I received this email from Sierra Watch:
The Nevada County Board of Supervisors voted today to oppose the proposed Garden Bar Dam.
After a brief public hearing, the Board authorized a letter, drafted by Board Chair Ed Scofield, clearly affirming the importance of the Garden Bar Region and opposing the dam as a threat to the County’s natural, cultural, and agricultural heritage.
“The Board of Supervisors took a stand not only for the Bear River but, also, for the oak woodlands, steep canyons, and working ranches a new dam would flood and destroy,” said Tom Mooers of Sierra Watch, who spoke in support of the letter at today’s hearing.
The letter comes in response to the South Sutter Water District’s “Preliminary Study”, funded by a consortium of water providers, some as far as 470 miles from the Bear River watershed. According to that study, urban districts would finance a 300-foot tall dam at Garden Bar Preserve, backing up Bear River water to be shipped through the Delta and end up as far away as Los Angeles County.
Joe Byrne, Vice President of the Bear Yuba Land Trust, offered a compelling presentation on the importance of Bear River Canyon, an area where the land trust has already invested public and private money to permanently protect conservation lands.
Nick Wilcox, a member of the Nevada Irrigation District Board of Directors, called the dam’s viability into question, noting the difficulty in delivering Northern Sierra water through the Delta to distant Southern California subdivisions.
No one spoke in favor of the dam.
By taking action today, Nevada County joins neighboring Placer County – the Bear River is the County line – in opposing the dam. Upstream water district NID is expected to approve its own letter of opposition tomorrow (December 14).
The project’s original funders – Castaic Lake Water Agency, Palmdale Water District, San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District, City of Napa, and City of American Canyon – will soon decide whether or not to finance more work on the proposed dam.
Mooers stated that the letter from the Nevada County Board of Supervisors adds to a growing demonstration of overwhelming opposition, sending a clear signal to the distant water districts, “Don’t waste another penny of ratepayer money on this proposal; it’s not going to happen.”