A ceremony overlooking the river Thursday included an additional $95,000 endowment for land management, made possible by national nonprofit the Trust for Public Land and the original landowner, Foresthill Land Company. The land was originally three parcels that could have been developed, but now is protected in perpetuity.
Voters made the transaction possible, through $1.3 million in grant funding in 2013 from the California River Parkways grant program of the California Natural Resources Agency. The program started in 2002 under Prop. 50 and later supported by Prop. 84 funds from 2006. This year, $7.6 million was available for projects.
Placer Land Trust purchased the land at that point, serving as an intermediary between the landowner and state parks. They partnered with the Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit which creates parks, but doesn’t acquire the land itself. They helped provide the $95,000 with the private landowner, ensuring the land can be managed going forward by state parks.
In 2013, the initial idea was it would be transferred immediately to state parks, but the state agency said they weren’t ready to take the property, which would have costs associated for fuel management, habitat protection and public recreation.
Placer Land Trust had to make a decision on whether then to hold the land, perhaps indefinitely, involving management costs and other fees going forward.
“Frankly, we were willing to hold it forever if necessary,” Executive Director Jeff Darlington said. “But within two years, they were ready to take on the commitment.”
At the ceremony Thursday, apple cider was handed out and leaders of state parks, the California Natural Resources Agency, Placer Land Trust and others were proud to protect the view and lands there for future generations.
Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery praised the public and private partnerships involved in making the acquisition happen. Julie Alvis, Deputy Assistant Secretary for California Natural Resources Agency, grew up in Auburn and enjoyed seeing the land come under protection.
“It is one of the most stunning river watersheds in the state,” she said, sharing how her work brings her from Los Angeles to the Sacramento region. “It makes me appreciate where I grew up. California certainly has no shortage of land to protect.”
To see the original article and more pictures, visit the Auburn Journal newspaper HERE
Photo: Placer Land Trust President Fred Yeager, former President Bob Gilliom and others look toward the North Fork of the American Riveer, after a ceremony marked 417 acres of land added to Auburn State Recreation Area.