American River Conservancy – A Gold Country Treasure

American River Conservancy has been offering guided hikes, nature programs in our schools, Summer camps, and a variety of classes at their headquarters in the Kane House (built in 1886) located at Marshall Gold Discovery State Park in Coloma.

 

Their mission has been to serve their communities by “ensuring healthy ecosystems within the Upper American and Upper Cosumnes River watersheds through land conservation, stewardship and education”.  Their history defines their mission.

 

In 1990, they raised $360,000 and purchased 40 acres at the confluence of Weber Creek and the South Fork of the American River.  The purchase protected reproductive habitat for the native rainbow trout and rare plant species.

 

In 1992, they purchased 190 acres fronting the South Fork of the American River at Racehorse Bend.  In 1993 – 1994, they raised $500,000 and purchased a Chili Bar Conservation Easement and an additional 400 acres in upper and lower canyons.  They also received a grant to expand the Pine Hill Ecological Reserve and helped the El Dorado Hills Community Service District purchase Wild Oaks Park.

 

In 1995 – 1996 they began construction of Chili Bar Park, added to Pine Hill Reserve, and acquired several parcels including Magnolia Ranch (362 acres) which protected 4.5 miles of South Fork of the American River frontage.

 

From 1997 – 2001, they acquired another 700 acres.  And between 2002 – 2005, they completed the 4-phase acquisition which enabled BLM to open Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park to hikers, equestrians, and mountain bikers.  They later added to the North Fork of the American River Wild and Scenic Corridor, and to Marshall Gold Discovery State Park.

 

More acquisitions were made including the 272-acre Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony Farm, founded in 1869, which claims to be the first Japanese colony established in the U.S.  As of 2019, ARC has raised over 110 million to acquire and/or protect 26,000 acres; they have provided 2,800 school programs and 1,500 public programs and offered Summer camp to 3,000 young campers.  175,000 volunteer hours have supported their mission.  Thank you, American River Conservancy, (arconservancy.org) for all you do.

 

 

 

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