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COLFAX, Calif. September 25, 2018 – Raise your hand if you’ve smelled and breathed smoke in the air this summer. How about heard or seen a CAL FIRE plane flying overhead? Anyone lived in the area long enough to have started packing the car at least once because a fire was that close? Life in the Sierra Foothills means living with the ever present very real threat of wildfire, we all know this. Multiple ways in and out of an area is critical for residents needing to evacuate, and for fire personnel needing ways in.
NID wants my fire egress, and they can’t have it.
The 275 foot Centennial Dam project proposed by NID will destroy a 6 mile stretch of Bear River canyon to create another industrial bucket to supply sprawl in Lincoln. The concerns of the project are endless: river ecosystem destruction, human recreation losses, deforestation noise and dust pollution, construction issues and safety of the Meadow Vista community (Oroville anyone?), property value decreases, financial costs forced on rate payers, project creep (new bridges, new roads, new taxes?), eminent domain legal cases, community divisiveness, century old supposed water “rights” (don’t rivers belong to the commons, i.e. ALL of us?), zero representation of the Placer County side on the NID board. And, it will create dead end roads, potentially trapping hundreds of residents in a fire event. Centennial is about way more than imagined water security.
This community has an opportunity coming up to challenge the Centennial project head on by electing new NID board directors. It’s well past time to change the old guard, and question their decision making in hiring a General Manager not from the area, who from the start only wanted to get a dam building feather in his civil engineering cap. Those of you in NID districts have a unique chance to really shake things up. I hope you will dig deep to broaden your perspectives, not only for yourselves, but for those of us who live in the collateral zone of this project who currently have no vote, no voice, and very dire consequences being threatened.
It’s horrible enough that the river I can now walk to just a mile down the road will be gone forever. The Placer County side will be completely cut off from any water access at all. Miserable. I can no longer transact my “walking distance to a river” property the way it was sold to me, being forced to disclose the threats of Centennial. That’s a real time, right now hurt. Painful. But equally disastrous for myself, my family, and my neighbors is there will be no extra way out when our one way in is cut off. NID claims they have many rights. They have no right to take away anyone’s fire egress. No Dam Way.