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Rock Creek Access On NF Feather River Opened at Last! (CA)

Posted: 06/14/2017
by Megan Hooker

The Rock Creek Bench river access site on the North Fork Feather River officially opened on June 13th, 2017 during a ribbon-cutting ceremony, which American Whitewater's Special Projects Director Dave Steindorf attended. Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) constructed the site as part of a post FERC licensing agreement with American Whitewater and other members of a group that oversees the implementation of the Rock Creek/Cresta FERC hydropower license (the Ecological Resources Committee, or ERC). This access provides a huge safety improvement over how paddlers have accessed the Rock Creek reach of the North Fork Feather River. For the past 16 years, during the recreational releases negotiated by American Whitewater at the hydropower project, boaters had to park in a small turnout and cross Highway 70 with their boats and then climb down the steep bank to the river. Originally the site was planned to only to be open during the eight whitewater boating release days that occur each summer. However, in a surprise announcement at the ribbon-cutting event, PG&E said that the access will be open throughout the entire recreation season. American Whitewater applauds this move by PG&E, which will improve river access for anglers and other river recreationists.  

The completion of this important river access is the last major goal for American Whitewater in restoring this section of the North Fork Feather River, which has become a nationally important whitewater resource. The best part about this access project is that the FERC license did not require that it be constructed. Instead, it was an exercise in creative problem solving by members of the ERC. Each of the entities involved in the negotiations that made this access become a reality moved beyond their own interests in order improve safety and provide access to the river for all recreationists. After 15 years of discussion, planning, and negotiating, this access site is testament to the collaboration between PG&E, American Whitewater, California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, the US Forest Service, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the California State Water Resources Control Board and Plumas County.

Associated Projects

Feather River (CA)
AW's work to restore the Feather River

Associated Rivers

Feather, N. Fork CA
Feather, N. Fork CA