capistrano Ave., and conclude at 3 p.m. For more information and to reserve your seat, go to or call (805) 548-0597. The conference is sponsored by Biodiversity First.