Centennial Dam Spending Must Stop

Image by Gary Moon.  Bear River just before sunset from Dog Bar bridge, Sept 2017.

Centennial Dam failed to qualify for Proposition 1 funding, thanks to our Dam Watchdogs’ efforts. But the project still is moving forward.

In fact, there are dozens of ways Centennial Dam could advance right under our noses.The Nevada Irrigation District (NID) could keep acquiring property from homeowners within the Bear River Canyon, above and beyond the $6 million already spent. It could keep spending money on permitting, planning and legal expertise. It could use a larger plan — like the Raw Water Master Plan — to justify Centennial.

Recently, the NID board of directors voted unanimously to allocate $500,000 to kick off a new “Raw Water Master Plan” (RWMP), which will dictate NID’s water management strategy for the next 50 years. This could include Centennial Dam.

Support from members like you will help us pursue this latest development. It’s critical that SYRCL and our allies have a seat at the “RWMP table,” monitor expenditures under the plan’s name, and ensure Centennial Dam isn’t introduced as a forgone conclusion.

In response to the RWMP vote, I asked NID to place a hold on all expenditures and activities related to furthering Centennial or any other water supply project on the Bear River. This includes all planning, engineering, project promotion, field work and property acquisition.

If NID truly desires public input to plan legitimately for our community’s water future, they need to stop spending money on Centennial Dam.

In short, we still need your help to sustain our policy and grassroots efforts in tracking the Centennial Dam project so that the RWMP isn’t used as its Trojan Horse.

Please help us send a message that Centennial Dam activities need to cease and desist, while we step up and claim a voice in a new 50-year water planning effort for our community.

For the Yuba and Bear Rivers,

Melinda Booth, Executive Director

P.S. We can’t let the RWMP be a smoke screen for a Centennial agenda. And we can’t let any part of Centennial Dam advance “under the radar.”  Your gift right now will help this critical work to challenge this environmentally and culturally dam, which threatens the Bear River and 2,200 acres of forest canyon.

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