Singing River Yacht Club

Alum Creek Truckee River Watershed Sign

ACTIVISTS: THE TRUCKEE RIVER YACHT CLUB © Bruce Bledsoe

Of the many environmental organizations active in the 1990s and 2000s, the Truckee River Yacht Club deserves notice because of its central position in all that was happening in regard to the river. Part lobbyist, part community instructor, part historian and part current-events reporter, it was important not just for itself but for the tireless and passionate efforts of its members. They were active not just in the club but as individuals in numerous movements and organizations fighting to return the Truckee to a more natural state.

Susan Lynn, who would serve as commodore for the first twelve years, recalled how the “club” came into being:

Truckee River Champion Park on Clean Up Day in fall 2004 - 3“It began from the Cheerful Women’s Breakfast Club which really didn’t meet for breakfast—only for drinks after work. Peggy Bowker and I started it from talking about whether or not one would wear a T-shirt promoting the Truckee (so mundane, but germane at the time) and whether we could develop the community’s interest in a flood-control project.

“After Peggy and I talked about it, I approached Rose [Strickland] and Dennis [Ghiglieri] about their interest. They were pleased to do something about the river. We threw names around: Mark Twain’s Reese River Steamship Company, the kayak/inner tube company. We intended serious purposes but something that would make people laugh at public meetings—hence the Truckee River Yacht Club.”

While the name soon gained recognition in the community as that of a river advocate, it proved a puzzle to the wonderfully wacky world of the Internet. Here and there, one could find it listed as a venerable yachting organization where a person could rent sailing vessels and consort with fellow yachters. It also was listed as everything from a social organization, to a business providing services for clubs, and a private company for which annual revenues and employment figures could be discovered by joining the appropriate website.

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