Chapter 9: Dutch Bill Creek
Chapter 9 of “Our Watershed Stories,” is a journey to the coastal hills of western Sonoma County to meet Brock Dolman.
Dolman lives and works at the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, near the very top of the Dutch Bill watershed. “And Dutch Bill Creek happens to be one of the few watersheds left in the Russian River basin that has a remnant population of Coho,” adds Dolman.
The Dutch Bill Creek watershed is one place where Coho salmon are staging a comeback.
If their population lacks resiliency,” explains Dolman, “then it is really an indicator about the land use in that place.”
With Brock’s leadership, people here have come together to care for this fragile Northern California habitat. He recalls, “the community of Camp Meeker all got together to develop a plan. And all of the pre-identified fish passage barriers in this watershed have all been modified, ameliorated, or removed.
“I personally care about Coho,” explains Dolman, “because I care about people; because I care about life. Because I’m a biologist: one who studies life.
And redwood trees, and oak trees, and bunch grasses, and elk, and Coho, and turkey vultures, and humans—they’re all part of the web of life. And we, as humans, are dependent on the integrity of the web of life!”