The Bureau of Reclamation has had their sight set on raising the height of California's
Shasta Dam for years, and the agency is currently soliciting comment on a Draft Feasibility Report for their
Shasta Lake Water Resources Investigation.
The proposed project preferred by the agency would raise the dam by 18.5 feet, further inundating
the McCloud and Upper Sacramento Rivers.
The McCloud and Upper Sacramento Rivers are valued by whitewater enthusiasts throughout
California. The McCloud is one of the best intermediate level wilderness runs in the state, and
running the river is currently a rare treat due to hydroelectric operations at the McCloud-Pit
Hydroelectric Project. The Sacramento is a fun Class III/IV run that is easily accessible and has
more predictable flows. Currently, paddlers must endure a mile-long paddle in the reservoir to
make it to the take-out at McCloud Bridge Campground. The proposed dam raise would not only more
than double this paddle, but would also inundate numerous important cultural and recreational
sites. The McCloud and Sacramento Rivers are already heavily impacted by the Shasta Dam and other
projects in the area, and American Whitewater submitted comments today opposing the
project because of its recreation, environmental and economic impacts.
Read our comments
While this proposed project is being packaged as a water supply solution for a thirsty state, the
reality is that it will do little to address the core of the state's water problems. The
average annual yield of water would increase by just 7%, and this additional water would be
delivered to a small number of agricultural users south of the Delta. Meanwhile, the burden of
paying the hefty price tag for the project would be placed on the taxpayers of California and
local businesses and citizens who rely on the McCloud and Upper Sacramento Rivers remaining
healthy and free-flowing for their livelihoods. American Whitewater supports federal agencies
looking closely at alternative ways to address the root of California's water supply
problems, including addressing subsidies.
We encourage you to weigh in with the Bureau of Reclamation–comments are being
accepted through Monday, January 28th
. You can submit your comments via e-mail to