23 Acres, Established 2015
Access: Private property. No public access.
Conservation Values: Plant and wildlife habitat, scenic views, open space and historic and cultural resources
The PG&E Narrows Conservation Easement is located approximately one-quarter mile below Englebright Dam. The parcel stretches from the centerline of the Yuba River to the hilltop above and is within the boundaries of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Project boundary. PG&E will retain ownership of the 23 acres required for the operation and maintenance of its hydroelectric facilities. Early in 2015, a land transfer between PG&E and the University of California, resulted in Bear Yuba Land Trust (BYLT) holding a conservation easement on an adjacent 41 acres on the north side of the Yuba River. BYLT will monitor and protect the conservation values of these properties forever.
Permanently protecting the land below Englebright Dam will support the health and ongoing habitat restoration of the Yuba River salmon and steelhead fishery. Blue oak woodlands, riparian corridors and annual grasslands provide habitat for many wildlife species, including some special status bird species. Over one hundred bird species have been noted at the Sierra Foothills Research and Extension Center (SFREC) just across the river.
Protecting this portion of the waterway is of great importance because it is critical habitat for Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and Central Valley steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss), according to the US Army Corps of Engineers. Both of these fish species are listed as threatened by the State of California or the federal government, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Englebright Dam is the upper limit of the fish migration.
Limited public access, sensitive species habitat and steep rocky terrain does not allow for recreational opportunities on this land.
This agreement is the culmination of over a decade of planning and work with local conservation groups, Native American tribes, public agencies and the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council (Stewardship Council), created as part of PG&E’s 2003 bankruptcy settlement.
Under the 2003 bankruptcy settlement, the Stewardship Council was established to facilitate the permanent conservation of 140,000 acres of PG&E’s watershed lands in primarily the Sierra Nevada.