Beginning in the mid-1800s, hundreds of dams were built on California rivers. Many were first built to use in gold mining, but now most are used for hydropower generation and water supply. In the next decade, the licenses for 150 dams that affect hundreds of miles of streams will expire and the dam owners must seek new licenses. American Rivers has been a national leader in taking advantage of this “relicensing” process to rehabilitate rivers by restoring salmon runs, improving stream water levels, improving recreation opportunities and protecting watershed lands.
For the past 10 years, American Rivers has played a lead role in relicensing the four Klamath dams. The process resulted in an historic settlement agreement that calls for the largest dam removal project ever.
American Rivers is actively in the relicensing of all the 20+ dams in the Yuba River and neighboring Bear River watershed. Through these relicensings, we hope to restore salmon to the upper Yuba among other goals.
American Rivers was the lead conservation organization in relicensing the nation’s tallest dam, Oroville Dam. The settlement agreement we helped craft will result in important benefits for the Feather.