Welcome to SARA

The Save the American River Association, (SARA) is a grass roots organization established in 1961 to spearhead the establishment of the American River Parkway (the "crown jewel" of the Sacramento County Park System) and adoption of the Parkway Plan. Our mission is to protect and enhance the wildlife habitat, fishery, and recreational resources of the American River Parkway. Our volunteer, non-profit group of more than 600 members and Board of Directors work to ensure that the American River Parkway will survive and prosper for the benefit of future generations.

Current Issues and Activities

SARA's commitment to preserving the American River and Parkway requires constant vigilance. Below are current issues/activities we're working on:

Land Related

Lower American River Conservancy: Sacramento County Supervisors and Assembly Member Kevin McCarthy are exploring the idea of placing the American River Parkway under a state conservancy. SARA has many questions and we remain committed to upholding the American River Parkway Plan. Read more about the Lower American River Conservancy Act AB 1716.

Water Related

The water committee continues to meet with the Water Forum regarding outstanding technical issues on the latest proposed flow management standard. At the same time, SARA is still fighting efforts by water districts in the Sierra Nevada foothills to divert American River water and sell it to purveyors outside of the region. Enough water in the river is no help if the water is polluted. We have ongoing battles with the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board over the issuing of sewer discharge permits that violate state and federal law.

SARA continues to work with allied organizations to institute reforms in the way California's water is managed. The ongoing drought has focused attention on the unregulated use of ground water and reservoirs and the historical practice of allocating water that does not exist. We are engaged in raising serious objections to the proposed Delta tunnels as a water management strategy for California's future.

  • Importance of water temperature in the management of American river Chinook Salmon and steelhead:
    How cool does it really need to be and when? View the Presentation from the SARA Annual Meeting, December 6, 2014.
  • Does a river need water? How the law should protect flows on the American River (Purpose and Intent of Fish and Game Code Section 5937, The Public Trust and In Good Condition By Felix Smith)
  • American River Flow Standard (update in progress)
  • Westlands Selenium Petition (update in progress)

Plastic Bag Ban

In 2014, SARA was part of a coalition that lobbied the state Legislature to pass a bill to ban plastic bags. That was signed into law, but the bag manufacturers succeeded in gathering enough signatures to put a measure on the November 2016 ballot to repeal the ban. We hope you will join us in voting against this measure. The coalition still watches for bills that crop up every year in the Legislature to gut CEQA – the California Environmental Quality Act.

Support SARA - Make a Donation and/or Become a Member

SARA's continuing success in safeguarding the American River Parkway is made possible by the generous donations from citizens and businesses in our region. Click above to learn how you can make a contribution.

SARA's President

Stephen Green, a veteran of the California Water Wars, was elected president of Save the American River Association at the January 2014 Board of Directors meeting.

SARA is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit

Your membership contributions and donations to SARA are tax deductible, effective 01/01/2008. Click above for more information.