Today, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors voted to sponsor California State Assembly Bill (AB) 1716, the Lower American River Conservancy Act. The bill, coauthored by Assembly members Kevin McCarty and Ken Cooley, would create a state conservancy with the goal to enhance and protect the American River Parkway in Sacramento County. The American River Parkway is the “jewel” of the Sacramento region and features the renowned Jedediah Smith Memorial multi-use trail.
“The American River Parkway is a vital local resource of statewide significance with over 8 million visitors annually,” said Supervisor Roberta MacGlashan, Chair of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors. “AB 1716 puts the Parkway in a position to receive additional financial resources for projects and programs that would enhance this resource.”
The establishment of the Lower American River Conservancy would provide a state partner to work cooperatively with local agencies, particularly Sacramento County, and nonprofit organizations to help fund projects and provide grants to restore, protect, and enhance public access to the American River Parkway’s natural, recreational, educational, and cultural resources.
“AB 1716 highlights the valuable natural resources of the American River Parkway for our community and prioritizes protection and enhancement needs, which have been impacted by drought and fire,” said Supervisor Phil Serna, District 1.
Sacramento County’s support of AB 1716 focuses on three important priorities:
- Ensuring that the legislation serves and supports the American River Parkway Plan
- Highlighting opportunities to support and protect the natural and recreation values of the American River Parkway
- Ensuring that the legislation continues to promote local control and management of the American River Parkway
The Sacramento County Department of Regional Parks and the office of Governmental Relations and Legislation will work closely with the bill’s authors as it moves through the legislative process to ensure that the County’s priorities remain intact.
“This bill is an important opportunity to positively support a vital local resource, while recognizing Sacramento County’s dedication to and management of the Parkway,” said Supervisor Susan Peters, District 3.
The California State Legislature recognized the statewide importance of the American River Parkway when it enacted the Urban American River Parkway Preservation Act, which culminated with the adoption of the American River Parkway Plan. The American River Parkway provides benefits to the state and the Sacramento region including flood control, water supply, water quality, and wildlife habitat.