160 Acres on the North Fork American River……Protected Forever
By Karrie Thomas
Placer Land Trust has teamed with the Emigrant Trails Greenway Trust to acquire another 160 acres on the North Fork American River at Gillis Hill in Weimar guaranteeing a five-mile stretch of the river stays forever wild and scenic.
“This is the only private parcel on the river for miles in either direction,” said Placer Land Trust’s Executive Director Jeff Darlington. “Protecting this property from development ensures that a five-mile stretch – from above the Colfax Iowa Hill Bridge downstream to Yankee Jim’s Bridge – will remain wild and scenic, forever.”
The Mergen North Fork Preserve borders existing public land within the Auburn State Recreation Area along a stretch of the North Fork American River containing Staircase Rapid, well known by rafters, kayakers, and other river enthusiasts.
Emigrant Trails Greenway Trust (ETGT), a private philanthropic foundation, partnered with Placer Land Trust to protect this property from residential development within the canyon. “Protecting this critical portion of the watershed strengthens national wild and scenic values upstream and water quality downstream,” said Patty Schifferle, ETGT Trustee. “This acquisition preserves land that connects previous conservation investments along the North Fork of the American River, where habitat corridors and scenic corridors are critical to our community.”
ETGT funding was augmented by funds from Placer Land Trust’s wetlands mitigation account (funded by Placer County Water Agency) as well as support from over 700 land trust members. Placer Land Trust purchased the property from Paul & Joy Mergen for $175,000.
The North Fork American River has long been an area of special interest and continues to be a priority for Placer Land Trust, due in large part to its popularity as a recreation destination.
“Placer Land Trust, by making this purchase, has ensured that this land and river frontage will be protected for future generations,” said Deric Rothe, owner of Sierra Whitewater Inc, a rafting company based in Auburn. “The North Fork of the American River is critical to the whitewater rafting industry and is a valuable asset to the community as a whole.”
Additionally, the American River provides substantial domestic water for Placer County and the surrounding region, and Placer Land Trust has an interest in keeping that water clean and free from runoff, erosion, and sedimentation. The Trust does that by working with willing landowners like the Mergen family to prevent harmful land uses in the canyons from polluting local waterways.
From the Board Room
Strengthening Nonprofit Leadership
By Barbara Brenner
Are you a PLT Champion? What inspires you to get on your soap box and tell your friends about Placer Land Trust?
When I walk around on my family’s farmland, or visit protected land in Placer County, I connect with the inspiration that motivates me to work with Placer Land Trust, our local conservation leader.
How can PLT’s leadership stay strong and continue to thrive through good times and bad? For me, the short answer is: we inspire our community to become champions – heroes, if you will – for land conservation.
In May I joined PLT staff, Board Members and other nonprofit leaders in attending the 3rd annual Nonprofit Leadership Summit hosted by the Placer Community Foundation. This productive day featured Heather McLeod Grant, co-author of The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits.
Our team took her lessons to heart, and we recognize that one of the most important things we can do to serve the PLT mission is to Inspire Champions. We need to engage more volunteers and advocates and invite them to share their passion for our cause.
Our market is changing; the funds available for acquisitions 3 to 5 years ago just aren’t there anymore. To succeed as a single organization and as a member of our community we must build the movement to support voluntary land conservation.
“We need to share the real experience of being on the land,” says PLT Board Member Jim Haagen-Smit. “By bringing new members, policy makers, and the business community to protected lands and trails, support for our work will grow organically.”
In other words, we need to connect with the people who care about conserving our natural areas and encourage new and more PLT Champions.
Will you please join me and the Placer Land Trust Board in promoting and protecting quality of life in Placer County?
Please tell us your story; call the PLT office or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would love to grow our success by sharing the stories of PLT Champions like you.
By Justin wages
At any given time Placer Land Trust has several really great interns with a passion for the land, ecology, and conservation. This is a great opportunity for us to increase our work force, but we also have a lot to share in helping people learn more about our field.
As this summer’s group has testified, they expect their experience at PLT to help them in the future.
Haley Tupen, an ecological engineering major at Oregon State University, interned with PLT to gain experience in a field related to her major – “I’m really interested in a career associated with ecological restoration. I loved not only being involved in the planning process for environmental projects like the burrowing owl dens, but also gaining hands-on fieldwork experience in surveying! I’m pretty good with the power tools now too :)”
Matt Norcott grew up in Auburn and is an Environmental Management major at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. He interned with PLT to gain as much experience as possible in the environmental field. “There are so many environmental positions out there and it is important to try and distinguish yourself by finding a niche. I have no doubt my internship with PLT will help me in the near future both at school and in the job world.”
PLT’s Land Management Technician Troy Outman taught Haley and Matt how to swing a pick and measure a grade. They planted and watered native oaks, constructed a state of the art burrowing owl bomb shelter, removed tree cages from established trees and helped monitor Reason Farms Environmental Preserve.
Jerrid Higgins interned with PLT to enhance his knowledge of irrigation and plant establishment practices. He wanted to understand the similarities and differences between sustainable agriculture practices and wildlife preservation practices. “I learned how to make it so plants need minimal watering and that some irrigation systems can be more trouble than they’re worth. I now know how land trusts operate and how I can utilize their services when I am seeking out land of my own.”
Jerrid managed the plantings in the Doty Riparian Restoration area. He fixed the rudimentary irrigation system and hand watered all the new installations to save them from summer drought. He assisted Christina Sabin with her oak tree plantings at Doty Ravine Preserve as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award project. He also helped with Annual Monitoring of Miner’s Ravine Preserve.
For internship information call 530-887-9222 or email email@example.com.
Sharing our Natural Playgrounds
By Karrie Thomas
Have you spent time on a Placer Land Trust Preserve this spring? If you have, you’re in good company! Over 250 people joined us for our various preserve hikes and events. We’ve been building new trails for the past few years, and we are so glad to share these treasures with you, your family and friends!
On April 13th nearly 100 people joined us for lunch under the old oaks at the Big Hill Experience. We enjoyed a beautiful meal by Jeannie Bardakjian of Jeanie’s Café, followed by a hike along the 4-mile Kotomyan Loop Trail. This year-old trail winds through the oaks and granite outcroppings on top of Big Hill with stunning views of the Sierra and the Sacramento Valley. Kids had a special treat when ecologist and grandfather extraordinaire Joe Medeiros led them on a wild treasure hunt to find exciting samples to view through the microscopes. Smaller groups have enjoyed the Big Hill Preserves and Harvego Bear River Preserve on our monthly Docent-Led Hikes. If you haven’t been able to join us yet – don’t worry, we will continue to offer these popular hikes on the second Saturday of each month for the remainder of the year, and with fall approaching we will have some nice cool days to enjoy these natural playgrounds.
The Canyon View Trail in Auburn officially opened to the public with a ceremony and a lovely brunch on June 1st. This 1.25-mile loop sits quietly just across from the Park & Ride at the Bowman Exit off I-80. Don’t let its proximity to the highway fool you – in just a hundred yards or so, you will drop down the hill and notice that the noise and hustle of life in the fast lane are almost undetectable.
The Canyon View Trail is now open to the public every day from dawn to dusk. We hope you will take the opportunity to explore the forest and the cool shade along the lovingly restored Sierra Canyon Creek. It is the perfect spot to get the kids outside for an easy family adventure, share a walk in the woods with a friend, or take a moment to yourself. Enjoy!
Keeping the Watersheds Clean and Healthy
Volunteers Needed – September 21!
For the 5th consecutive year Placer Land Trust will be participating in the annual Great Sierra River Cleanup. Again this year we will Volunteers Needed – September 21! Keeping the Watersheds Clean and Healthyfocus our efforts along the Miner’s Ravine trail in Roseville, and we’re looking for volunteers who would like to participate.
Last year nearly 70 volunteers ranging in age from four to 65 helped pick up about 500 pounds of trash along the trail, and we’re expecting another great turnout this year. This family friendly event is fun for all ages. After the cleanup, volunteers will be treated to a PlacerGROWN lunch.
The Great Sierra River Cleanup is coordinated by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and is the premier volunteer event focused on removing trash and restoring the health of waterways throughout the Sierra Nevada Region. Every year it is held in conjunction with California Coastal Cleanup Day.
To sign up or get more information visit our website at https://www.placerlandtrust.org/greatsierrarivercleanup.aspx or contact Sarah Darney at 530-887-9222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Small Farm Heritage Forever Bus Tour: October 19
Placer County farms & ranches are an integral part of our history, and a vital component of our modern economy. Protected agricultural lands help put food on our tables, create valuable habitat for waterfowl and grassland animals, and provide grazing lands for local ranchers. This new event will showcase the past and future work of our Small Farm Program.
Visit The Natural Trading Company, a Placer County organic farm with a conservation easement funded in part by PLT…
Take a trip to Doty Ravine Preserve near Lincoln, which is protected for its valuable vernal pool habitat and is managed with sustainable cattle grazing practices…
Finish the day with a catered lunch at Rancho Roble Vineyard near Lincoln…
And find out about the next big thing in PLT’s Small Farm Program.
Tickets for this tour are $45 and include a catered lunch created by Laura Kenny of Real Food Catering, and wine form Rancho Roble Vineyards. So sign up contact Janet Voris at 530-887-9222 or email@example.com.
We hope you can join us!
Boy Scouts of Troop 121
Selected for 2013 Placer Conservator Award
Award Ceremony and Dinner November 2
Placer Land Trust is proud to work with youth groups from our community to protect and restore our natural wonders. As part of our commitment to inspire tomorrow’s leaders, we work closely with many organizations, including Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Boy Scouts.
For four years the Scouts of Troop 121 in Granite Bay have exemplified excellent community service through their partnership with PLT. These Boy Scouts have restored wetlands and improved habitat at several PLT preserves.
Eagle Scouts have built burrowing owl boxes, planted trees, improved habitat, and even built a kiosk. This group of boys has worked and played hard with us, and they’ve even bussed tables and parked cars for some of our events!
Each year PLT presents the prestigious Placer Conservator Award to the individual or group that has enhanced the quality of life in Placer County through resource conservation.
This year, we will honor these young leaders and their commitment to Placer County’s natural wonders with an award ceremony and dinner on Saturday, November 2, at the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, 6365 Douglas Boulevard, Granite Bay.
For ticket prices and information see placerlandtrust.org or contact Karrie Thomas at 530-887-9222, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Music in the Meadow
Dance, dine and show your devotion to environmental education in a beautiful meadow to celebrate Placer Nature Center’s 22nd birthday, on Saturday, October. 5th. Proxy Moon and special guest musicians will deliver a lyrical blend of jazz, folk, and blues in a pristine and private Sierra foothill meadow. Tickets are $25. For event details, or to purchase tickets, call 530-878-6053 or email email@example.com.
New Office Assistant
Stewardship…it’s not just for the land!
By Jessica Daugherty
At Placer Land Trust, we don’t just believe in the stewardship of land; we carefully steward all of our resources … particularly our people!
We are pleased to announce that we have hired Sarah Darney as our Office Assistant. Sarah came to us through The Placer County Work Experience Program as a volunteer. After nearly two years of exemplary service to PLT she was named the 2012 Volunteer of the Year.
With a growing workload we are thrilled to welcome Sarah to our team as our new Office Assistant!
Thank You Volunteers!
PLT is grateful for our volunteers, and here we recognize 3 exceptional people:
Susan Kotelnicki – In addition to being a member of our docent hike team, Susan has also been helping in our office a couple times a week all summer.
Andy Herum – Andy is one of the original members of our docent hike team, and recently signed on to be the “Special Steward” of our Canyon View Preserve.
Collin Hobbs – A recent addition to our Community Council, Collin has been collecting public information for our conveyance fee program and helping PLT implement the goals of our West Placer Habitat Protection Program.
Thanks to all of our volunteers!