Amended in Senate June 9, 2016

Amended in Assembly April 26, 2016

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 amended, 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 create the Lower American River Conservancy in the Natural Resources Agency 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 Statebegin delete Treasury,end deletebegin insert Treasuryend insert and would specify that moneys in the fund shall be available, upon appropriation, for the purposes of thebegin delete conservancy.end deletebegin insert conservancy, as provided.end insert

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

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

P2    1


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


4Division 22.2.  Lower American River





This division shall be known, and may be cited, as the
8Lower American River Conservancy Act.



The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

10(a) The lower American River is one of California’s most
11important natural environments, providing recreational,
12environmental, and educational opportunities to more than
138,000,000 visitors each year. It also serves as a unique urban
14greenbelt composed of more than 5,000 acres and lying
15immediatelybegin delete adjacentend deletebegin insert nextend insert to and within two incorporated cities
16and the unincorporated County of Sacramento.

17(b) The American River Parkway includes natural and
18recreational resources of statewide interest and is often referred
19to as “the jewel” of the Sacramento region, and it is managed as
20such with an intent to fulfill the vision set forth through past
21 collaborative efforts involving advocates and stakeholders, the
22County of Sacramento, and the Legislature.

23(c) The American River Parkway was established by the County
24of Sacramento, with financial support from the state and other
25public and private entities.

26(d) Since establishingbegin delete it,end deletebegin insert the American River Parkway in 1959,end insert
27 the County of Sacramento hasbegin delete continued toend deletebegin insert and will continue to
28update, maintain, and determine consistency with the American
29River Parkway Plan and to serve as the Parkway Manager toend insert
30manage, operate, and patrol thebegin delete American River Parkway’send delete lands
31andbegin delete resources.end deletebegin insert resources within the American River Parkway.end insert

32(e) The American River Parkway provides additional benefits
33to the state and the Sacramento region including flood control,
34water supply, water quality, habitat for anadromous fisheries,
35including salmon and steelhead, and habitat for migratory
36waterfowl and other wildlife.

37(f) The Legislature recognized the statewide importance of the
38 American River Parkway in enacting the Urban American River
P3    1Parkway Preservation Act (Chapter 10 (commencing with Section
25840) of Division 5), which culminated with the adoption of the
3American River Parkwaybegin delete Plan.end deletebegin insert Plan and the Bushy Lake
4Preservation Act (Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 5830) of
5Division 5).end insert

begin insert(g)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insertThe statewide and national importance of the Lower
7American River Parkway was further recognized when it was
8designated as part of the California Wild and Scenic Rivers System
9and the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The American
10River Parkway Plan acts as the management plan for the lower
11American River under the California Wild and Scenic Rivers Act
12(Chapter 1.4 (commencing with Section 5093.50) of Division 5),
13providing management guidance and direction for state
14departments and agencies, as well as local governments, in
15carrying out their responsibilities under that act.end insert

begin delete


end delete

17begin insert(h)end insert The state has an interest in assisting local agencies in
18expanding, enhancing, and restoring the natural, recreational, and
19educational resources in and adjacent to the American River

begin delete


end delete

22begin insert(i)end insert The establishment of the Lower American River Conservancy
23can provide a state partner to work cooperatively with local
24agencies, particularly the County ofbegin delete Sacramento,end deletebegin insert Sacramento in
25its role as the Parkway Manager,end insert
and nonprofit organizations to
26help fund projects and provide grants to restore, enhance, interpret,
27protect, andbegin delete increaseend deletebegin insert improveend insert public access to the American River
28Parkway’s natural, recreational, educational, and cultural resources.



For purposes of this division, the following terms
30have the following meanings:

begin insert

(a) “Adjacent to” means downstream of the Nimbus Dam and
32next to or in the immediate vicinity of the American River Parkway.

end insert
begin delete


end delete

34begin insert(b)end insert “American River Parkway” meansbegin insert those portions ofend insert the area
35described in the American River Parkwaybegin delete Plan.end deletebegin insert Plan between the
36Nimbus Dam and the confluence of the American River with the
37Sacramento River.end insert

begin delete


end delete
begin delete


end delete

P4    1begin insert(c)end insert “American River Parkway Plan” has the same meaning as
2in subdivision (a) of Section 5841.

begin delete


end delete

4begin insert(d)end insert “Conservancy” means the Lower American River
5Conservancy established by this division.

begin delete


end delete

7begin insert(e)end insert “Governing board” means the governing board of the

begin delete


end delete

10begin insert(f)end insert “Nonprofit organization” means a private, nonprofit
11organization, with nonprofit status acknowledged by the United
12States Internal Revenue Service, that qualifies under Section
13501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended, and that has
14among its principal charitable purposes the preservation,
15restoration, or interpretation of land for scientific, historic,
16educational, recreational, scenic, or open-space purposes, the
17protection of the natural environment or biological resources, or
18both, or the preservation or enhancement of wildlife, or both.

begin insert

(g) “Parkway Manager” means the Sacramento County Board
20of Supervisors or its designee.

end insert


(a) The Lower American River Conservancy is hereby
22created in the Natural Resources Agency to receive and expend
23proceeds from bonds or other appropriations made in the annual
24Budget Act or other statutes for the benefit of the American River

26(b) To the extent permissible under this division, the
27conservancy shall prioritize expending moneys to develop and
28implement a natural resource management plan and to improve
29access to and protection of the American River Parkway.



(a) The governing board shall consist of the following

32(1) Three members of the Board of Supervisors of the County
33of Sacramento, selected by a majority vote of the board of

35(2) Two representatives of the City of Sacramento, which may
36include the Mayor and one member of the City Council of the City
37of Sacramento, or two members of the city council, selected by a
38majority vote of the city council.

39(3) The Mayor or a member of the City Council of the City of
40Rancho Cordova, selected by a majority vote of the city council.

P5    1(4) The Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency, or his or
2her designee.

3(5) The Director of Finance, or his or her designee.

4(6) The Director of Parks and Recreation, or his or her designee.

5(7) The Director of Fish and Wildlife, or his or her designee.

6(8) The Executive Director of the Wildlife Conservation Board,
7or his or her designee.

8(9) The Executive Officer of the State Lands Commission, or
9his or her designee.

10(10) Three members from the public at large, one appointed by
11the Governor, one appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules,
12and one appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly.

13(b) Public-at-large members appointed pursuant to paragraph
14(10) of subdivision (a) may serve for one or more four-year terms.
begin insert These members shall have a demonstrated knowledge of and
16expertise in the American River Parkway and the American River
17Parkway Plan.end insert

18(c) Members appointed pursuant to paragraphs (1) to (3),
19inclusive, of subdivision (a) shall serve at the pleasure of their
20appointing authority.

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

23(e) A person shall not continue as a member of the governing
24board if that person ceases to hold the office that qualifies that
25person for membership. In that event, the person’s membership
26on the governing board shall automatically terminate.



The members of the governing board who are not
28full-time public employees may be compensated for attendance at
29regular meetings of the conservancy at the rate of one hundred
30dollars ($100) per regular meeting, not to exceed 12 regular
31meetings a year. All members of the governing board may be
32reimbursed the actual amount of the reasonable and necessary
33expenditures incurred in attending meetings of the conservancy
34and carrying out the duties of their office.



The governing board shall elect from its own members
36a chair and vice chair, whose terms of office shall be two years,
37and who may serve more than one term. In the event of a vacancy,
38a new chair or vice chair may be elected by the governing board
39before the expiration of the two-year term to fill the remainder of
40that two-year term.

P6    1


The governing board shall meet at least once each
2quarter at one or more locations within the County of Sacramento.
3A majority of the membership of the governing body shall
4constitute a quorum for the transaction of the business of the
5conservancy. If a quorum is present, a majority vote of the
6members present is sufficient to transact the business of the
7governing board. Meetings of the governing board shall be open
8to the public and subject to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act
9 (Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120)begin insert of Chapter 1 of Part
101end insert
of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code).



The governing board shall adopt rules and procedures
12necessary to conduct its business.



The conservancy shall do all of the following:

14(a) Coordinate its activities with the County of Sacramento,
15each city that includes a portion of the American River Parkway,
16appropriate local and regional flood control districts, and relevant
17state agencies.

18(b) begin deleteConsult end deletebegin insertPrior to approving funding for any project, do both
19of the following:end insert

20begin insert(1)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insertConsultend insert with the County of Sacramentobegin delete onend deletebegin insert as toend insert whether
21the conservancy’sbegin insert proposedend insert actions are consistent with the
22American River Parkway Plan.

begin insert

(2) Draft a staff report that includes all findings, written
24comments, and reports submitted by the County of Sacramento
25and the Parkway Manager as to whether the conservancy’s actions
26are consistent with the American River Parkway Plan.

end insert

27(c) Administer any moneys appropriated to the conservancy or
28any revenues generated by the conservancy.

29(d) Provide funding and assistance to the County of Sacramento
30for the development, update, adoption, and implementation of a
31natural resource management plan for the American River Parkway,
32and grants to other local agencies and nonprofit organizations
33begin insert whose projects are approved by the County of Sacramentoend insert for
34implementation of that plan.

begin insert

(e) Prior to providing funding for any acquisition project within
36the American River Parkway, require and ensure that title to the
37lands to be acquired shall be held by the County of Sacramento.

end insert


Consistent with the American River Parkway Plan, the
39conservancy may do any of the following:

P7    1(a) Provide grants to local public agencies and nonprofit
2organizations to be used for one or more of the following purposes:

3(1) Thebegin insert acquisition,end insert restoration, enhancement, and maintenance
4of fish and wildlife habitat and other natural resources, including
5resources impacted by wildfire, within and adjacent to the
6American River Parkway.begin insert Any land acquisition funded pursuant
7to this paragraph shall be subject to subdivision (e) of Section
832285.end insert

9(2) The improvement and expansion of publicbegin delete access facilitiesend delete
10begin insert access, recreational areas, and recreational facilities,end insert including

12(3) The enhancement of interpretive and educational facilities
13related to the American River Parkway and its natural, cultural,
14and historic resources.

begin insert

(4) The control and removal of invasive species and the
16propogation of native species.

end insert

17(b) Improve and enhance lands within and adjacent to the
18American River Parkway.

19(c) Design, implement, and provide grants to local agencies and
20nonprofit organizations forbegin delete multibenefit projects to capture
21stormwater and improve water quality, enhance fish and wildlife
22habitat, improve recreational areas, and increase water supply, or
23a combination of those benefits, on lands within or adjacent to the
24American River Parkway and within the boundaries of the County
25of Sacramento.end delete
begin insert both of the following:end insert

begin insert

(1) Stormwater capture and treatment projects to improve the
27quality of water that flows within and into the American River
28Parkway. Stormwater projects may include lands within and
29adjacent to the American River Parkway and its tributaries
30downstream of the Nimbus Dam and within Sacramento County.

end insert
begin insert

(2) Projects to enhance fish and wildlife habitat and increase
32open space.

end insert

33(d) Solicit grants, donations of in-kind services, and other
34contributions from federal, state, and private sources for the
35purposes of this division.

36(e) Establish necessary advisory boards or committees related
37to the purposes of this division.



The conservancy shall not do any of the following:

39(a) Fund or implement projects on lands without the written
40consent of the landowner.

P8    1(b) Regulate the use of lands or waters.

2(c) Levy any tax or special assessment.

3(d) Provide grants or take other actions that are inconsistent
4with the American River Parkwaybegin delete Planend deletebegin insert Plan, the Bushy Lake
5Preservation Act (Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 5830) of
6Division 5),end insert
or the Urban American River Parkway Preservation
7Act (Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 5840) of Division 5).

8(e) Own or acquire land.



The Lower American River Conservancy Fund is hereby
10created in the State Treasury. Moneys in the fund shall be available,
11upon appropriation, for the purposes of this division.



Nothing in this act shall supersede or diminish the
13existing authority ofbegin delete theend deletebegin insert either of the following:end insert

14begin insert(a)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insertTheend insert County of Sacramento or any other entity responsible
15for the management, operation, maintenance, or protection of lands
16and resources within the American River Parkway.

begin insert

(b) The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors acting as the
18Parkway Manager pursuant to its authority to interpret and
19implement the American River Parkway Plan.

end insert