A stumble upon a proposal to turn the Feather River Watershed into a National monument raises concerns with the sierra county board of supervisors. Tim Beals, planning director for the county, brought the proposal along with his concerns to the board after making the discovery saying the process has been unprofessional.
The idea was initiated in 2018 by Friends of Plumas Wilderness, a non-profit. If implemented, a national monument would bring a permanent designation for the public lands established by Congress or the President through the antiquities act that would provide protections from water diversion, mining, and commercial development. This was also what Beals found to be of concern. If granted, this designation would usher in heavy restrictions as much of the area has private lands and mining interests already established.
The goal of establishing the Feather River Canyon National Monument would be to increase Indigenous control of cultural landscapes, as much of the Maidu’s homelands fall within the Plumas and Lassen National Forests in the proposed area and maintain healthy watersheds, and protect critical habitats for red and yellow-legged frogs.
The board’s chairperson also shared her skepticism with the proposal saying the non-profit put an extensive amount of time into the proposal yet has not adequately informed the counties to be impacted. The proposed area would include portions of the Plumas national forest north of Canyon Creek and the Upper Lakes Basin area.
Beals cautioned the board to be mindful of approaching deadlines. The board agreed to invite Friends of Plumas Wilderness to bring a presentation before the board to hear the full scope of the project and its impacts.
You can learn more about the proposal by visiting the Friends of Plumas Wilderness website.