The “living canyons” of the American River will be safe from degradation and loss only if those who live there, and those who visit, work to protect and preserve the ancient beauty of the mountains, rivers and lowlands running towards the Pacific. Numerous organizations are working to prevent destructive projects such as Auburn Dam, to mitigate the impacts of human life in the region, and to educate the public about what makes this area special and worth preserving.
The groups below are among those working to educate and protect the American. Some have a local focus or work on specific areas of advocacy; others work on a larger scale. If you want to join in efforts to save the American River, and want to meet some other great people, contact any of these organizations and see what you can do.
American River Organizations
American River Conservancy – The American River Conservancy manages the put-in at Chili Bar and is actively involved in South Fork environmental issues. The American River Conservancy conducts conservation, education, and stewardship programs to protect and enhance native fisheries, vanishing plant and animal communities, scenic vistas, cultural heritage and recreational lands within the American and Cosumnes River watersheds which lie in the foothills of the eastern Sacramento Valley.
American River Natural History Association – This Sacramento organization focuses on the Main American and the American River Parkway. A public benefit corporation for the purpose of promoting, aiding and augmenting the education activities of the Sacramento County park system. The American River Natural History Association (ARNHA) was formed by concerned citizens when reduced county budgets meant possible closure of the Effie Yeaw Nature Center and the end of the county’s education programs.
American River Parkway Foundation – Founded in 1983 their mission is to support the preservation, protection, enhancement and appreciation of the natural resources of the American River Parkway. Their programs include Adopt the Parkway, Down River Day, Great American River Clean-up, Volunteer Coordination and Volunteer Center at William Pond Recreation Area.
American River Water Education Center – Located at Folsom Dam, they offer an exciting way to experience the watershed of the American River and appreciate the importance of water in California.
American River Wildlands – A local organizing committee working with the California Wild Heritage Campaign to protect California wildlands. The great canyon of the North Fork of the American River has long been famous for its wildness and scenic beauty.
Auburn State Recreation Canyon Keepers (ASRACK) – Volunteers who assist the professional Park Rangers by providing information and assistance to ASRA visitors. They conduct monthly hikes and meetings (open to the public) to learn more about the history and natural beauty of the American River Canyon.
Bitterroot Restoration, Inc. (BRI) – In 1986, Bitterroot Restoration, Inc. (BRI) pioneered an integrated approach to ecological restoration. One of their projects is to restore blue elderberry (Sambucus mexicana) habitat to a five-acre area along the Lower American River that was dominated by non-native, invasive plant species prior to restoration.
El Dorado County’s River Management Plan – Visit this site to find out how you can be informed of and involved with El Dorado County’s plan for management of the South Fork.
Friends of the River (FOR) – A California-based group dedicated to saving endangered rivers. Has links to news, press articles, living history, rafting programs, their calendar, member outings, and ways to contribute.
Protect American River Canyons – PARC is an Auburn-based grassroots educational group dedicated to the preservation of the wilderness, recreational, cultural and historical values of the American River and its Canyons for all to enjoy. Their primary focus is on the North and Middle forks.
Save the American River Association, Inc. (SARA) – A grass roots organization established in 1961 to spearhead the establishment of the American River Parkway (the “crown jewel” of the Sacramento County Park System) and adoption of the Parkway Plan.
Debate over Auburn Dam continues – KOVR report from 8/31/01 regarding the energy crisis and Auburn Dam debate.
Department of the Interior Dam site – The American River Division consists of the Folsom, Sly Park, and Auburn-Folsom South Units. The division is about midway between the northern and southern extremes of the Central Valley in Sacramento, San Joaquin, Placer, and El Dorado Counties.
Energy Seekers Eye Water Again – From Wired News on 6-12-01. Renewed controversy about the Auburn Dam and the energy crisis.
Topo Map of Auburn Dam Lake – A topographical map of the North and Middle Forks of the American River and the confluence, showing the lake that would be formed should the Auburn Dam initiative ever come to pass. The surface elevation of the reservoir would be 1100 feet. Both the North and Middle forks would be drowned.
California Government River Sites
California Department of Water Resources – DWR is chartered to manage the water resources of California in cooperation with other agencies, to benefit the State’s people, and to protect, restore, and enhance the natural and human environments. Extensive information.
California Environmental Resources Evaluation System – CERES is a California Resources Agency program with a search engine and extensive database of information about water resources.
California Rivers Assessment (CARA) – The California Rivers Assessment (CARA) is a computer-based data management system designed to give resource managers, policy-makers, landowners, scientists and interested citizens rapid access to essential information and tools with which to make sound decisions about the conservation and use of California’s rivers.
California Watershed Projects Inventory – Put together by UC Davis’ Information Center for the Environment (ICE). The Watershed Projects Inventory (WPI) and the California Watershed Project Inventory (CWPI) are part of the comprehensive Natural Resource Project Inventory (NRPI). WPI chronicles past, current and future resource-based restoration, mitigation and conservation projects in or bordering California. WPI focuses on projects that handle multiple resource issues involving several cooperators such as Coordinated Resource Management Plans (CRMPs) and local cooperative conservation efforts.
More River Conservation Organizations
American Rivers – National organization for river conservation. Since 1973, American Rivers has been dedicated to protecting and restoring healthy, natural rivers and the variety of life they sustain for people, fish and wildlife.
American Whitewater – Their mission is to conserve and restore America’s whitewater resources and to enhance opportunities to enjoy them safely. American Whitewater restores rivers dewatered by hydropower dams, eliminates water degradation, improves public land management and protects public access to rivers for responsible recreational use.
Other Organizations for California Conservation
Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation – Since 1986 the Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation, formerly Friends Aware of Wildlife Needs (FAWN), has been a tireless voice for sound management of our public lands and wise government land use policies. From recreation to private forestry practices, to ecosystem management on public lands, to the El Dorado County General Plan, CSNC members have worked countless hours to make sure that environmental values are not forgotten by land managers and politicians.
Sierra Club – The Club is America’s oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization. The local Sierra Club group for the American River watershed region is the Mother Lode Chapter.
Sierra Nevada Alliance – To protect and restore the natural environment of the Sierra Nevada for future generations while ensuring healthy and sustainable communities.