March 21, 2018 – The last publicly accessible 7 miles of the Bear River is being threatened by the Centennial Dam proposal. Nevada Irrigation District hopes to erect a billion dollar dam just above Combie Reservoir to inundate the Bear River canyon all the way up to Rollins Reservoir. This will include Bear River Park and Campgrounds, numerous hiking trails, ancient oak woodlands, wildlife corridors, favorite swimming holes, indigenous cultural sites, kayak runs, flyfishing and gold panning areas and free access to day use all along the River. Numerous homes and properties are subject to eminent domain proceedings.

A large and diverse coalition of groups including, Friends of Bear River, Foothill Water Network, (American Rivers {}, American Whitewater, California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, Friends of the River, Gold Country Fly Fishers, Northern California Council Federation of Fly Fishers, Ophir Property Owners Association, Save Auburn Ravine Salmon and Steelhead, Sierra Club, South Yuba River Citizens League, and Trout Unlimited), and the Green Party of Nevada County have come together to Stand with the Bear River. We are challenging the proposal and will fight this bad idea all the way to court. This fundraiser will take us a long way toward that goal.

The Benefit Gala begins at 4:15 with an opening prayer by Wanda Batchelor, local Nisenan, followed by the Neena McNair Family Singers. Social hour from 5-6 will feature wine tasting from local wineries, and micro brews along with a no host bar. Dinner begins at 6 with a blessing by Stan Padilla, Yaqui Elder. A silent auction and raffle will be part of the festivities. Other presenters will include Mignon Geli on Native Flute and Steven Meadows poetry. Dinner will be catered by Pete and Pat Enochs, formerly of Latitudes Restaurant of Auburn. The music begins at 7:45 with Keith Greeninger followed at 9pm by The Rayos.

A stunning original painting representing the embodiment of the Living Spirit of the Bear River created by nationally acclaimed local artist Stan Padilla will be showcased and auctioned off with prints, posters and t-shirts available. Mignon Geli, Indigenous Soul broadcaster, KFOK Community Radio, will enchant diners with evocative native flute while Steven Meadows poetry will conjure up images of Buffalo and Salmon coursing up river.

The highlight of the evening will be the music of Keith Greeninger. As a solo artist, and as a founding member of the renown trio City Folk, he has toured the national Folk and Americana circuit extensively for the last two and a half decades. He’s performed at legendary venues, appeared on countless national radio shows, and shared stages with some of the country’s best-known artists including Crosby Stills and Nash, Bruce Cockburn, John Hiatt, Michael Franti, Jessie Winchester, JJ Cale, Los Lobos, and many more.

From the deep grooves of a soulful ballad to the uplifting intensity of a hard-driving anthem his rich vocal range conveys strength tempered with vulnerability, political struggle reflected in personal experience, and a deep connection to the land, community, and family.  A fourth generation Northern Californian he has traveled and lived throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Central America. His music has been deeply influenced by his work with Native American and Latin cultures, and his songs cut an honest, hard worn path to places of simple truth about good people holding on to hope and instinct in a world that often tries to strip these things away. And this is why Keith has come to support our cause.

Saul and Elena Rayo offer a blend of original world music, mixed with back-porch blues. Their unique interwoven harmonies and arrangements are both raw and refined, soulful and heady, and truly dance among the musical genres. Together, their music is both captivating and danceable. The Rayos virtuosity and variety allows them to perform as a dynamic duo or a rocking 5 piece band. Their music ranges from sultry, quiet tunes to rock-the-house dance music with a tribal beat, a Celtic bent or a Latin twist.

*Tickets are available online at Dinner is a sliding scale $50-$100, (it is a fundraiser) or $25 for concert and dancing only. Join us April 28th to Stand With the Bear River!

To donate for the silent auction or raffle contact Dianna Suarez at or William Wauters at