SYRCL’s Coalition “works the FERC process” to restore local creeks and rivers

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Spaulding Dam on the South Yuba River

SYRCL and a coalition of conservation groups recently filed three documents with the federal government commenting on the terms and conditions to be set in new licenses for hydropower projects that affect the Middle Yuba, South Yuba, Bear River and numerous tributaries. The documents were submitted by the Foothills Water Network (of which SYRCL is a member) to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  The documents, totaling nearly 200 pages, are available for download at SYRCL’s Dam Licensing page. They pertain to the Yuba-Bear and Drum-Spaulding projects—operated by the Nevada Irrigation District and PG&E, respectively – that are pursuing the new licenses concurrently due to their physical interconnectedness.  In addition to diverting the majority of natural flow from the Middle Yuba River, South Yuba River, and six upper Yuba tributaries, these projects have profound effects on the Bear River and numerous streams of Placer County where diverted Yuba River water ends up.

Current licenses for the Yuba-Bear and Drum-Spaulding projects expire in April 2013, but a variety of environmental concerns will delay the resolution of new license terms. SYRCL and its partners have been working tirelessly to ensure that the new licenses will restore streams in the Yuba River watershed, while protecting water supply and adequate in-stream flows in the creeks of Placer County, including those that have become important habitat for salmon and steelhead. These recent documents filed by Foothills Water Network are just the latest in ongoing work to restore these rivers and creeks.

To learn more about the FERC process, and related efforts to protect and restore rivers and creeks in our watershed, go to the Dam Licensing webpage.  SYRCL thanks all its members, supporters and partners, including the California Hydropower Reform Coalition, for enabling us to excel in this demanding work.

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