Bear River Awakening

Growth & Development

Photograph by Julie Carville

Growth is changing the valley floor from agriculture to rooftops. At right, a housing development flourishes in the flood plane, near the confluence of the Bear with the Feather. This area was flooded in 1997, but was allowed to develop after levee repairs provided the minimum flood protection required by law. Growth projections by mid-century show the Sacramento megalopolis stretching from the Capitol continuously through the area of the Lower Bear, beyond Yuba City to Sutter City at the foot of the Sutter Buttes.

Photograph by Allen Eberhart

Will the Bear, which now is dominated by agricultural uses (South Sutter Water District diversion below Camp Far West shown at left), be forgotten and destroyed? Or will levees be set back, and a multiuse river corridor be restored with recreation and salmon as its main feature? Which would the new residents want? Which would add value, and offer the most beneficial uses? Will agriculture and open space be a part of the plan?

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