Save the American River Association
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Organization Details


Save the American River Association developed and filed a complaint with state regulators contending that Folsom and Nimbus Dams are being operated in a manner that causes harm to fish and fish habitat in the Lower American River. Both flows and water temperatures are inadequate to maintain fish populations and reeds in the river during critical portions of the year. In 11 of the last 15 years, temperatures in the Lower American have exceeded safe limits, causing fish to die and inflicting harm on others that were holding or died without spawning. The complaint was co-signed by the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, California Small Stream Council and Public Trust Alliance.
Program Successes
- Save the American River Association joined other organizations in lobbying to kill bills that would have gutted the California Environmental Quality Act. We succeeded.
- In 2014, SARA was part of the coalition that successfully lobbied legislators for passage of a bill to ban throwaway plastic bags statewide.
- In November 2016, there was a measure on the ballot to repeal the statewide ban on throwaway plastic bags. SARA volunteers help defeat that measure.
- In 2016, SARA volunteers also won passage of legislation to create a conservancy program for the Lower American River.
- In an alliance with other organizations, Save the American River Association representatives spent four years in meetings and hearings to bring the discharge permit for the Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant at Freeport into compliance with state and federal laws and regulations. SARA and its allies prevailed and treatment operations at the plant are being upgraded.
- A Save the American River Association member was hiking along the river when he noticed that an adjacent property owner had moved his backyard fence onto public land at the Fair Oaks Overlook. He alerted SARA's then-President, Frank Cirill. It took 14 years, a lawsuit and nearly $1 million to purchase land where the encroachment occurred. The result: 4.5 acres were added to the Parkway.
- During hearings on the Sacramento County Budget, SARA succeeded in getting funds for three additional rangers positions for the American River Parkway other regional parks. SARA, working in cooperation with other organizations, also succeeded to getting money in the county budget to provide shelter for some of the people who camp on the Parkway.