The Feather River is the primary tributary to the Sacramento, California’s longest river, and produces roughly 10% of the state’s hydroelectric power.
The North Fork of the Feather River alone supplies approximately 60% of Lake Oroville’s water. Oroville is the principal water storage structure for State Water Project water that flows to irrigate farms in the Central Valley, quench thirsty population centers in Southern California, and provide environmental flows for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Closer to home, the waters of the Upper Feather River watershed serve as a critical water resource, from hydroelectric power generation along the North Fork, to the Wild and Scenic recreational value of the Middle Fork, to irrigation usage on the East Branch, water is critical to enabling residents to maintain the quality of life they currently enjoy.
The Sierra Institute has facilitated a watershed group in the Lake Almanor watershed since 2005. The group was originally established as an official advisory body to the Plumas County Board of Supervisors. In this capacity, the group worked closely with existing organizations to address water quality, land use, and critical habitat issues and to provide recommendations to the Board of Supervisors for action. In 2013, the group decided to take on a new, more active role in addressing issues and ended their official tie to the county. Read more.
Lake Almanor is an important tourism attraction and ecological piece in the Upper Feather River watershed. The Lake Almanor Watershed Group has successfully raised funds to continue water quality monitoring of this important water resources. This work continues to inform decision-making by providing a clearer picture of the health of the lake. Read more about this work.