New dam on the Yuba River?

Dam it, again

Activists say there were taken aback recently when a private Canadian company applied to build a hydroelectric facility downstream of the South Yuba River just outside of Nevada City.

That’s because river conservationists, who’ve worked for decades to save fish species and preserve agricultural interests on the Yuba, thought the river had a special designation that prohibited new dams or facilities.

“This application flies in the face of current conservation science and river management,” argued Gary Reedy, a river-science director with the South Yuba River Citizens League.

The company who aims to build the facility, Archon Energy, has until January 31, 2013, to submit its project to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Activists worry that there won’t be opportunity for public input.

“It’s mind-boggling, frankly,” SYRCL president John Regan stated in an email. “[We] are going to fight this project tooth and nail from the outset.”