Grass Valley June 7, 2017 – Along with delivering a dependable, quality water supply, NID is dedicated to its mission of providing stewardship of the watersheds and the District is continually enhancing programs and developing partnerships to support this primary purpose. The following are highlights of some of NID’s significant activities to enhance our area and benefit our community.
Hemphill Diversion: NID is working with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to finalize a recent Proposition 1 Grant Award to continue ongoing site evaluation at the Hemphill Diversion on Auburn Ravine. The purpose of the evaluation is to address the instream partial impediment for migratory fish. The Hemphill site is six miles upstream of a fish passage improvement project NID completed two years ago on Auburn Ravine, near the City of Lincoln. Project partners also include the California Department of Water Resources and Friends of Auburn Ravine.
Forestry: NID’s ongoing efforts to reduce fire risk by thinning the understory on forested lands and implement watershed management best practices are focused on mid-elevation areas in need of active forestry. This project, funded by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, has included the California Conservation Corps and local partners in treating over 80 acres on the south shore of Scotts Flat Reservoir. On the opposite side of the reservoir, NID has initiated a hazard tree removal project in the campground areas that have been impacted by recent drought conditions and pine beetles. These projects advance NID’s efforts to implement a cross-canyon fuel break that would have significant benefits in the case of wildfire or evacuation.
Aquatic Invasive Species: In partnership with the California Division of Boating and Waterways (CDBW) and CDFW, NID is developing an Aquatic Invasive Species Program. According to the CDBW, Quagga and Zebra Mussels pose a serious threat to state waters and fisheries and the spread of these mussels threatens aquatic ecosystems, water delivery systems, hydroelectric facilities, agriculture, and recreation. In the past, public education was used to inform boaters about risks and exposure routes for these aquatic invasive species. This year, these efforts are being expanded to include water chemistry monitoring, visual surveys, boat inspections, and the development of a Quagga and Zebra Mussel Prevention and Monitoring Plan.
Meadow Improvements: NID is evaluating the first year of baseline data collection at English Meadow. This important project began last year in collaboration with the United States Forest Service, California State University, and Plumas Corporation. Baseline data was collected to characterize and map the meadow, Middle Yuba River, slope wetland communities, and existing groundwater levels. Continued surveying and documenting of existing conditions will allow NID to develop a conceptual project for improving the hydrologic functionality of this system. The English Meadow project involves some of the leading scientists in this field of study.
CABY: NID continues to work with our partners in the Cosumnes, American, Bear, Yuba (CABY) Integrated Regional Water Management Group to address water resource management and environmental issues. CABY meets regularly to consider priority issues, projects and funding opportunities that exist to support local and regional efforts to improve water management, climate change, natural resource needs in Disadvantaged Communities, forestry, fisheries, and general stewardship of these critical headwaters river systems. This year CABY is focused on updating the Governance and Climate Change Chapters of the Integrated Regional Water Management Plan that the collective has previously written. More information is available at www.cabyregion.org.
These programs and projects support NID’s commitment to active watershed stewardship and expanding local, regional and stakeholder partnerships. NID is providing watershed management programs that support our environment, sustain our natural resources, and provide watershed information to benefit our community. NID appreciates our partnerships in these watershed enhancement programs.