Foothills Water Network

About Us

Contact Us

You can contact the Foothills Water Network Coordinator at:

Phone: 530-919-3219
traci at
PO Box 573
Coloma, CA 95613


The overall goal of the Foothills Water Network is to provide a forum that increases the effectiveness of conservation organizations to achieve river and watershed restoration and protection benefits for the Yuba, Bear, and American. This includes negotiations at the county, state, and federal levels, with an immediate focus on the upcoming FERC relicensing processes.


The objectives of the Foothills Water Network include:

  • Facilitate a dialogue on cross-basin issues and strategies to enhance overall watershed balance with special attention to an interbasin framework with which to address the FERC relicensings.
  • Identify and avoid potential conflicts among watershed groups in order to work towards a common vision for overall watershed health across the basins.
  • Analyze the Yuba, Bear, and American (NF and MF) as the problemshed in order to explore constructive interbasin solutions.
  • Conduct public outreach to raise awareness of water supply issues and the unique opportunities in the three interlinked watersheds. To this end, the Network will collaborate with established watershed groups to disseminate outreach materials.


The Network is a consensus-based coalition. The Network protocols require the Coordinator to seek consensus from Network members in each work group or those working on certain projects. The whole Network membership does not work on all of our projects at all times. While some organizations work on all the Network's projects, some organizations only work on one. When the Network members working on any given project cannot reach consensus, the Network protocols preserve each organization's freedom to take independent action. In this situation, the Network protocols encourage continued communication towards the effort to build consensus on other issues or actions.

Organizational Structure

The Foothills Water Network is a consensus-based coalition and forum.

Organizational Diagram:  The Foothills Water Network shares many members and goals with the California Hydropower Reform Coalition

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee oversees the Network's governance. The Foothills Water Network Steering Committee members have been environmental activists for decades and occupy leadership roles in conservation organizations. Steering Committee members include:
  • Allan Eberhart, Sierra Club California Conservation Committee
  • Barbara Rivenes, Nevada County Conservationist
  • Marilyn Jasper, Clover Valley Foundation and Chair, Sierra Club Placer Group
  • Gary Estes, Protect American River Canyons
  • Steve Rothert, American Rivers

Yuba-Bear Work Group

  • Sierra Club - Mother Lode Chapter, Allan Eberhart
  • South Yuba River Citizen's League, Gary Reedy and Caleb Dardick
  • American Rivers, Steve Rothert
  • American Whitewater, Dave Steindorf
  • California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, Chris Shutes
  • Trout Unlimited, Chandra Ferrari
  • Northern California Federation of Fly Fishers, Frank Rinella
  • Gold Country Fly Fishers, Frank Rinella

Middle Fork American Work Group

  • Protect American River Canyons, Gary Estes
  • California Outdoors, Nate Rangel
  • Horseshoe Bar Fish and Game Preserve, Tom Bartos
  • Member of the Public, John Donovan
  • American River Recreation Association, Bill Center
  • Private Boater, Hilde Schweitzer
  • American Whitewater, Dave Steindorf
  • Northern California Federation of Fly Fishers
  • Granite Bay Flycasters, Tony Fabian
  • Foothill Angler Coalition, Tom Bartos
  • Upper American River Foundation, Bill Templin

Western Placer Creeks Work Group

  • Horseshoe Bar Fish and Game Preserve, Tom Bartos
  • Save Auburn Ravine Salmon and Steelhead, Jack Sanchez and John Rabe
  • Dry Creek Conservancy, Gregg Bates
  • Sierra Club - Mother Lode Chapter, Allan Eberhart
  • Northern California Federation of Fly Fishers, Frank Rinella
  • Ophir Property Owners Association and Auburn Ravine Preservation Committee, Ron Otto

Interlinked Watersheds

To an extraordinary degree, the waters of the Yuba, Bear, and American watersheds are co-mingled from headwaters to mouth through tunnels and canals between basins. These watersheds are fully interconnected, yet the watershed groups remain focused on land use, fire issues, and water quality within their own watershed boundaries. Currently, the watershed groups do not address quantity and flow conditions determined by interbasin exports and imports. Likewise, the public agencies and corporations responsible for the facilities do not focus on interbasin effects but instead address their watershed jurisdictions with an exclusivity that fails to represent the integrated reality of the basin. Yet it is the cumulative management of the Yuba, Bear, and North Fork American that establish quantity and flow conditions, which determine anadramous fishery suitability, habitat health, recreational values, and water quality. Therefore, for the conservation community to succeed in restoring degraded resources in the Yuba, Bear and American watersheds through the hydropower relicensing process, representatives of private and public entities, watershed groups, and advocacy groups must engage in a coordinated discussion. This discussion should facilitate understanding of and ability to address cross-basin issues and how they will impact each individual FERC relicensing process and affected watershed resources.
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Foothills Water Network  •  PO Box 573  •  Coloma, CA  •  95613  •  530-919-3219