top of page

The Scott River Water Trust is the first active water trust in California and is a community-supported organization that operates with the cooperation of local farmers, ranchers, agencies, and businesses.  Our purpose is to improve stream flow in priority fish habitat reaches of the Scott River and its tributaries through the development of voluntary long-term and permanent water dedications with agricultural producers.  





Located in the middle of the Klamath River Basin, the Scott River watershed supports both family farms and annual runs of Chinook salmon, coho salmon and steelhead trout.  Known as the primary producer of coho salmon in California and large portions of Oregon, the Scott is key to the long-term survival of this threatened species.  The watershed encompasses 814 square miles, ranges from 1,600 ft. to 8,500 ft. in elevation, and is 58 miles long.  The Scott Valley floor consists of 33,000 production acres, which are primarily used to grow hay, grain and livestock, and water use is approximately 50% surface diversion and 50% groundwater pumping.  Scott Valley is a community of about 6,500 people and includes the cities of Etna and Fort Jones, and the towns of Greenview and Callahan.

Clink on the link below to see the location of the Scott River within the greater Klamath Basin.  

Watershed Map


SRWT Board Members & Staff

Preston Harris - Executive Director

For the past six years, Preston has worked to advance the mission of the Scott River Water Trust to include the development and implementation of long-term and permanent water dedications. With a thorough understanding of the watershed, Preston has been fundamental in building new programs aimed at addressing the Scott River Basin’s most difficult issues, such as permanent flow improvements and groundwater advancements. Preston also works as a contracted natural resource specialist and offers over 12 years of experience in Scott River restoration and project coordination, focusing on in-stream habitat enhancement, riparian enhancement, TMDL restoration and groundwater studies. He is the former Chair of the Scott Valley Groundwater Advisory Committee and a past owner of Scarface Cattle Company. When he is not working, Preston is furthering his education in Natural Resources and enjoying time with his wife and three daughters. He received a B.S. in Biocultural Anthropology from Oregon State University in 2004. 

Dave Krell - Acting President

Dave has been a resident of Scott Valley for 36 years, and during that time he produced hay and grain, and pursued other business interests in Scott Valley. A long time Siskiyou County Farm Bureau member, he has served ten years on the Water Trust Board including two years as president, and he served a four-year term on the Siskiyou Resource Conservation District Board. Prior to moving to Scott Valley he was employed as a mechanical engineer. 

Brad Erickson - Board Member

Brad was born in Solvang, California, raised in Morro Bay, and graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 1976 with a degree in Biology (specializing in Wildlife Management). He came to Scott Valley in 1979 to work on a ranch and fell in love with the area. Buying a local farm in 1988, Brad married the following year and has “been poor but happy ever since.” He enjoys making hay, working with horses, hunting, and fishing. Brad became a Board Member of the Scott River Water Trust in 2009. 

Peter Yolles - Board Member

Mr. Yolles is co-founder and CEO of WaterSmart, a water conservation software company in San Francisco. He previously was the owner and sole proprietor of Water Insight, a consulting company for businesses, government agencies and NGOs about water use, river restoration and water's relationship with energy consumption and climate impacts. He also continues to advise on water rights and water transfers. Peter Yolles was also Director of Water Resource Protection for The Nature Conservancy. Previously, Mr. Yolles was vice president of Western Water Company where he negotiated water sales and transfers, including completing a 7,000 acre-foot water transfer approved by the State Water Resources Control Board. From 1997 to 1999, he worked for GE Capital analyzing water, energy and timber transactions. He holds a B.A. degree in political science from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and received an M.B.A. degree in finance and a Master's of Environmental Studies in Water Science, Policy and Management from Yale University. Peter was President of the Water Trust Board from 2009 to 2012. 

Ric Costales - Board Member

Originally from the “flatlands” of the San Francisco Bay Area, Ric and his wife Judy moved to Scott Valley in the earliest stages of the socio-political phenomenon then known as the “Back-to-the-land Movement.” Nearly a half-century of homesteading, raising a family and earning a living to support it all in a natural resources-dependent region has given them both a profound love and respect for the earth and the people who harvest its bounty. Primarily working in the woods as a timber faller for 30 years, Ric has also worked the off-seasons at farming and ranching as well as a couple seasons in a commercial herring fishery in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Realizing that the liberty that rural life inspires demands more than simply working hard and responsibly on the land, Ric became involved in the contentious world of natural resource policy. Beginning with the premise that all politics is local and that workable compromises can be achieved at that level, Ric became involved in a number of organizations and efforts. Among the first was the Scott River Watershed Council, where he soon became chairman and helped nurse the Scott River Plan to fruition. After several years experience in natural resource policy, the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors hired Ric as the County’s Natural Resource Policy Specialist to advise and represent the Board on the vast array of issues affecting a struggling natural resource-dependent county. After 8 years in that position, Ric retired to join Judy on their homestead to catch up on his end of the deferred maintenance and repair. Not abandoning the necessity of personal civic involvement in the natural resource issues dear to his heart, Ric will still find time for exceptionally effective and worthwhile endeavors such as the Scott River Water Trust. 

Tom Menne - Board Member

Tom was born and raised in Scott Valley and is a third generation hay producer. He and his brother own and operate over 2,000 acres of alfalfa in the basin and are at the forefront of advancements in the areas of irrigation efficiently through technological improvements, crop yield and fertilizer application. Tom is also at the forefront of groundwater research in the basin and is the primary coordinator for groundwater studies and associated implementation. He chairs the Scott Valley Groundwater Advisory Committee to Siskiyou County, of which he has been a board member since 2011, and is also a board member for the Scott Valley Irrigation District.

Please reload

bottom of page