“Heart of the Feather River Country” is the town of Quincy’s motto, and for good reason. Our OWCN team has had the pleasure of acquainting ourselves with this beautiful area recently and many of us have been captivated by the gorgeous landscape as we wound ourselves up Highway 70 through Plumas National Forest. But unfortunately, our adventures into the Feather River Canyon have not been visits of leisure, but rather an opportunity for us to study this region with a keen eye in order to enhance our preparations for a potential oil spill.
While scenic, the Feather River Canyon is also the lowest elevation pass through the Sierras (5,221ft), making it an ideal route for transportation of goods by rail. As we have discussed in previous posts, a sharp increase in petroleum transport by rail in the US over the last decade (Association of American Railroads) has our team astutely aware of this high risk region.
In fact, due to the region’s high risk status along with being located in our ‘new’ inland response territory, the OWCN will be hosting our Full Deployment Drill there next month. It is an exciting opportunity to test our preparedness for a remote, inland spill and thanks to our amazing Network, we will be conducting the drill utilizing over 60 responders, including some folks from our local Member Organizations such as North Valley Animal Disaster Group and Shasta Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation (our limited number of volunteer responder slots for the drill filled up quickly, but if you are still interested we encourage you to add yourself to the backup list in the event of any cancellations).
We are looking forward to the drill, and will keep you all posted of any key lessons learned along the way. And don’t forget to stay safe out there during this wet winter, and as I learned the hard way in our OWCN green truck, beware of the bumpy dirt roads on your way to Quincy!