U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
News.bytes Extra, issue 451
Crowd attends dedication of important trail segment
A long-awaited trail along the South Fork American River is now open.
The 25-mile multi-recreational South Fork American River Trail was dedicated Sept. 30 with completion of the final 8 1/2-mile segment from Cronan Ranch to Salmon Falls.
Alan Ehrgott, ARC executive director, said a road bulldozed down a canyon to the river 20 years ago served as a wake-up call to the need to protect the river. Since then, ARC and BLM have worked together to protect the spectacular and pristine river canyon from the impacts of subdivision and development. The South Fork American River conservation initiative was launched in 1990 to protect native fisheries, wildlife habitat and the high quality of water flowing to Sacramento and 22 million water consumers downstream.
The new trail will help create a constituency of river lovers as hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians will be able to use the trail, he said.
Bill Haigh, BLM Mother Lode Field Office manager, said community leaders in Sacramento had the foresight 50 years ago to create the landmark Lower American River Parkway.
The population in the foothills is growing and agencies need to set aside special areas to protect resources and provide recreation.
“Fifty years from now, we hope this trail will be as much of a landmark as the Lower American River Parkway is to Sacramento,” he said.
Bryan Cash, deputy assistant secretary for bonds and grants, California Natural Resources Agency, said America is suffering from an epidemic of obesity and related diseases like diabetes. Providing areas for recreation and access to nature can help people improve their health and connect with the natural world, helping both psychologically and physically. Studies have found connecting with nature shifts people’s focus from self to others, he said.
The South Fork American River Trail is perched immediately above Folsom Lake and the greater Sacramento region. The trail has three access points: Magnolia Ranch (Coloma), Cronan Ranch (Pilot Hill) and Salmon Falls (newly built bridge at Acorn Creek in El Dorado Hills). It is the most popular river for whitewater boating in the western United States.
- David Christy, BLM Central California District, 10/1/10
BLM-California News.bytes, issue 451