The first of several planned town hall meetings to talk about creating a State Conservancy for the American River Parkway is Thursday in Sacramento.
Legislation (AB 1716) to create the Lower American River Conservancy was introduced in January by Sacramento Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento).
If it becomes law, it would mean additional state funding for restoration projects in the 5,000 acre American River Parkway - and money to buy more land to possibly expand it.
The Parkway stretches 23 miles from the confluence of the American and Sacramento Rivers in Sacramento to Hazel Avenue at the edge of Folsom.
The area is home to a wide variety of wildlife, from birds (California quail, heron, hawks, mallards) to gray squirrels, common snakes, rabbits, coyotes and skunks. Large mammals include mule deer and mountain lion, which can use the Parkway as a pathway between the Central Valley and the Sierra Nevada.
It is a popular area with bike and pedestrian paths, and river access.
Hearings on the bill are expected to start in the spring.
The Town Hall is from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Thursday, March 3, at the Clunie Community Center, 601 Alhambra Blvd. in Sacramento.