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AUBURN, CA, JANUARY 7, 2020 — Placer Land Trust has permanently protected the 42-acre Loera-Harvey North Fork Preserve on the North Fork American River near Weimar.
Located between Yankee Jim’s Bridge and Sore Finger Point, the property is a mixture of conifer and hardwood forests, and includes approximately 1/4 mile of river frontage on both sides of the river. The preserve is permanently protected by a Conservation Easement donated by landowners David Loera and Alison Harvey.
“Protection of this land and this stretch of river directly protects downstream water quality and drinking water supply,” said Jeff Darlington, Placer Land Trust’s Executive Director. “It will also help prevent future damage to the river corridor due to mining, or dumping of trash and sediment.”
Placer Land Trust’s stewardship of the property will ensure that no development or misuse occurs in this part of the canyon, helping to keeping the river wild and natural, forever. While not open to the public, the preserve has significant public value by protecting the health and scenic views of the river and canyon. This is critical to the many rafting groups and others recreating on this section of the river itself, which remains publicly accessible.
“This land has been a place of solitude for us, as well as welcoming place of community for our friends and family,” says landowner Alison Harvey. “It’s such a stunningly beautiful place that everyone who visits there wants to preserve it, along with the entire North Fork canyon. We have done what we can over the years to protect this place, and a conservation easement locks down what can happen here after we are gone.”
The North Fork American River and its canyon is home to an incredible diversity of wildlife — from large mammals such as bear, bobcat, and ring-tailed cat, to reptiles, amphibians, birds and insects, and aquatic life in the river itself. Foothill yellow-legged frogs have also been seen on the Loera-Harvey North Fork Preserve. 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, resulting in its listing as a California Threatened Species in 2019. Preservation of this property helps provide a “nature highway” for the threatened frogs and other animals to move safely up- and downstream, without disruption from human activity or development.
Together with its important water supply and recreation values, and breathtaking natural scenery for river rafters and others to enjoy, the Loera-Harvey North Fork Preserve represents a lasting investment in the health of our region, so that all living things can thrive — now and forever.