Placer Legacy Milestones
Adopted in June 2000, the Placer Legacy Agricultural and Open Space Conservation Program serves as the blueprint for the County's land conservation efforts. Along with conservation partners, Placer Legacy has protected over 9,000 acres.
Properties protected through Placer Legacy have added to the quality of life, protected landscapes and habitats, conserved open space and agricultural lands, preserved important historic resources, and provided recreational opportunities.
||80-acre Outman Preserve acquired in cooperation with Placer Land Trust|
||Conservation easement obtained on Doty Ravine Preserve|
|1773 Acre Bruin Ranch Acquired.|
|Agricultural conservation easement finalized on the Natural Trading Co. Farm near Newcastle.|
|Hidden Falls Regional Park overlook dedicated.|
||Wetlands restoration project completed on Sundance Farms property.|
||Cooperative effort completed to purchase 1,482- acre Waddle Ranch in Martis Valley.|
||Oak conservation easement placed on Kirk Ranch, 281-acre property near Camp Far West.|
||Working with Placer Land Trust, preserved the Taylor Ranch and Liberty Ranch properties.|
||$1.49 million CA River Parkways grant awarded for Hidden Falls improvements.|
||Cisco Grove-Gould Park dedicated.|
||Hidden Falls Regional Park, Phase One, dedicated.|
||Flood easement secured on 137-acre Sundance/Lakeview Farms property.|
||220-acre Didion Ranch, site of Hidden Falls Regional Park, purchased.|
||Open space easement on 500-acre Blue Oak Ranch property gifted to Placer County.|
||Spears Ranch, a 960-acre property on Coon Creek, purchased.|
||Agricultural easement secured on 17.6-acre Lyndell Grey farm near Lincoln. |
||Trail and conservation easement purchased on 234-acre Towle property. |
||Placer Legacy receives Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership award. |
||Agricultural Easement secured on 320-acre Aitken Ranch property. |
||Placer Legacy program adopted by Board of Supervisors.|
||Placer Legacy Citizens Advisory Committee formed.|
||Board of Supervisors votes to prepare an Open Space Implementation Plan.|
Many important open space acquisitions have been made since project inception, from the pine forests of the American River canyon to the shore of scenic Lake Tahoe and the agricultural lands of western Placer County. Exciting new County parks have been acquired and developed for public use and enjoyment.
The County has worked with willing-seller property owners and other agencies to conserve land throughout Placer County. Over $1.2 million in grants have been secured to assist in land and easement acquisitions. Non-profit organizations and individuals have contributed over $2.5 million towards acquisition projects as well.
Planning and Habitat Restoration
Engaging the community – those who live, work, and visit the county’s watersheds – is essential to achieving and maintaining watershed health. Most of the county's watersheds have some level of community-based planning or restoration occurring. Some are well-established and coordinated such as the Dry Creek Conservancy and the Truckee River Watershed Council, while others are more opportunistic and limited in their scope and meet in response to new concerns or funding.
Three watershed plans have been overseen by the County: Auburn Ravine/Coon Creek, Pleasant Grove/Curry Creek and the Dry Creek watersheds. Each completed assessment and enhancement plan identifies and prioritizes restoration projects. Nearly $1.2 million in grant funding has been secured to assist with completion of these plans.
The watershed plans are intended to be work plans providing the framework to coordinate environmental planning in the county. Watershed planning and management includes all of the activities related to preserving, protecting and restoring the streams, wetlands, forests and other natural resources within a watershed.
Other planning efforts include completion of the grant-funded Western Placer County Agricultural Land Assessment, the Dry Creek Greenway Regional Vision, Truckee River Corridor Access Plan, and the effort currently underway to produce Low-Impact Development guidelines for the Sierra region.
Conservation actions, including agricultural land preservation, will be far more efficient under Placer County’s proposed Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) because of its countywide scope and long planning horizon. The HCP is examining ecological systems, not isolated elements.
The goal of the HCP is to integrate the land use needs of Placer County’s growing human population while allowing for the conservation of all natural communities, endangered species and other less sensitive species of native wildlife, fish and plants. Placer County will use the HCP planning process in order to provide it with a scientific and legal basis for a series of regulatory permits from state and federal agencies that will make the environmental review of future public and private projects more consistent, more predictable and more efficient.
The HCP is an important part of the Placer Legacy Open Space and Agricultural Conservation Program and will help achieve key Program goals, such as preserving the diversity of natural plant and animal communities, and preserving agricultural land and open-space.
The County hopes to have Phase I (western Placer County) of the HCP in place by late 2013.
Awards and Recognition
In 1996, the California Chapter American Planning Association presented Placer County and Wildlands Mitigation Bank an “Award of Merit” for Planning Implementation, in a large jurisdiction. The award honored the establishment of this public/private partnership to move the mitigation-banking concept forward in the county.
In 2000, the Sierra Business Council awarded the Placer County Board of Supervisors a Vision 2020 Award for the dedication, commitment, and political will demonstrated by the entire board throughout the development of Placer Legacy.
Placer Legacy received an honorable mention for the California State Association of Counties 2001 Challenge Awards. The comprehensive nature of the program was also noted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which called Placer Legacy an "outstanding" approach to the conservation of resources.
In 2002, Placer Legacy won the Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award. This is the State of California’s highest and most prestigious environmental honor. The program recognizes individuals, organizations, and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made notable contributions in conserving California’s precious resources, protecting and enhancing our environment, and building public-private partnerships.
The Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute’s book, Nature-Friendly Communities, published in 2005, named Placer County as one of the 20 most nature-friendly communities in the nation. Placer County was the only community in California to be highlighted in the book.
- Ongoing discussions regarding additional land conservation opportunities
- Initiating a fish-passage project on Auburn Ravine in cooperation with the Nevada Irrigation District
- Assistance to Placer County growers to enhance their marketing efforts
- Study trail connections to Placer Land Trust properties near Hidden Falls Regional Park
- Placer Legacy outreach including a Summer 2012 newsletter
- Expansion of Hidden Falls Regional Park