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Placer Land Trust is very pleased to announce that in early April it acquired 40 acres of gorgeous land along the North Fork American River at the bottom of the Green Valley Trail, south of Interstate 80 at Alta.

The land was donated by the family and heirs of Matt & Betty Bailey, and will be permanently protected as natural and recreational land by Placer Land Trust, a nonprofit dedicated to natural and agricultural land conservation.  The property is named ‘Bailey North Fork Preserve’ not only in honor of the land donation, but also in recognition of the Bailey family’s multi-generational work to protect the American River.

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“Our connections to the North Fork American River span a long period time and run deep,” said Heidi Youmans, one of the Bailey heirs who donated the land to Placer Land Trust.  “Our family places importance on the value of natural landscapes and the multitude of ways such places contribute to quality of life for current and future generations. Donating this land to Placer Land Trust is simply the right thing to do.”

Matt and Betty Bailey were leaders of a decades-long effort in the 60s and 70s to protect the North Fork American River, culminating in 1978 when a 38-mile stretch of the river was awarded with the National Wild & Scenic River designation.

“This area of California has a rich history, from Native American stewardship through the Gold Rush to its function today as a beautiful and sacred spot to many who visit the American River canyon,” said Placer Land Trust Executive Director Jeff Darlington.  “We are indebted to those who came before us, including the Bailey family, for their work to protect our natural wonders and pass them down for future generations.”

Bailey North Fork Preserve can be visited by the public anytime, as it is surrounded by public land and situated near the end of the Green Valley Trail, a trail made public by the Towle family of Alta, as part of the broad ongoing effort to protect land and river access in the Giant Gap area of the North Fork American River.  Views of Lover’s Leap and the river gorge make the trail to the property a popular one.

Placer Land Trust will manage the land as ‘forever wild’ open space open and accessible to the public.  As its first act upon taking title to the property, Trust staff and a volunteer crew from the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) hiked down to the property to pack out 280 pounds of trash from the river, trail, and adjacent public lands.  The following week, the Trust hosted a dedication hike with Bailey family members and Trust supporters, who together dedicated the preserve to the public in honor of Matt & Betty Bailey.

Funding for the ongoing stewardship of the property was obtained primarily through a grant from the Emigrant Trails Greenway Trust, along with pooled contributions from Placer Land Trust members.
Placer Land Trust has protected more than 8,000 acres in Placer County.

About Placer Land Trust

Placer Land Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public benefit organization incorporated in 1991 that works with willing landowners and conservation partners to permanently protect natural and agricultural lands in Placer County for future generations.ย  To date the Trust has protected over 8,000 acres in 35 locations across Placer County – including farms and ranches, riverfront lands, recreation lands, wildlife preserves, scenic open spaces, and public parks and recreation areas.ย  For details, see or call (530) 887-9222.

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