Jack Sanchez: Nevada Irrigation District’s Centennial Dam will negatively impact Placer County
Many Placer County residents will definitely be negatively impacted by Nevada Irrigation District’s Centennial Dam. The reasons for not building Centennial Dam are endless.
How is NID steamrolling Placer County with Centennial Dam?
NID staff is delaying its board’s directive to remove Hemphill Dam so endangered steelhead and four runs of Chinook salmon can move six miles up Auburn Ravine to the next NID Dam Gold Hill Dam to spawn and reproduce. Staff is delaying removal by misusing a $177,000 grant of taxpayer monies from CDFW to perform studies on Auburn River which has already been done; salmon are fish on the verge of extinction.
Centennial Dam will force a new bridge to be built over Bear River to accommodate the new traffic flow, which will be seriously impacted in the Weimar and Placer Hills Road areas of Placer County because this corridor will become the route of choice for commuters between Grass Valley/Nevada City and Sacramento.
The only current recreational tourism attraction in the Colfax area of the river, Bear River Campground, will be inundated by the dam, enfeebling the area’s economy.
Many Placer residents affected by Centennial Dam cannot even vote on the NID Board elections; they must find other means to make their feeling know by letters to the editor, op-eds, and attending NID board meetings, which are held in the morning during the week so anyone who is employed cannot attend a meeting to voice opinions without taking off work.
Funds must be raised to build the new bridge in Placer County to pay for a dam residents almost universally reject and have no say in its building.
One alternative to Centennial Dam that would benefit Placer County would be the raising of any one of the four existing dams on Bear River to increase water storage.
Another alternative that would benefit Placer County residents is the removal of sediment behind the four dams.
Anyone who has studied the implications of building Centennial Dam is staggered by NID’s lack of vision, funding, team building and humanity … staggered.
Jack Sanchez lives in Auburn.
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