A conservation group has purchased more than 1,000 acres of Cosumnes River canyon land from a Sacramento developer, protecting the rural property from development.
The American River Conservancy completed the purchase of 1,059 acres of land from Angelo K. Tsakopoulos for $4.8 million on Aug. 29. The purchase of the land protects another 1.5 miles of river canyon from residential development on the North and Main forks of the Cosumnes River, immediately east and west of Highway 49 in El Dorado and Amador counties, according to a press release from the conservancy.
The lands are in the southern part of the 7,868-acre El Dorado Ranch, historically known as the Cook ranch. Tsakopoulos purchased the ranch from the McCuen family in 2005.
“One of the goals of the American River Conservancy is to protect the native fisheries, the extensive wildlife corridor and preserve the excellent quality of water flowing downstream to Sacramento and other communities throughout Central and Southern California,” said conservancy director Alan Ehrgott. “This acquisition will allow for the construction of a trail head that will provide future access to the Cosumnes River.”
The property acquisition will expand protection of the Cosumnes River. For the past decade, the conservancy has purchased 12 properties fronting the upper Cosumnes, protecting valuable habitat for native fish, including rainbow trout and fall-run Chinook salmon, mammals and birds.
Money for the land came from grants from the State Wildlife Conservation Board, the River Parkways Grant Program administered by the California Natural Resources Agency, The Conservation Alliance and donations from conservancy supporters.
“The River Parkways grants help communities connect with nature, promote public health by providing greater outdoor recreation opportunities, and protect the rivers that provide us with clean water,” said John Laird, secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency. “The El Dorado Ranch project is a great example of a nonprofit working together with the state to protect one of California’s most unique river systems.”
In its 25 years, the conservancy has completed 77 conservation projects protecting 13,549 acres within the American and Cosumnes rivers watersheds.
Call The Bee’s Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.