$10,000 YCWA grant to improve safety along Dry Creek and Bear River levees by Alex Boesch Dec 6, 2017 Member Submitted News MARYSVILLE, Calif. (Dec. 5, 2017) — The Yuba County Water Agency Board of Directors today approved a grant to Reclamation District 817 to fund vegetation removal along areas of the Dry Creek and Bear River levees. RD 817 is responsible for the maintenance of the levees that provide protection for agricultural properties in the unincorporated area of the county, west of the City of Wheatland and in a portion of the area north of Dry Creek. With the winter months quickly approaching, construction and maintenance on levees throughout Yuba County is critical. This grant will provide up to $10,000 for mechanical vegetation clearing along several reaches of levees that have become overgrown with blackberry bramble and wild rose, making it difficult for routine levee and drainage culvert inspections. “This is a great opportunity for us to help improve and sustain levees, and reduce flood risk for the people who live and work in Yuba County,” said YCWA Board Director Gary Bradford. “This grant will allow RD 817 to more efficiently operate and maintain the levees within its jurisdiction.” Previously, RD 817 burned the levees to suppress vegetation, but this practice has become difficult due to air quality and endangered species regulations. The vegetation has grown beyond the point where animal grazing or herbicide spraying can work effectively. Once the levees have been mechanically cleared, RD 817 will resume grazing and spraying programs to control vegetation and maintain them according to current standards.