AUBURN, CA, NOVEMBER 25, 2019 – Placer Land Trust has purchased and permanently protected the North Fork of North Fork American River Preserve, 320 acres of steep forested canyon land near Emigrant Gap. The purchase was funded with support of the Sky View Foundation. The property includes approximately 1.2 river miles of the North Fork of North Fork American River, which feeds a federally-designated “Wild and Scenic River.”
Protection of this land contributes to water quality for a key public drinking water supply downstream. Placer Land Trust’s acquisition of this property also protects it from being purchased for clear-cutting, and the property provides an intact forest buffer between logging activities on adjacent lands and the river.
“The protection of this property in the American River watershed means so much to our region,” says Jeff Darlington, Placer Land Trust Executive Director. “Permanently protecting the North Fork of North Fork American River Preserve will in turn protect our water, our wildlife, our health, and our quality of life, now and forever.”
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The foothill yellow-legged frog has also been observed in this river corridor. Once thriving across their range, this frog has disappeared from more than half its historical localities due to a variety of threats including habitat destruction and pollution. Several nests of the near-threatened spotted owl have also been recorded within 1 mile of the property, on both sides of the canyon. Protection of this land safeguards valuable habitat for these impacted species.
There are roughly 15-20 river miles of the North Fork of North Fork between Lake Valley Reservoir and its inflow to the main North Fork of the American River; only four or five of these river miles are through private lands, with the rest being public National Forest land.
Thus, acquisition by Placer Land Trust protects 20% of the remaining privately-held land in this watershed. Situated in Tahoe National Forest, the preserve will be managed in close cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service.