California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 1716

Introduced by Assembly Members McCarty and Cooley

(Coauthor: Senator Pan)

January 27, 2016

An act to add Division 22.2 (commencing with Section 32280) to the Public Resources Code, relating to the Lower American River Conservancy.


AB 1716, as introduced, McCarty. Lower American River Conservancy.

Existing law establishes various conservancies in the Natural Resources Agency to acquire, manage, direct the management of, and conserve public lands in the state.

This bill would establish in the Natural Resources Agency the Lower American River Conservancy to receive and expend proceeds from bonds or other appropriations for the benefit of the American River Parkway, as defined. The bill would create the Lower American River Conservancy Fund in the State Treasury, and would specify that moneys in the fund shall be available, upon appropriation, for the purposes of the conservancy.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P1    1


Division 22.2 (commencing with Section 32280)
2is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:


P2    1Division 22.2.  Lower American River





This division shall be known, and may be cited, as the
5Lower American River Conservancy Act.



The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

7(a) The lower American River is one of California’s most
8important natural environments, providing recreational,
9environmental, and educational opportunities to more than
108,000,000 visitors each year. It also serves as a unique urban
11greenbelt composed of more than 5,000 acres and lying
12immediately adjacent to, and within, two incorporated cities and
13the unincorporated County of Sacramento.

14(b) The American River Parkway includes natural and
15recreational resources of statewide interest and is often referred
16to as “the jewel” of the Sacramento region, and it is managed as
17such with an intent to fulfill the vision set forth through past
18 collaborative efforts involving advocates and stakeholders, the
19County of Sacramento, and the Legislature.

20(c) The American River Parkway was established by the County
21of Sacramento, with financial support from the state and other
22public and private entities.

23(d) Since establishing it, the County of Sacramento has
24continued to own, manage, operate, and patrol the American River
25Parkway’s lands and resources.

26(e) The American River Parkway provides additional benefits
27to the state and the Sacramento region including flood control,
28water supply, water quality, habitat for anadromous fisheries,
29including salmon and steelhead, habitat for migratory waterfowl
30and other wildlife, and others.

31(f) The Legislature recognized the statewide importance of the
32 American River Parkway in enacting the Urban American River
33Parkway Preservation Act (Chapter 10 (commencing with Section
345840) of Division 5), which culminated with the adoption of the
35American River Parkway Plan.

36(g) The state has an interest in assisting local agencies in
37expanding, enhancing, and restoring the natural, recreational, and
38educational resources in, and adjacent to, the American River

P3    1(h) The establishment of the Lower American River
2Conservancy can provide a state partner to work cooperatively
3with local agencies, particularly the County of Sacramento, and
4nonprofit organizations to help fund projects and provide grants
5to restore, enhance, interpret, protect, and increase public access
6to the American River Parkway’s natural, recreational, educational,
7and cultural resources.



For purposes of this division, the following terms
9have the following meanings:

10(a) “American River Parkway” means the area described in the
11American River Parkway Plan.

12(b) “American River Parkway Plan” has the same meaning as
13in subdivision (a) of Section 5841.

14(c) “Conservancy” means the Lower American River
15Conservancy established by this division.

16(d) “Governing board” means the governing board of the

18(e) “Nonprofit organization” means any private, nonprofit
19organization, with nonprofit status acknowledged by the United
20States Internal Revenue Service, that qualifies under Section
21501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code, as amended,
22and that has among its principal charitable purposes the
23preservation, restoration, or interpretation of land for scientific,
24historic, educational, recreational, scenic, or open-space purposes,
25the protection of the natural environment or biological resources,
26or both, or the preservation or enhancement of wildlife, or both.



(a) There is in the Natural Resources Agency the Lower
28American River Conservancy, which is created for the purpose of
29receiving and expending proceeds from bonds or other
30appropriations made in the annual Budget Act or other statutes,
31for the benefit of the American River Parkway.

32(b) To the extent permissible under this division, the
33conservancy shall prioritize expending funds for purposes of
34developing and implementing a Natural Resource Management
35Plan and improving access to and protection of the American River



(a) The governing board shall consist of the following

P4    1(1) Three members of the Board of Supervisors of the County
2of Sacramento, selected by a majority vote of the Board of

4(2) Two representatives of the City of Sacramento, which may
5include the Mayor and one member of the City Council of the City
6of Sacramento, or two members of the City Council, selected by
7a majority vote of the City Council.

8(3) The Mayor or a member of the City Council of the City of
9Rancho Cordova, selected by a majority vote of the City Council.

10(4) The Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency, or his or
11her designee.

12(5) The Director of Finance, or his or her designee.

13(6) The Director of Parks and Recreation, or his or her designee.

14(7) The Director of Fish and Wildlife, or his or her designee.

15(8) The Executive Director of the Wildlife Conservation Board,
16or his or her designee.

17(9) The Executive Officer of the State Lands Commission, or
18his or her designee.

19(10) Three members from the public at large, one appointed by
20the Governor, one appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules,
21and one appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly.

22(b) Public-at-large members appointed pursuant to paragraph
23(10) of subdivision (a) may serve for one or more four-year terms.

24(c) Members appointed pursuant to paragraphs (1) to (3),
25inclusive, of subdivision (a) shall serve at the pleasure of their
26appointing authority.

27(d) All members of the governing board shall be voting

29(e) A person shall not continue as a member of the governing
30board if that person ceases to hold the office that qualifies that
31person for membership. In that event, the person’s membership
32on the governing board shall automatically terminate.



The members of the governing board who are not
34full-time public employees may be compensated for attendance at
35regular meetings of the conservancy at the rate of one hundred
36dollars ($100) per regular meeting, not to exceed 12 regular
37meetings a year. All members of the governing board may be
38reimbursed the actual amount of the reasonable and necessary
39expenditures incurred in attending meetings of the conservancy
40and carrying out the duties of their office.

P5    1


The governing board shall elect from its own members
2a chairperson and vice chairperson, whose terms of office shall be
3two years, and who may serve more than one term. In the event
4of a vacancy, a new chairperson or vice chairperson may be elected
5by the governing board before the expiration of the two-year term
6to fill out the remainder of that two-year term.



The governing board shall meet at least once each
8quarter at one or more locations within Sacramento County. A
9majority of the membership of the governing body shall constitute
10a quorum for the transaction of the business of the conservancy.
11If a quorum is present, a majority vote of the members present is
12sufficient to transact the business of the governing board. Meetings
13of the governing board shall be open to the public and subject to
14the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act (Chapter 9 (commencing
15with Section 54950) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the
16Government Code).



The governing board shall adopt rules and procedures
18necessary to conduct its business.



The conservancy shall do all of the following:

20(a) Coordinate its activities with the County of Sacramento,
21each city that includes a portion of the American River Parkway,
22appropriate local and regional flood control districts, and relevant
23state agencies.

24(b) Administer any funds appropriated to the conservancy or
25any revenues generated by the conservancy.

26(c) Provide grants to the County of Sacramento for the
27development, update, adoption, and implementation of a Natural
28Resource Management Plan for the American River Parkway, and
29to other local agencies and nonprofit organizations whose projects
30are approved by the parkway manager for implementation of that



Consistent with the American River Parkway Plan, the
33conservancy may do any of the following:

34(a) Provide grants to local public agencies and nonprofit
35organizations whose projects are approved by the parkway manager
36to be used for one or more of the following purposes:

37(1) The acquisition, restoration, enhancement, and maintenance
38of fish and wildlife habitat and other natural resources, including
39resources impacted by wildfire, within and adjacent to, the
40American River Parkway.

P6    1(2) The improvement and expansion of public access facilities
2including trails.

3(3) The enhancement of interpretive and educational facilities
4related to the American River Parkway and its natural, cultural,
5and historic resources.

6(b) Improve and enhance lands within, and adjacent to, the
7American River Parkway.

8(c) Design, implement, and provide grants to local agencies and
9nonprofit organizations for multibenefit projects to capture
10stormwater and improve water quality, enhance fish and wildlife
11habitat, improve recreational areas, and increase water supply, or
12a combination of those benefits, on lands within the American
13River Parkway or lands adjacent to the American River Parkway
14and within the boundaries of the County of Sacramento.

15(d) Solicit grants, donations of in-kind services, and other
16contributions from federal, state, and private sources for the
17purposes of this division.

18(e) Establish necessary advisory boards or committees related
19to the purposes of this division.



The conservancy shall not do any of the following:

21(a) Fund or implement projects on lands without the written
22consent of the landowner.

23(b) Regulate the use of lands or waters not under the jurisdiction
24of the conservancy.

25(c) Levy any tax or special assessment.

26(d) Provide grants or take other actions that are inconsistent
27with the American River Parkway Plan or the Urban American
28River Parkway Preservation Act (Chapter 10 (commencing with
29Section 5840) of Division 5), including, but not limited to, a project
30determined by the Board of Supervisors of the County of
31 Sacramento to be inconsistent with that plan or that act.

32(e) Own or acquire land.



The Lower American River Conservancy Fund is hereby
34created in the State Treasury. Moneys in the fund shall be available,
35upon appropriation, for the purposes of this division.



Nothing in this act shall supersede or diminish the
37existing authority of the County of Sacramento or any other entity
38responsible for the management, operation, maintenance, or
P7    1protection of lands and resources within the American River