“Gold! Gold from the American River!” So cried the carpenter James W. Marshall on January 24, 1848, as the story goes, when he found flakes of the precious metal at Coloma, California, thus ushering into the region a wave of steely-eyed prospectors. As word of the California Gold Rush spread around the world, photographers, too, arrived, and themselves struck metaphorical gold. They set up studios in wagons and captured the historic frenzy around them, making the Gold Rush the first major event in the country to be documented extensively through the then-new medium.
The project will close the Jiboom Street Bridge at Discovery Park, causing hundreds of cyclists who use the bridge daily to change their routine. The bridge will close down on January 2 and re-open on May 31. While the county has suggested other routes, cyclists say they’re not viable options.
There’s no argument from those who regularly use the Jibboom Street Bridge over the American River that it badly needs repairs. This is the only direct legal crossing for people on bikes and walking between Natomas and downtown Sacramento.
Local bicycle advocates estimate during weekday evening commutes an average of 300 cyclists cross the bridge, which was built in 1934. The county suggested two other routes, but many are calling them inadequate.
“The next nearest crossing is the Blue Diamond Bridge, two miles upstream, or the 8th Street and Guy West bridges in the Sac State area — about 7 miles upstream,” said a cycling advocate. For a commuter traveling between downtown and South Natomas, that’s either an additional 4 to 14 miles — one way.
“It underscores the lack of bridges and connectivity as our city grows north of 100,000 people, which is 20 percent of our population now living north of the American River,” said Councilman Steve Hansen.
It appears this is an average year for the number of fall-fun Chinook Salmon returning to spawn in the American River.
The numbers were expected to be much lower because of high water temperatures and predators when the fish were juveniles heading to the ocean during the drought.
Efforts to help salmon populations in recent years include releases of cold water during the beginning and end of the salmon’s life cycle and the rehabilitation of 30 acres of American River spawning ground with 100,000 tons of gravel.
Laura Drath with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said the daily reports show the numbers of returning salmon are on par with an average year.
A portion of the American River Bike Trail near Nimbus Dam will be closed for more than three days beginning Monday, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and state Department of Parks and Recreation report.
During the three days, there will be electricity tests of the ground grid at Nimbus Dam and Powerplant, according to a Bureau of Reclamation news release. The tests will ensure proper grounding of electrical equipment and other metallic objects in and around the dam and powerplant, officials said.
Sacramento Fire Department crews quickly corralled a grass fire on the American River Parkway early Monday afternoon.
The fire was reported near mile marker 5 and crews were making access to the area about 1:45 p.m., according to a Fire Department Twitter post. Fire crews were able to confine the fire to about half an acre and were reported mopping up the area about 2:15 p.m.
State parks personnel and members of the Placer County sheriff’s dive team are searching for a swimmer reported missing in the American River near Auburn.
The swimmer disappeared near the confluence of the north and middle forks of the American River, a popular recreation area, late Tuesday morning, according an Auburn State Recreation Area staff member.
The Bureau of Reclamation, in partnership with the California Department of Parks and Recreation, has temporarily closed a portion of the American River Bike Trail along Lake Natoma due to landslide activity that began January 22, south of Negro Bar.
Another dog bite occurred Sunday along the American River Parkway, where some cyclists are concerned about owners not watching their animals closely enough.
A bicyclist and the dog owner were chatting near mile 3.5 on the parkway not far from Cal Expo about 3:30 p.m. Sunday when the bite occurred, according Sacramento County spokeswoman Kim Nava.
The man was bit on the face and the leg by the leashed dog. The dog was taken to the Sacramento County Animal Control shelter.
Sacramento County rangers interviewed the dog owner and the investigation into what occurred is ongoing, said Nava. The dog’s breed was unconfirmed.
“Evidently, all the parties were speaking to each other,” said Nava. “Something startled the dog and he bit the parkway visitor. They are still investigating exactly what happened.”
The injured man was treated by Sacramento City Fire Department personnel. He later sought further treatment, Nava said.
While the dog in the Sunday incident was on a leash, Sacramento County rangers cite about a half-dozen people every month for not having dogs on leashes in county parks, including the American River Parkway.