How You Can Help

The Bear River is one of the jewels of the Sierra. Though scuffed and scarred, opportunities abound to preserve its best features and to restore its luster. The Bear has shown its ability to withstand the most impact of any Sierra river, yet retain much of its allure. It is a testament to nature's generosity and willingness to come back again. Will we let her do her work once more?

The surging wave of growth in the Bear River watershed, particularly in the middle and lower reaches, brings both opportunity and threat. The processes are in place for addressing the issues and for participation by those who care. Oddly, the Bear River has the reputation of not having a constituency — there are no Friends of the Bear River or Bear River Canyon Keepers or Bear River Citizen's League as there are for many of the State's better-known waterways. And yet, more people live in the Bear River watershed than in any other Sierra river.

Will newcomers and old-timers alike, who love living in the Sierra foothills, make their voices heard?

Here are the most critical decision-making processes in which interested parties can participate to protect the Bear River watershed:

Fire hazards decisions related to the fuel-loaded forests will also be made at the county level. Fire Safe Councils will define strategies to reduce the fire threat in the Bear River Watershed. For information, visit Colfax Community Watershed and Fire Safe Ecosystem Project.

The answers to the questions raised in this story of the Bear River hold the keys to its future. Will its many friends, old and new, who call the Bear watershed home now come forward with the effort and commitment to give the Bear a new chance? The future of the Bear River rests in the balance.