The American River Headwaters Campaign


Conserving the American River Headwaters: We did it!

In August of 2015, NSP in partnership with The Nature Conservancy and the American River Conservancy successfully acquired 10,115-acres at the headwaters of the American River. Located between Granite Chief Wilderness and the Wild and Scenic North Fork American River Canyon, the property includes more than 15 square miles of granite crags, lush meadows, clear creeks, and deep forests along the Sierra Nevada Crest. At the headwaters of the North Fork and Middle Fork of the American River, the property catches and filters snow and rain before it flows west into French Meadows Reservoir and Hell Hole Reservoir, major sources of drinking water for northern California.

Surrounded by public land managed by the Tahoe National Forest, the property includes mountain meadows that provide critical habitat for summer deer herds and old growth red fir, ponderosa, and Jeffrey pine forests that support sensitive species including American Marten, California Spotted Owl, Northern Goshawk and the Pine Grosbeak. The property also lies at the heart of an important network of trails that serve both hikers and equestrians. The Western States 100 Endurance Run and the Tevis Cup equestrian event both pass through the property.

We are proud to report that over 2,100 private donors lent support to this acquisition. All together $9.5 million was raised from private sources. The state of California also contributed $5 million to the acquisition: $3.5 million from the Wildlife Conservation Board and $1.5 million from the California Resources Agency.

Learn more about this acquisition:

Los Angeles Times 

San Jose Mercury News

SF Chronicle

NPR Reno

Runners World

American River Headwaters map American River Headwater Map