American River Bike Trail Closure Update
By California State Parks
California State Parks understands the public’s concern regarding the timeline of the repairs at Lake Natoma and assure you we are doing everything we can to expedite this process. Unfortunately, there have been a couple of delays.
In 2017, State Parks sought to contract with another state agency to utilize their expertise with rock fall mitigation work. Unfortunately, they were be unable to dedicate the resources necessary to provide these services. In spring 2018, we contracted with a geotechnical firm to provide the necessary assessment and rock fall mitigation report needed to move forward with the CEQA process. However, in October 2017 two bald eagles returned and began their nesting process near the impacted area (first nest occurred in 2016). As bald eagles are a federally protected species, the geotechnical firm was unable to complete its assessment until the eagles vacated the area, which occurred in late July 2018.
In August 2018, the geotechnical firm submitted its draft report to State Parks for review and comment. We expect to receive the firm’s final report this fall.
Upon receipt of the final report, State Parks will promptly begin the CEQA process. The area also holds significance to a local Native American tribe, which requires additional tribal consultations. State Parks anticipates CEQA will take three to four months to complete. Once CEQA is completed, we will be able to provide additional details regarding the extent of needed repairs, and also provide a more accurate timeline for project completion and trail accessibility. The Bureau of Reclamation will be responsible for completing NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act).
Please note: as the eagles have returned to nest this year, there could be additional project delays as repair work that could impact the eagles cannot be conducted while they are present. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to restore this trail for everyone’s enjoyment.