Upper Merced River Watershed Council


                                                Stewardship Programs


The Merced River Trail

The Merced River Trail is a joint project of the UMRWCl, the Mariposa County Planning Department, the Bureau of Land Management and Merced Irrigation District as Part of their Federal Energy Regulation Commission relicensing agreement. The goal of the Merced River Trail project is to provide new recreational opportunities along the Merced Wild and Scenic River and in the spectacular Merced River canyon and open public access to some of the more remote and hard to reach areas of the river.  Read more about this project here.


Water Quality Monitoring 

This is a citizen science program administered by the UMRWC which allows community members to engage in scientific research efforts by collecting data and performing field procedures. We currently monitor four locations on the Upper Merced River.


Great America River Clean-up

Each September, local volunteers meet at Briceburg Recreation Area to pick up trash and remove graffiti along the Merced River. Each year participants remove over 2,000 pounds of trash and recyclable material from the Merced River. The Great Sierra River Clean Up is about much more than picking up trash, however. It’s a day for Sierra communities – and those from all over California – to demonstrate their desire for clean water and healthy rivers.  This project is a joint effort of the Sierra Foothill Convervancy and the Bureau of Land Management.


The UMRWC Offers Two Scholarship Programs

UMRWC offers a limited number of scholarships provided by the Dr. George Chynoweth Fund. These scholarships are provided to individuals who attend the California Naturalist program at UC Merced. This “citizen science” education program is sponsored by the UC Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Preserve, the Merced County UC Cooperative Extension Office, and the Upper Merced River Watershed Council.

UMRWC provides an annual scholarship to a deserving Mariposa High School student who will be attending college with a major in the sciences.

Past Projects 

Friends of Bear Creek-Midpines 

Friends of Bear Creek-Midpines (FBCM) is a grassroots group which formed in early 2012 to explore the idea of a multi-use recreational trail along the Bear Creak. The group is involved in a variety of projects, including improving and providing accessibility to Midpines Park.


Bullfrog Blitz 

In partnership with Yosemite National Park, local volunteers assist in bullfrog surveys along the Merced River each year. These surveys help establish baseline population information on the invasive species and will assist in devising a plan for future eradication.

Hite's Cove Trail Work

The now associated  Mariposa Trails organization is committed to maintaining and preserving the Hite's Cove Trail along the Wild and Scenic South Fork of the Merced River. The trail extends from Savage’s Trading Post off of Highway 140 to Wawona in Yosemite and is very popular in the spring when the wildflowers bloom.  Read more about this project here.