Save the American River Association

Our mission is to protect and enhance the wildlife habitat, fishery, and recreational resources of the American River Parkway. Our volunteer, non-profit group of members and Board of Directors work to ensure that the American River Parkway will survive and prosper for the benefit of future generations.

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Address: 8836 Greenback Lane Suite C
Orangevale, CA 95662
County or Parish: Sacramento
Executive Director: Sara Stephens
Contact Email:
Primary Phone: 916-936-4555
The American River Parkway receives nearly eight million visits annually, making it the most heavily used river for recreation in California. The Lower American meanders through the 6,160-acre Parkway in some of the most densely populated areas of the country. No other urban area in the West has a comparable resource. SARA is the only local volunteer organization with the primary mission of protecting and, when necessary, fighting for the public interest in land and water issues concerning the Lower American River and the Parkway. Some of our achievements and responsibilities include: Serving as advocate in cases where publicly owned Parkway property or zoning ordinances are threatened by private and commercial interests.

Serving as the American River advocate on the Sacramento Water Forum, a diverse group working to ensure a stable water supply through the year 2030, while protecting the resources of the river and the Parkway. Providing representation on many local agencies and advisory boards with an interest in the river and its assets. At times, SARA's Board of Directors has needed to resort to legal action is order to further our advocacy on behalf of the Lower American River. For example, SARA was a plaintiff with Sacramento County and the Environmental Defense Fund in a lawsuit against East Bay Municipal District to prevent their diverting the American River 23 miles upstream from the American's confluence with the Sacramento River. That became a 17-year legal battle resulting in a landmark decision setting minimum flow standards acceptable for fishery and recreational needs for the Lower American River.
SARA relies on membership donations to fund our annual program cost of $55,000. These contributions support: - Efforts to increase water flow and temperature controls in the Lower American where drought conditions have caused fish kills and the evacuation of newborn salmon and trout from the Nimbus Fish Hatchery. - Efforts to provide appropriate access and facilities so that present and future generations can enjoy the amenities and resources of the Parkway. - Efforts to preserve, protect, interpret, and improve the natural, archaeological, historical, and recreational resources of the Parkway, its migratory and resident wildlife, and diverse natural vegetation. - Efforts to mitigate adverse effects of activities and facilities adjacent to the Parkway. - Efforts to provide public safety and protection within and adjacent to the Parkway. Our top needs: 1. Funding: Unrestricted - In 2019, we will be involved in a number of public processes including traveling to hearings, preparing testimony, and analyzing Environmental Impact Statements/Environmental Impact Reports. We may be hiring a legal intern and a communications intern to help us with various issues. 2. Volunteers - We want to recruit more volunteers to help with program needs and outreach for new members. 3. Board Members - The California Legislature developed a park/bond act that was placed on the June 2018 statewide ballot. We succeeded in getting $10 million in the park/bond act that is being used for grants for projects on the Lower American River such as habitat restoration, invasive plant removal, and improving access. Our Board Members campaigned with our members to win passage of the park/bond issue. 4. Technology - We need to upgrade our office computer system. The current system is more than ten years old. 5. Other - Please Describe - E. Coli bacteria has been found in several areas in the Lower American River. We have been taking water samples in the river with the intent of identifying the sources of the bacteria. Once we have identified the sources, we will be turning the data over to state regulators who are charged with policing illegal discharges of pollutants that enter the river.
"I have lived adjacent to the Parkway for 38 years. Every day, there is a parade of wildlife through my backyard including deer, foxes, coyotes, turkeys, and other species. It was the most wonderful place to raise my children who were out on the Parkway almost daily. Our volunteers spend countless hours preserving and enhancing this resource for future generations. What we do is not work. It is a calling."

Stephen Green
Save the American River Association
-- Stephen Green, President