River Conservation -

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 the 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.

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 the 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 grassroots 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.

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 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.

Nonprofit Organizations

Junior Guide Raft Camp

Junior Guide Raft Camp

7310 Hwy 49, Lotus , CA 95651

An Educational non-profit summer camp providing youth aged 6-16 with river safety and rafting education. We are in our 10th year of teaching adventure, leadership, and teamwork. www.juniorguides.org 916-616-2317

American River Recreation Assoc (ARRA)

American River Recreation Assoc (ARRA)

7308 Hwy 49 Ste F, Lotus, CA 95651

Since 1979 ARRA has been facilitating and promoting public river access, river use education, and recreational programs throughout the river valley

Gold Discovery Park Association

Gold Discovery Park Association

PO Box 461, Coloma, CA 95613

The Gold Discovery Park Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the interpretation and conservation of Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. We work to provide funding for various projects and educational programs... www.marshallgold.com 530-622-6198

Gold Trail Grange #452

Gold Trail Grange #452

319 Hwy 49, Coloma, CA 95613

Historic building in Marshall Gold Discovery State Park. Full Commercial kitchen, lighted stage and dance floor. Perfect for your wedding or event. Our hall is nestled by the river and historic Marshall Gold Discovery Park. www.goldtrailgrange.com 530-626-1194

Coloma Lotus Business Council

Coloma Lotus Business Council

7310 State Highway 49, Lotus, CA 95651

You’ve come to the right place for fun! The Coloma-Lotus river valley has been discovered as a perfect outdoor spot to relax and recreate. Come for the river; come for the hills and trails; come to explore the place where the Gold Rush was born! www.coloma.com (530) 285-0002



7308 Hwy 49 Ste F, Lotus, CA 95651

501(c)3 non profit organization focused on supporting the arts and recreational opportunities in the Coloma Lotus community. so-far.org 530-303-2404

Bureau of Land Management - Mother Lode

5152 Hillsdale Cr, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762


Henningsen Lotus Park

950 Lotus Rd,, Lotus, CA 95651


Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park

310 Back St, Coloma, CA 95613

Marshall Gold Discovery SHP marks the spot where James Marshall discovered gold in 1848, beginning the California Gold Rush. www.marshallgold.com (530) 622-3470

American River Conservancy

Coloma, CA

The American River Conservancy protects habitat, native fisheries, scenic vistas, and recreational lands within the upper American River and Cosumnes River watersheds. To date, we have successfully protected over 27,500 acres. ARC continues to... 530-621-1224

El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce

Placerville, CA

The El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce helps to ensure that the business opportunities and quality of life we know today may be sustained through future generations. Please explore the wealth of information at your fingertips on our website and... (530) 621-5885

Friends of The River

Sacramento , CA

Committed to becoming a more powerful voice for a climate resilient water future in California with healthy rivers, equal access to safe and affordable drinking water, and a thriving, sustainable economy for all Californians. 916-422-3155