American River Conservancy Protects 1,025 acres on the Cosumnes River: El Dorado Ranch

Contact: Elena DeLacy, Executive Director
American River Conservancy
(530) 621-1224


Coloma, CA. January 8, 2024. American River Conservancy (ARC) recently announced the completed purchase of 1,025 acres protecting riparian habitat and important oak woodland habitat near the Cosumnes River in El Dorado County, California. Since 2012, ARC has been working to permanently protect El Dorado Ranch and establish the first Wildlife Area in El Dorado County. Previously slated for extensive residential subdivision, this strategic conservation project is located between existing public lands and two neighboring large ranches, also permanently protected by conservation easements, providing critical habitat linkages, and preserving wildlife corridors along the mainstem Cosumnes River. To date, ARC has acquired and permanently protected 4,182 acres of the entire 7,179-acre Ranch.

“El Dorado Ranch is part of an important north-south wildlife corridor in the Cosumnes River watershed,” stated ARC Director, Elena DeLacy. “This acquisition helps protect extensive oak woodland and wildlife habitat, safeguards the quality of water flowing downstream to Sacramento, ensures the protection of cultural resources, and protects working agricultural lands. This region is the ancestral homeland of the Miwok people, and this area is of particular significance to local tribes.”

American River Conservancy raised $4.7 million from three different sources to purchase El Dorado Ranch Phase 4: Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) provided $2.7 million in purchase funding, Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) contributed $1 million from their Strategic Lands Conservation program, and California Natural Resources Agency provided $1 million from the Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Grant Program. “The acquisition of El Dorado Ranch continues SNC’s long-standing relationship with American River Conservancy, as well as with other funding partners in these large projects, to protect the natural resources and wildlife habitat of the Sierra Nevada,” stated Executive Officer Angela Avery.

El Dorado Ranch contains over 2 miles of contiguous riparian habitat on Slate Creek and Big Canyon Creek, important tributary streams to the Cosumnes River. The property boasts a diverse mix of upland habitats, including blue oak woodland, grassland, and mixed chaparral. “WCB is excited to help establish the first Wildlife Area in El Dorado County, and we are grateful to the region’s indigenous people, who have been stewarding this land since time immemorial,” said Jennifer Norris, WCB Executive Director. “It’s difficult to overstate the importance of protecting the Cosumnes River Watershed. The Cosumnes River is the only river on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada that remains undammed, and it supports a healthy population of wild fall-run Chinook salmon and steelhead that make their way from the ocean to spawning grounds in the Cosumnes each year.”

ARC welcomes all donations of any size for the permanent conservation of the remaining unprotected acreage at El Dorado Ranch. “Protecting lands like these is critical for so many reasons. I encourage the public to help our organization advance river and land conservation by becoming an ARC supporter,” noted American river Conservancy President Kyle Pogue. Since 1989, American River Conservancy has completed 89 conservation projects protecting over 30,325 acres of native fisheries, endangered species habitat and recreational lands. ARC also provides interpretive hikes, environmental public programs, educational programs for schools, and volunteer opportunities in the greater Sacramento Metropolitan region. Learn more and donate at

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