Levee Improvements Begin In Sacramento

The construction is taking place along the south bank of the American River between Watt Avenue and the Mayhew Drain. About two dozen trucks will be making up to 150 trips a day.

Dave Cook is the project manager. He says the levee is eroding because of abundant Sierra snowmelt.

“When that happens the water speeds up and actually starts to tear the banks away and the sediment starts to transport itself down the river and it causes problems in the fact that if we had a failure it would obviously flood businesses and homeowners in that area.”

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Salmon run to be on display as Nimbus fish ladder opens

The fish ladder at Nimbus Hatchery on the American River is expected to open for the season Tuesday, giving visitors a chance to witness a resurgent fall salmon run.

Visitors are likely to see a strong fall chinook salmon run at the hatchery for the first time in four years. Fishermen are enjoying the first full salmon season since 2007. Anglers are crowding both the American and Sacramento rivers for the chance to catch a king salmon, which typically return to spawn in their freshwater birthplace after three years in the ocean.

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Nonprofit group cares for Folsom Lake, Lake Natoma

A nonprofit group is lending a helping hand to the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area in tough fiscal times.

“We are one of the newest state park cooperating associations,” said Linda McDonald, president of Friends of Lakes Folsom and Natoma, which is looking for more members to join the 2-year-old organization. “Our membership drive is just getting under way.”

McDonald, along with board members Crystal Barber, Paula David, Ken McKowen and Bob Hall, hope to help state parks officials maintain the recreation area that draws tens of thousands of visitors each year to its rolling hills of valley oak, chaparral and the two lakes. Wildlife includes herds of black-tailed deer and soaring red-tailed hawks.

“I love the park and want to give back,” McDonald said. “Folsom Lake was once a park away from the city. Now, it is surrounded by development. It covers three different counties – El Dorado, Sacramento and Placer. It is really one of the most heavily used parks in the state.”

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Proposal to build flood control center along American River Parkway draws fire

A large new government office building, filled with 600 skilled wage earners, would seem to be a blessing for the economically depressed Sacramento region.

But some are treating a proposal to build one alongside the American River Parkway as a curse.

State and federal agencies want to build a high-security, 200,000-square-foot nerve center for California flood protection on a 25-acre parcel next to the state-operated Nimbus Fish Hatchery in Rancho Cordova.

Critics, who range from the area’s congressman to nearby homeowners, condemn the project as inappropriate for the American River Parkway, the region’s most treasured and scenic recreational asset.

There are looming questions about whether it makes sense to park a flood-control headquarters next to a flood-prone river downstream of Folsom Dam, the region’s largest.

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Game warden holds out hope for troublesome bear family

After calls poured into the Placer County Sheriff’s Office as a family of wayward bears wandered into Roseville over the weekend, Fish and Game officials now hope they’ll stay out of trouble.

“I’m not sure of the outcome,” Placer Game Warden Brian Moore told the Fish and Game Commission Wednesday night.

Moore said right now a trap has been set for the bears if they return to Granite Bay. If caught there, they would be put down.

“It was requested by the homeowner,” Moore said. “A landowner that has property damage due to wildlife can request the depredation (kill) permit and we can’t refuse them.”

The four bears were last spotted Wednesday near Horseshoe Bar Road and Auburn Folsom Road.

Moore said the bears have been known to frequent the unsecured garbage of a restaurant near the I-80 and Foresthill exit in Auburn and for some unknown reason started the trek to Roseville.

The unusual location for bears spurred about 40 calls into the Sheriff’s Office reporting the black bear sow and her triplet cubs as they made it down to Granite Bay through Loomis and back again.

Rocklin resident Greg Janda’s wife Julie discovered the suburban spectacle Saturday morning – bears going house to house off Scarborough Drive in Roseville.

“They followed the greenbelt into our neighborhoods,” Janda said.

He told the commission he supported the bears and didn’t want them killed.

“They are not interested in you, they are looking for food,” Janda said. “Don’t invite them by having food around for them.”

Moore believes bear-proof trash cans are a great deterrent but doesn’t believe Roseville residents need to go out and get one.

“No, this is isolated,” Moore said. “I think over the weekend the bears were scared pretty bad. People were seeing them and they were scattering. I hope they come back up here go back in that American River Canyon and start eating grubs, berries and grass and be bears.”

More at the Roseville Press Tribune >>

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Parachute Problems Leave Base-Jumper Dangling 60 Feet Up

Placer County crews made a daring rescue when a base-jumper got caught in a tree after taking a late-night leap from California’s tallest bridge.

The jumper’s parachute caught on a tree, and he found himself hanging 60 feet above the ground, according to Cal Fire.The man hung there for about an hour and a half before calling 911 from his cellphone.

Rescue crews from the Placer County Sheriff’s Department used a helicopter to rescue the jumper. Those involved said this was one of the most difficult rescues they have ever pulled off, because the rotors from the helicopter create so much wind.

More at KCRA.com >>

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Conservation nonprofits squeezed as economy shrinks budgets

Nonprofit conservation groups have preserved tens of thousands of acres of land in California – wild places where both hikers and animals roam. Now, some of them say the economic slump could force them to scale back.

Others say lean budgets make it harder for them to scrutinize land use proposals for environmental effects – a key role such groups play in the state’s push-pull development process.

Most groups don’t like to talk about their financial difficulties, but one, the American River Conservancy, recently took the unusual step of going public. In an email to members and supporters, the group confessed that “times are hard” and it needs to raise $250,000 by year-end or it will be forced to cut programs in 2012.

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Effie Yeaw Nature Center assisted by non-profit group

The Effie Yeaw Nature Center was in rough shape last summer when Sacramento County relinquished control of it because of budget problems.

The nature center was left on its own to find funding, but a non-profit group, the American River Natural History Association, stepped up to the plate.

Through a grassroots fundraising effort, the association was able to raise the money needed to help rescue the center and rehire about 60 percent of the staff that was laid off last year.  Part of that effort included designing and selling guide books for the American River Parkway.

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Hundreds Voice Outrage Over Possible Plan For New Flood Operation Center

The building could be built on the American River next to the Nimbus Fish Hatchery.The federal and state government is studying three different locations for a new flood operation center that would house three state and federal agencies, the Department of Water Resources, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the National Weather Service.

The proposed site is the Nimbus Fish Hatchery and two alternative sites are Mather Airport and near the intersection of Sunrise and Killgore in Rancho Cordova.

The size of the proposed center is 200,000 square feet.

Hundreds of concerned residents are angry the government would even consider building such a large structure so close to the river and the bike trail.

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