Rock Creek Ranch Testimonials

2016 is the second year our CAMBIO program (Climate-change Adaption and Management for Biodiversity to promote Inclusion and Opportunities) utilized Rock Creek Ranch. The location is perfect for field trips into the National Recreation Area and proximity to the Smith River is inspiring for students and faculty. The CAMBIO program was developed for Hispanic students in the fields of Forestry & Watershed Science and we’re grateful to have access to this amazing location!!

Professor Andy Stubblefield, Department of Forestry and Wildland Resource Humboldt State University (HSU)


I participated in the Teen Immersion Camp while I was in my early years at Del Norte High School. I decided to participate in the camp on a bit of a whim, and I left at the end of the week with new friends, skills (such as leadership, teamwork, and adaptability, to name a few), and an even greater appreciation for the entire Smith River and the ecosystem it supports.

That same year, and for several subsequent years, I participated in the Annual Adult Fish Count as a member of a dive team, and then as a dive team leader. Not only was this event a fun and engaging way to learn more about the fish populations of the Smith River as well as help play a role in supporting their health, but it also helped me grow both personally and professionally. Skills like being able to manage a diverse team of divers, to being able to assess and mitigate the risks of navigating the river, or even being able to manage the data obtained during the count, are all invaluable in settings such as school, work, or even life in general.

Of course, Rock Creek Ranch was central to both the Teen Immersion Camp and the Annual Adult Fish Count, and I feel that both the ranch and programs like these serve as invaluable opportunities and resources for the young people of Del Norte County.

Isaac Blundell- Aerospace Engineering, Cal Polytechnic State University


As the culminating activity for the school year, I take the sixth graders on a four day outdoor excursion with a focus on stewardship of the natural world.  We raise salmon in the classroom and immerse ourselves in study units that include the physical and biological aspects of rivers and the redwood forest.   Our interest is to be on, in, or close to the river — and Rock Creek Ranch has become our favorite destination.  It’s the perfect jumping-off point for hikes, river floats, service projects and for learning more about the natural and cultural history of the Smith River watershed.  We recently returned from our 2016 retreat and we’re already making plans for 2017!

Rebecca Leuck, Trinidad Elementary


Our Warrior Institute retreats at Rock Creek Ranch have been inspiring for participants of all ages. The spring 2015 gathering brought together Yurok, Tolowa-Dee-ni’, Karuk, and Wiyot Tribal members.  The Warrior Institute begins with the belief that the river is a lifeline of our people —- and our aim is to provide youth with the training, skills, education, and inspiration to strengthen our identity as River People.  We want to empower our youth to become traditional paddlers, fishermen, river scientists, river guides and much more — who will bring environmental justice as “river warriors.”  Rock Creek Ranch is an ideal location, both in terms of the facilities and the inspirational setting for this multidimensional training and experience program where we emphasize “traditional wisdom and modern knowledge for a changing world.

Joseph Marshall, Founder and Director of The Warrior Institute and Hoopa High School Cultural Resources and Dr. Joshua Strange, Outdoor Pathways Manager of The Warrior Institute and Sweet River Sciences


Salmonid Restoration Federation is a statewide organization that promotes restoration and recovery of wild salmon populations through education, advocacy, and collaboration. SRF produces the largest salmon restoration conference in California and the annual Coho Confab in regions that support coho salmon recovery. Rock Creek Ranch is one of our favorite destinations to host the Coho Confab —- where we bring together on-the-ground practitioners involved in watershed habitat to tour project sites and learn about innovative restoration techniques. The facilities and on-river location are ideal for learning, exploration, and community engagement. Rock Creek Ranch is a rare example of a sanctuary, salmon stronghold, and a place to gather to inspire and rejuvenate.

Dana Stolzman, Salmon Restoration Federation