The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has released the whitewater park feasibility study on the Feather River in Oroville California. Included in the study was Phase I and Phase II, the study is part of the settlement agreement signed in 2006. Developing a whitewater park in Oroville was an idea first suggest by American Whitewater as a means of mitigating the lost whitewater opportunities that were flooded when lake Oroville was created. Although the settlement agreement did not require DWR construct a whitewater park it did require DWR to commission a $250,000 study to determine the feasibility of building a whitewater park one of at several potential sites in the Oroville area. DWR also insisted that the study include the study of other non-park alternatives, however, it was never totally clear what these non-park alternatives would be. The non-park alternatives are also discussed in the study.
Phase I of this study was released in February of 2009 and presented to the Supplemental Benefits Fund Committee. The Supplemental Benefits Fund was also a part of the Settlement Agreement and designed to fund community recreation and enhancement projects with a nexus to the Feather River. Much of Phase I focused on describing existing whitewater boating opportunity in Northern California and Nevada. It also gave a description of the existing whitewater parks in the U.S. and around the World. A sub committee was formed at the request of American Whitewater and several other committee members to evaluate the potential sites in the Oroville area and to provide direction for the consultants on Phase II of the report. This subcommittee met several times between April and June of 2009. In July 2009, the subcommittee presented their recommendations for site selections and detailed specific questions that needed to be answered about each site.
American Whitewater is in the process of reviewing the whitewater study and will be providing comments to DWR. A meeting has been scheduled for Thursday February 4th at 2:00 PM in the Oroville City Council Chambers to discuss the Study and comments. If you are interested in downloading the study, it is available at the City of Oroville’s Supplemental Benefits Fund web page.
Supplemental Benefits Fund Meeting
February 4th 2:00 PM
City of Oroville Council Chambers
1735 Montgomery street
Oroville, CA 95965