Upper American Project, Upper American River, California

HRC or member-contributed


Hydropower Reform Coalition, River Management Society


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License SummariesPacificPublished   3/1/2020

The Upper American River Project consists of seven developments located on the Rubicon River, Silver Creek, and South Fork American River in El Dorado and Sacramento Counties in central California. These seven developments occupy 6,190 acres of federal land within the Eldorado National Forest and 54 acres of federal land administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The proposed The Iowa Hill Development will be located in El Dorado County and will occupy 185 acres of federal land within the Eldorado National Forest. Due to the proximity of the Chili Bar Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. 2155) under licensee Pacific Gas & Electric Company(PG&E) located immediately downstream of the Upper American Project on the South Fork American River (and also under-going re-licensing), both projects were the subject of a collaborative proceeding and settlement negotiations.

The current seven developments include Loon Lake, Robbs Peak, Jones Fork, Union Valley, Jaybird, Camino, and Slab Creek/White Rock. White Rock Powerhouse discharges into the South Fork American River just upstream of Chili Bar Reservoir. In addition to generation-related facilities, the project also includes 47 recreation areas that include campgrounds, day use facilities, boat launches, trails, and a scenic overlook.

The 19 signatories to the Settlement are: American Whitewater, American River Recreation Association, BLM, California Parks and Recreation, California Fish and Wildlife, California Outdoors, California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, Camp Lotus, Foothill Conservancy, Forest Service, Friends of the River, FWS, Interior, U.S. National Park Service, PG&E, Rich Platt, Hilde Schweitzer, Theresa Simsiman, and SMUD.

License summary originally prepared in 2015. Updated in 2020 in partnership with River Management Society.

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