Donate Now
Bear River

The Bear River near Colfax.

Bear River Watershed Group

Sierra Streams Institute established the Bear River Watershed Group with funding from a federal grant from the federal Bureau of Reclamation's WaterSmart program in 2015.

The Bear River Watershed Group is made up of a variety of individuals and agencies with interests in improving the health of the Bear River watershed. These stakeholders include watershed residents and property owners and representatives of agencies and non-profits.

All interested stakeholders with a desire to be part of planning for the stewardship of the Bear River are warmly invited to participate. Please contact Kristen Hein Strohm for more information.

The Bear River is 73 miles long, stretching from just below Lake Spaulding to its confluence with the Feather River. In total, the watershed contains 296,452 acres of land and more than 990 miles of tributaries, including Wolf Creek, which flows through downtown Grass Valley. Like the neighboring Yuba River, the Bear has suffered extensive impacts from its history at the heart of Gold Country, and is one of the most heavily managed watersheds in the state for flow, with numerous dams and diversions. Unlike the Yuba River, however, the Bear has heretofore lacked stewardship and not had the benefit of coordinated planning, monitoring and restoration efforts.

Map of the general hydrology of the Bear River watershed. Click to enlarge.

The Bear River Watershed Group has the following goals:

  • Develop and implement a watershed-wide water quality monitoring plan.
  • Update the Disturbance Inventory written in 2003.
  • Create a consensus-based watershed restoration plan.