The Bear River in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains is threatened by a new dam proposal. The proposed 275-foot Centennial Dam would flood six miles of free-flowing river that are vital to the local community. It would wipe out popular recreation sites and numerous native Nisenan village sites and burial grounds. It also would flood more than 2,000 acres of rare riparian and oak woodland habitat.
The local water agency has billed the dam as a solution to meet future water needs under climate change. Yet, the water agency hasn’t enacted best practices for water conservation and efficiency, and hasn’t involved local communities in the decision-making process for how to best meet future needs.
Using climate change to justify new big dams is a bad precedent, especially at the expense of local communities and ecosystems, and when better alternatives like water conservation are available. New dams should be the last alternative considered, not the first.
TAKE ACTION NOW: Ask the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to protect the Bear River by considering water conservation before a new dam
The Centennial Dam proposal has many potentially significant environmental impacts listed in the Notice of Intent (NOI).
Public comment letters are due on or before Monday, April 10, 2017
Since it’s always best to use your own words, please feel free to revise the form letter below. Focus your letter on what concerns you the most. Some people focus on the environmental impacts of a new dam on the land, water and wildlife. Others are very concerned about the price tag or traffic impacts and neighborhood safety. The Army Corps is particularly interested in receiving comments related to alternatives to the proposed project as well as its potential impacts on the river environment.