Amended in Senate August 2, 2016

Amended in Senate June 22, 2016

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 Chapter 10.5 (commencing with Section 5845) to Division 5 of the Public Resources Code, relating to the Lower American River, and making an appropriation therefor.


AB 1716, as amended, McCarty. Lower American River Conservancy Program.

The Urban American River Parkway Preservation Act adopts the American River Parkway Plan to provide coordination among governmental agencies in the protection and management of natural land, water, native wildlife, and vegetation of the American River Parkway and requires actions of state and local agencies with regard to land use decisions be consistent with the plan, as provided. Existing law establishes the Wildlife Conservation Board within the Department of Fish and Wildlife and requires the board to investigate, study, and determine areas in the state that are most suitable for certain wildlife-related purposes.

This bill would require the board to implement and administer the Lower American River Conservancy Program to receive and expend moneys for the benefit of the Lower American River and related lands by, among other things, providing grants to local public agencies and nonprofit organizations for projects benefiting the Lower American River. The bill would require the board to establish an advisory committee, as specified. The bill would establish the Lower American River Conservancy Program Fund in the State Treasury and would make moneys in the fund available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for purposes of the program. The bill would authorize the board to accept moneys, grants, goods or services contributed to it by public agencies, or private entities or persons and would require those moneys be deposited in the Donation Account, which the bill would establish in the fund. The bill would continuously appropriate the moneys in the account to the board for purposes of the program, thereby making an appropriation. The bill would authorize the board, upon receipt, to use goods and services contributed by public agencies, or private entities or persons.

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

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

P2    1


Chapter 10.5 (commencing with Section 5845)
2is added to Division 5 of the Public Resources Code, to read:


4Chapter  10.5. Lower American River Conservancy




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



(a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the

11(1) The Lower American River is one of California’s most
12important natural environments, providing recreational,
13environmental, and educational opportunities to more than
148,000,000 visitors each year. It also serves as a unique urban
15greenbelt composed of more than 5,000 acres and lying
16immediately next to and within two incorporated cities and the
17unincorporated County of Sacramento.

P3    1(2) The American River Parkway includes natural and
2recreational resources of statewide interest and is often referred
3to as “the jewel” of the Sacramento region, and it is managed as
4such with an intent to fulfill the vision set forth through past
5collaborative efforts involving advocates and stakeholders, the
6County of Sacramento, state agencies, and the Legislature.

7(3) The American River Parkway was established by the County
8of Sacramento, with financial support from the state and other
9public and private entities.

10(4) Since establishing the American River Parkway in 1959,
11the County of Sacramento has and will continue to update,
12maintain, and determine consistency with the American River
13Parkway Plan and to serve as the Parkway Manager to own,
14manage, operate, and patrol the lands and resources within the
15American River Parkway.

16(5) The American River Parkway provides additional benefits
17to the state and the Sacramento region including flood control,
18water supply, water quality, habitat for anadromous fisheries,
19including salmon and steelhead, habitat for migratory waterfowl,
20habitat for sensitive species, including Swainson’s hawks, peregrine
21falcons, northern harriers, white-tailed kites, and western pond
22turtles, and habitat for other wildlife, including river otters.

23(6) The Legislature recognized the statewide importance of the
24American River Parkway in enacting the Urban American River
25Parkway Preservation Act (Chapter 10 (commencing with Section
265840)), which culminated with the adoption of the American River
27Parkway Plan and the Bushy Lake Preservation Act (Chapter 9
28(commencing with Section 5830)).

29(7) The statewide and national importance of the Lower
30American River Parkway was further recognized when it was
31designated as part of the California Wild and Scenic Rivers System
32and the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The American
33River Parkway Plan acts as the management plan for the lower
34American River under the California Wild and Scenic Rivers Act
35(Chapter 1.4 (commencing with Section 5093.50)), providing
36management guidance and direction for state departments and
37agencies, as well as local governments, in carrying out their
38responsibilities under that act.

39(8) The state has an interest in working with local agencies to
40expand, enhance, and restore the natural, recreational, cultural,
P4    1and educational resources in and adjacent to the American River

3(9) The establishment of the Lower American River
4Conservancy Program will provide a state partner to work
5cooperatively with local agencies, particularly the County of
6Sacramento in its role as the Parkway Manager, and nonprofit
7organizations to help fund projects and provide grants to restore,
8enhance, interpret, protect, and improve public access to the
9American River Parkway’s natural, recreational, educational, and
10 cultural resources.

11(b) It is the intent of the Legislature that the Lower American
12River Conservancy Program be a continuation of the state’s historic
13role in providing funding to advance the protection and restoration
14of the natural resources of the Lower American River while
15continuing the County of Sacramento’s historic role in managing
16the lands and public uses of the American River Parkway.



For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions

19(a) “Adjacent to” means downstream of the Nimbus Dam and
20next to or in the immediate vicinity of the American River

22(b) “Advisory committee” means the advisory committee
23established pursuant to Section 5845.4.

24(c) “American River Parkway” means those portions of the area
25described in the American River Parkway Plan between the Nimbus
26Dam and the confluence of the American River with the
27Sacramento River.

28(d) “American River Parkway Plan” has the same meaning as
29in subdivision (a) of Section 5841.

30(e) “Board” means the Wildlife Conservation Board established
31pursuant to Section 1320 of the Fish and Game Code.

32(f) “Fund” means the Lower American River Conservancy Fund
33established pursuant to Section 5845.9.

34(g) “Nonprofit organization” means a private, nonprofit
35organization, with nonprofit status acknowledged by the United
36States Internal Revenue Service, that qualifies under Section
37501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended, and that has
38among its principal charitable purposes the preservation,
39restoration, or interpretation of land for scientific, historic,
40educational, recreational, scenic, or open-space purposes, the
P5    1protection of the natural environment or biological resources, or
2both, or the preservation or enhancement of wildlife, or both.

3(h) “Parkway Manager” means the Sacramento County Board
4of Supervisors or its designee.

5(i) “Program” means the Lower American River Conservancy
6Program established pursuant to Section 5845.3.



(a) The board shall implement and administer the
8Lower American River Conservancy Program, which is hereby
9created to receive and expend proceeds from bonds or other
10appropriations made in the annual Budget Act or other statutes for
11the benefit of the American River Parkway and related lands.

12(b) In administering the program, the board shall prioritize
13expending moneys to develop and implement a natural resource
14management plan and to improve access to, and protection and
15restoration of, the American River Parkway.



(a) The board shall establish an advisory committee
17consisting of the following members:

18(1) Three members of the Board of Supervisors of the County
19of Sacramento, selected by a majority vote of the board of

21(2) Two representatives of the City of Sacramento, which may
22include the Mayor and one member of the City Council of the City
23of Sacramento, or two members of the city council, selected by a
24majority vote of the city council.

25(3) The Mayor or a member of the City Council of the City of
26Rancho Cordova, selected by a majority vote of the city council.

27(4) Representatives frombegin delete relevant state agencies, including, but
28not limited to,end delete
the Natural Resources Agency, the Department of
29Finance, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and the State
30Lands Commission.

31(5) Three members from the public who have a demonstrated
32knowledge of and expertise in the American River Parkway and
33the American River Parkway Plan.

34(b) A person shall not continue as a member of the advisory
35committee if that person ceases to hold the office that qualifies
36that person for membership. In that event, the person’s membership
37on the advisory committee shall automatically terminate.

38(c) Members of the advisory committee shall serve without
39 compensation.

P6    1(d) The advisory committee shall meet at least twice each
2calendar year at one or more locations in the County of Sacramento.

3(e) Meetings of the advisory committee shall be open to the
4public and subject to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act (Article
59 (commencing with Section 11120) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of
6Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code).



In implementing the program, the board shall do all
8of the following:

9(a) Coordinate its activities with the County of Sacramento,
10each city that includes a portion of the American River Parkway,
11appropriate local and regional flood control districts, and relevant
12state agencies.

13(b) Prior to approving funding for any project, do both of the

15(1) Consult with the County of Sacramento as to whether the
16board’s proposed actions pursuant to this chapter are consistent
17with the American River Parkway Plan.

18(2) Draft a staff report that includes all findings, written
19 comments, and reports submitted by the County of Sacramento
20and the Parkway Manager as to whether the board’s actions are
21consistent with the American River Parkway Plan.

22(c) Administer any moneys appropriated to the board for the
23program or any revenues generated by the board pursuant to the

25(d) Provide funding and assistance to the County of Sacramento
26for the development, update, adoption, and implementation of a
27natural resource management plan for the American River Parkway,
28and grants to other local agencies and nonprofit organizations
29whose projects are approved by the County of Sacramento for
30implementation of that plan.

begin delete

31(e) For projects that involve fee acquisition of lands within the
32American River Parkway, give preference to projects in which the
33County of Sacramento would be either the fee owner or the
34long-term manager of the property.

end delete
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
39board, in administering the program, 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) The acquisition, 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
85845.5.end insert

9(2) The improvement and expansion of public access,
10recreational areas, and recreational facilities, includingbegin delete trails, in a
11manner that does not have significant adverse impacts on wildlife
12or wildlife habitat.end delete
begin insert trails.end insert

13(3) The enhancement of interpretive and educational facilities
14related to the American River Parkway and its natural, cultural,
15and historic resources.

16(4) The control and removal of invasive species and the
17propagation of native species.

18(b) Improve and enhance lands within and adjacent to the
19American River Parkway. Projects funded on adjacent lands shall
20contribute to the advancement of American River Parkway values.

21(c) Design, implement, and provide grants to local agencies and
22nonprofit organizations for stormwater capture and treatment
23projects to improve the quality of water that flows within and into
24the American River Parkway and to increase habitat for fish and
25wildlife. Stormwater projects may include lands within and
26adjacent to the American River Parkway and its tributaries
27downstream of the Nimbus Dam and within Sacramento County.

28(d) Solicit grants, donations of in-kind services, and other
29contributions from federal, state, and private sources for the
30purposes of this chapter.



In administering the program, the board shall not do
32any of the following:

33(a) Fund or implement projects on lands without the written
34consent of the landowner.

35(b) Manage, regulate, or control the use of any land owned or
36leased by another public agency or private party, except as provided
37pursuant to a written agreement between that public agency or
38private party.

39(c) Levy any tax or special assessment.

P8    1(d) Provide grants or take other actions that are inconsistent
2with the American River Parkway Plan, the Bushy Lake
3Preservation Act (Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 5830) of
4Division 5), or the Urban American River Parkway Preservation
5Act (Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 5840) of Division 5).

6(e) Own or acquire land.



To the extent feasible, in administering the program,
8the board shall give preference to projects that utilize the services
9of the California Conservation Corps or Community Conservation
10Corps, as defined in Section 14507.5.



(a) The Lower American River Conservancy Program
12Fund is hereby created in the State Treasury. Moneys in the fund
13shall be available, upon appropriation, for the purposes of this
14chapter. Moneys received by the board pursuant to this chapter
15shall be deposited in the fund, unless otherwise provided by the
16State General Obligation Bond Law (Chapter 4 (commencing with
17Section 16720) of Part 3 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government
18Code). The board shall administer the moneys appropriated to it
19for the program and may expend those moneys for capital
20improvements, land acquisition, support for the program’s
21operations, and other purposes consistent with this chapter.

22(b) (1) The board may accept money, grants, goods, or services
23contributed to it by a public agency or a private entity or person.
24Moneys received pursuant to this paragraph shall be deposited in
25the Donation Account, which is hereby established in the fund.

26(2) Notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code,
27moneys in the account are hereby continuously appropriated,
28without regard to fiscal year, to the board for the purposes of this

30(3) Upon receipt of goods and services pursuant to paragraph
31(1), the board may use those goods and services for the purposes
32of this chapter.



This chapter does not supersede or diminish the
34existing authority of any of the following:

35(a) The County of Sacramento or any other entity responsible
36for the management, operation, maintenance, or protection of lands
37and resources within the American River Parkway.

38(b) The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors acting as the
39Parkway Manager pursuant to its authority to interpret and
40implement the American River Parkway Plan.

P9    1(c) The board pursuant to other law.