Fly-Over Film

THE FILM: Aerial Views & History of the Deer Creek Watershed; Journey from Headwaters to the Confluence


In this 30-minute documentary, narrated by Lisa Redfern, you’ll explore Nevada County’s Deer Creek history and geography from the air and water. With Cessna fly-over, drone, satellite, ground, and underwater footage, you’ll follow the watershed from its headwaters near Skillman Horse Camp to Scotts Flat Reservoir, over spectacular waterfalls (on PRIVATE property), and Lake Wildwood to the Black Swan Preserve where Deer Creek flows into the Yuba River.

The film follows slickens debris into Marysville where the conflict between mountaineers and farmers established far-reaching property use laws. Along the entire 34-mile trip, you’ll see vignettes of plants and animals who make their home in the Deer Creek watershed.

Toxic mining legacy issues, as well as harmful algal blooms and steps for practicing healthy watershed awareness, are included.

Deer Creek is located in Nevada County, California between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe.

From the Film

Watershed Definition 

  1. an area or ridge of land that separates waters flowing to different rivers, basins, or seas.
  2. an event or period marking a turning point in a course of action or state of affairs.    – Oxford Dictionary

PDF Print-out of Overview, Watershed Definition, Key Areas of Mercury Concern & What Can I do About Abandoned Mine Lands (AMLs)?

Animals & Plants (+ articles) in order of appearance in the film

California Oaks – Foundation Habitat Species
Columbia Black-tailed Deer – Crepuscular Cud Chewer 
Four-Eyed Banana Slug Wields Six-Fold Slime
Woodpeckers – Drumming Hoarders
Happy Cavity Nesting Families – Western Bluebird
California Quail – Happy Under Cover
Hummingbird – High-Speed Nectar Sipper
‘Oh’possum, a Tick Eating, Fear Fainting Marsupial
Mountain Lion – Fragmented Power Pouncer
Crayfish – Aquatic Groundskeepers
Ghost (Grey) Pine – Produces Nuts in Harsh Growing Conditions
Great Horned Owl – Owls of Nevada County
Western Fence Lizard – Three-eyed Push-Up Tyrant with Break-Away Body Parts
Yerba Santa – Fire Follower & Phlegm Fighter
Native Plants for Healing the Land after Fire
Tail Flashing Cache Faker – Western Gray Squirrel
Western Toad – Zot Drought Survivor
Raccoon – Puzzler & Mastermind
Mountain Pine Beetle  – Miniscule Mountain Beetle Turning Forests Red
North American Beaver – Water Banker
Fire Dot Lichen – Lichen: Exploring Microecosystems in Your Backyard
Bald Eagle – Symbolic Feet Fighting Food Thief
Western Redbud – Native Plants for Healing the Land after Fire
Sierran Tree Frog with Chemical Sensitivities
California Buckeye – A Stunning Native
Sierra Newt – Powerful Water Drive & Deadly Skin


Freeway Debates & Historic Preservation 1950′ – 1970’s

PDF Print-out of Articles & Links

Key Areas of Mercury Concern

 – direct exposure
 – bioaccumulation in the food chain
 – consumption of contaminated fish
 – improper handling of contaminated sediments
 – understanding how mercury moves downstream

The Sierra Fund – Get the Mercury Out Campaign

What can I do About Abandoned Mine Lands (AMLs)?

The Sierra Fund

Mines- above Nevada City – listed with the USGS & Forest Service as of 2018

PDF Print-out of Overview, Watershed Definition, Key Areas of Mercury Concern & What Can I do About Abandoned Mine Lands (AMLs)?

Action Steps to Practice Watershed Awareness

  • Drive less
  • Conserve water and electricity
  • Use phosphate-free soaps & detergents
  • Become a water monitor volunteer
  • Plant and nurture native plants
  • Help eradicate invasive plant species
  • Properly maintain your septic system
  • Support open land preservation
  • Insist on green building & remodeling
  • Support dense up-zoning building code with walkable neighborhoods
  • Keep waterfronts, farmland, and storm drain runoffs clear of animal waste, pesticides, fertilizers, and automotive spills

Bonus – Not included in the film. Think about plastic. In your car, tarps that cover piles, children’s play equipment, Tupperware, in synthetic clothing, etc. Sun and heat break it down. Sitting outside and running them through appliances creates micro threads and particles that go everywhere. Are there ways to reduce or alter plastic use in your life?

PDF Print-out of Watershed Awareness Action Steps, Film Quotes & Additional Resource Links

Quotes that Didn’t Make the Cut

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.” —Mahatma Ghandi

“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.” —Albert Einstein

“The Earth is a fine place and worth fighting for.” — Ernest Hemingway

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.” —Jane Goodall

Additional Resources

For many more conservation, science, and environmental organization pointers and links visit the Resources page and the bottom of blog post pages.

Click here for Questions & Answers about Film Production & the Evolution of the Following Deer Creek Project.

PDF Print-out of Watershed Awareness Action Steps, Film Quotes & Additional Resource Links

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