Bear River Awakening

Opportunities for the Bear River


Imagine a trail along the Bear River from the beautiful 900 acre Bear Valley meadow at the top of the watershed near the intersection of Hwy 20 and Interstate 80 all the way to Combie Reservoir near Hwy 49. Imagine a Bear River Parkway, with trails, access parking, facilities, signage, maps, guidebooks, and programs. This dream is now a proposal in the PG&E and NID re-licensing of the power generation facilities along the Bear River.

The Bear River Trail Parkway

Layout of property ownership in this area
  • Bear Valley to Rollins Reservoir (map at left)

    Most of the lands required for this trail are owned by PG&E (pink on the map), USFS (green on the map), and BLM (red on the map).

    Only a small number of private parcels would be needed in cooperation for a trail. Several of the private parcels are owned by Sierra Pacific.

    The trail is marked conceptually by a dotted green line (see the map). Interstate 80 is the dark line (on the right of the map).

  • Rollins to Combie (map at right)

    Layout of property ownership in this area

    NID lands (blue on the map) and BLM lands (red on the map) can provide a trail that connects to the Placer County Bear River Campgrounds where a network of trails along the river and in adjacent forest and meadowlands already exists. Only a small portion of the potential trail crosses private lands.

    The trail is marked conceptually by a dotted green line (see the map).

  • Read the FERC proposal (PDF*, 22 KB)

    The proposal describes each reach of the watershed, the trail segment associated with that reach, and the benefits/values to be maintained or enhanced by the trail.

Get Involved!

If you love the Bear, become involved! We need:

  • Pictures and descriptions of your favorite recreation trail or location on the Bear
  • Historical and archeological background on the Bear
  • Your ideas for future recreational development opportunities
  • Write a letter of support for the trail proposal [see box below]
  • Supporters to participate in our network [your name and email]

A network of Bear River supporters is forming. We will be starting meetings and outings to celebrate the Bear, and to steward the dream of the Bear River Parkway to fruition.

Help to Awaken the Bear by sending us email at

Letters needed in support of the recreation and trail concept now!

The Bear River is regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) through licenses held by PG&E and NID, who are currently renewing their licenses. The opportunity to provide input to the process is NOW. Please write a letter to FERC.

Under the current FERC license, there are no riverine recreation trails below Bear Valley meadow for public use. Urge FERC to require studies that will describe and define appropriate trail opportunities within the boundaries of the project.

Letters in support of the recreation and trail concept for a Bear River Trail as part of the Yuba-Bear Drum Spaulding re-licensing can be sent to:

Hon. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street, N.E.
Washington, DC 20426

Be sure to mention you are making comments on the recreational components of:

Drum Spaulding Project #2310
Yuba-Bear Project #2266
© 2018
Web Consulting by Dorene Matney