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.

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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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Sacramento foodie’s cookbook will drive locavores wild

Are you the type of person who fishes shad out of the Sacramento River and who treks along the American River to forage for blackberries, fennel, miner’s lettuce and all sorts of other goodies? Do you go down to Napa to shoot wild turkeys grown fat on thieved grapes from the vineyards or crawl into Dixon to blow away a few quail for dinner?

Local food writer Hank Shaw is best known for his food blog Hunter Angler Gardener Cook (http://honest-food.net), where he chronicles his gourmet approach to wild food. Shaw has recently come out with a new book. Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast (Rodale, $25.99) is the must read for the hunter/fisher/forager and all-around foodie.

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Officials ask for help in identifying parkway arsonist

Fire officials are asking the public to help identify the person responsible for a series of arson fires along the American River Parkway in recent days.

A total of 15 fires were deliberately set — nine on Sept. 10 and six on Wednesday, said Assistant Chief Scott Cockrum of the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District.

The arson occurred near River Bend Park, in an area of heavy vegetation that could fuel a major fire, Cockrum said.

“In this area there are no homes, but there is dense brush, with trees, shrubs and a lot of dead stuff,” he said.

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Fire crews battle small fires along American River Bike Trail

Metro Fire responded to multiple small fires along the American River Bike Trail Wednesday morning near mile markers 14 and 15.

According to Metro Fire dispatch, there were five small fires in total near River Bend Park. The location was the same area burned by arsonists over the previous weekend.

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American River Parkway arsons, no suspect yet

Arson investigators said the grass fires along the American River Saturday morning were set intentionally.

“Having somebody coming through here and start these fires is really concerning that this was an intentional act to have a huge fire run through the American River Parkway,” Sacramento Metro Fire Assist. Chief Scott Cockrum said.

Sacramento Metro Fire crews fought seven to nine grass fires along the American River around 6 a.m. Saturday, Cockrum said.

The grass fires were spotted from River Bend Park to Hagan Park and burned 19 acres of land.

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Parkway crowds generally well-behaved during holiday weekend

The Labor Day weekend was busy on the American River Parkway, but with the exception of visitors who sought to circumvent the holiday alcohol ban, crowds along the parkway were generally well-behaved, said John Havicon, ranger supervisor with Sacramento County Regional Parks.

“A lot of alcohol was poured out,” Havicon said.

He said 20 tickets were issued to people for violating the alcohol ban.

Havicon said rangers this year have found more people trying to bring in hard liquor, often in water bottles, for mixed drinks.

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