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feeling squirrelly
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In the Sacramento Bee today:

Conservation deal protects land between Folsom Lake, Auburn
By Bob Walter
[email protected]
Published: Saturday, Dec. 20, 2008 | Page 3B
Two miles of frontage on the north fork of the American River and 558 acres of forest between the Auburn and Folsom Lake state recreation areas will be protected from development forever under a deal that closed this week.

The American River Conservancy purchased a conservation easement for the land, part of the historic Garland Ranch in El Dorado County, conservancy director Alan Ehrgott said.

The land is due east of the river, across the canyon from Auburn and immediately downstream from the old Auburn dam site.

Ehrgott called the deal a major step toward the dream of a 16-mile trail corridor around the east side of Folsom Lake that would connect with the south fork of the American.

"This acquisition will help protect existing wildlife migration corridors, the quality of water flowing downstream to Sacramento and the potential for hiking, biking and equestrian trails in the future," he said.

The conservancy did not purchase the land, Ehrgott explained, but paid the owners - the Richard Gutierrez family - $1.8 million for the rights to subdivide and develop the 558 acres. Those rights will be retired.

"We also bought the right to put in a passive recreational trail for hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers," Ehrgott said. The area will be closed for hunting and off-road vehicle use, he said.

Most of the purchase price - almost $1.5 million - came from the California Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks and Coastal Protection Fund (Proposition 40). The rest of the money included a "generous donation" from the Gutierrez family, Ehrgott said.

The Garland Ranch has three tributary streams, along with the frontage on the river. The ranch includes ponds that provide habitat for ducks and other migratory waterfowl.

Gutierrez said his family agreed to sell the conservation easement to ensure that the land never would be subdivided into residential lots.

"We now know the wildlife it supports and its enduring beauty will be protected indefinitely," he said.

The conservancy, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, is dedicated to protecting the water supply and wildlife habitat immediately upstream of Sacramento.

The nonprofit has completed 71 conservation projects that protect more than 10,600 acres. The agency also operates the American River Nature Center in Coloma.

For more information about the conservancy, call (530) 621-1224 or visit www.arconservancy.org.



https://www.sacbee.com/101/story/1488263.html
 

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I read the great news as well over the weekend.......now, I wonder how far it will be to ride from Salmon Falls to the Confluence area, up Clementine, Connector, Divide and return......can you say...."EPIC!":band:
 

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How does this fit in w/ the FLSRA plan?

Was this purchase kind of assumed in the plan that is being drafted by the Parks Dept? I know there were a lot of posts last March about mtn. bikers going to the town hall meetings and speaking up for something like this (a trail from Folsom to Auburn, or even all the way around the lake). Could it also be related to the Sacramento Master Bike Plan? I've seen the sign at Pedro Hill Road and Hwy 49 (near Salmon Falls Road) that says "This is the site of the proposed end of the Jedidiah Smith Memorial Bike Trail". Could this land be used to extend the paved bike trail from where it ends in Granite Bay? Is the bridge people have been talking about suppose to cross the North Fork from Granite Bay into this track of land? I can't tell from the map if the green extends up the South Fork past Salmon Falls all the way to Coloma or even up to this proposed end of the bike trail. All in all, very cool though that the land has been officially purchased. 'Just wonder what I can expect to see in my lifetime.
 
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