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By: South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL)

Nevada City, CA January 6, 2012 – Some Nevada County, CA residents are stepping up to very publicly shave their heads to keep the South Yuba River and Malakoff Diggins State Parks from closing.

The State’s budget issues have led to draconian cuts, and the State Parks are one of the hardest hit, but regions that have fought for their parks have seen progress towards taking them off of the closure list. The South Yuba River Citizen League (SYRCL) is spearheading this fight locally, educating the public and generating community energy to save the parks and keep them open and accessible. A petition is circulating, the goal is to send 5000 signatures to California Gerry Brown to show support for the parks and, hopefully, stem their impending closures.

Generating as many signatures as possible inspired a new movement – “S(h)ave Our Yuba State Parks.”

It started when former SYRCL Director Shawn Garvey agreed to bare his dome once the petition reached 2000 signatures, a number achieved in just a few days. Soon after, two more residents, Robert Trent and Mike Mooers, agreed to undergo the same hair-styling procedure should other benchmarks be reached.

Mooers set that benchmark at six thousand signatures. “Let’s show the state that this community needs and loves these parks. Five-thousand signatures sends a powerful message, but when we hit 6000 it gets loud.” He notes that getting buzzed is a bit of a sacrifice. “I have nice hair – definitely nicer than Garvey’s – but our parks are far more valuable than vanity.”

Adds Trent: “There’s an alignment: The Yuba is the fiber of our community, my hair is the fiber of my head. I love my community and the parks that are such a big part of it. I will proudly sacrifice my personal fibers for the greater good, and to get people to step up and sign.”

“The ‘S(h)ave the Yuba State Parks’ movement has definitely raised the stakes of personal commitment to keeping our parks open,” said Caleb Dardick, SYRCL’s Executive Director. “We surpassed our goal of 5,000 signatures in only 10 days so we raised the goal to 7,000 – maybe that will challenge a few others to put their locks on the line too.”

The heads will be publicly shaved during SYRCL’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival. Every year Wild & Scenic brings leading filmmakers, activists, social innovators, celebrities and adventurers to the largest festival of its kind in the country, and the audiences pack the small town. This year’s begins Friday, January 13th, with hair styling commencing at 5 PM in front of the Mowen-Solinsky Gallery on Broad Street. Stylists from Bel Capelli Salon will provide professional shearing services.

Garvey, who spends much time at the Yuba with his children, is putting tremendous effort into raising awareness about the closures. “The parks are so important to us. The river is our soul, and Malakoff is our history. Beyond the personal connections my family and I have to these parks is the impact closures would have on the community. Tourism would drop off, jobs would be lost, and it would be emotionally and economically devastating to Grass Valley, Nevada City and the entire area.”

Now with SYRCL’s leadership, the community is responding to the increased goal. “Anyone can sign, adults, kids, whether you live here or not,” says Garvey. “All you need is a love for the river, or Malakoff’s link to our history.”

If you are interested in signing, visit SYRCL’s website, www.yubariver.org, and click on the link for the on-line petition. Or take it up a level, download a printable petition form, and go get some signatures in person.

About the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) and the Wild & Scenic Film Festival:

SYRCL (pronounced “circle”) is the leading voice for the protection and restoration of the Yuba River and the Greater Yuba Watershed. Founded in 1983 through a rural, grassroots campaign to defend the South Yuba River from proposed hydropower dams, SYRCL has developed into a vibrant community organization with over 3,500 members and volunteers based in Nevada City, CA. SYRCL is the leading regional advocates for creating resilient human and natural communities throughout the greater Yuba River basin by restoring creeks & rivers, regenerating wild salmon populations, and inspiring & organizing people—from the Yuba’s source to the sea—to join in the movement for a more wild & scenic Yuba River. More information at www.yubariver.org,

This January 13-15th, SYRCL’s 10th Annual Wild & Scenic® Film Festival returns with another incredible selection of films to change your world.  Each year, the Wild & Scenic® Film Festival draws top filmmakers, celebrities, leading activists, social innovators and well-known world adventurers to the historic downtown of Nevada City, California. More information at http://www.wildandscenicfilmfestival.org/

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