ARPPS Press Release


For Immediate Release                        March 15, 2016     Sacramento, California

Sacramento County officially supported the idea of legislation for a new state conservancy to govern the American River Parkway in a meeting February 23, 2016.

While our organization is concerned about the loss of control by local government—the proposed conservancy has 15 seats on the governing board with 9 of them state officials or state appointees—this new effort could turn out to be an improvement (almost anything would be at this point) and we wish it the best.

Keeping it local, we would favor a local independent nonprofit organization under the governance of a Joint Powers Authority of Sacramento County, the cities of Sacramento, Rancho Cordova, and Folsom, along with public members.

However, as the urge is apparently to go big; rather than partnering with the state a much more fruitful strategy would be working for National Heritage Area status, as described from their website:

“National Heritage Areas (NHAs) are designated by Congress as places where natural, cultural, and historic resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally important landscape. Through their resources, NHAs tell nationally important stories that celebrate our nation’s diverse heritage. NHAs are lived-in landscapes. Consequently, NHA entities collaborate with communities to determine how to make heritage relevant to local interests and needs.

“NHAs are a grassroots, community-driven approach to heritage conservation and economic development. Through public-private partnerships, NHA entities support historic preservation, natural resource conservation, recreation, heritage tourism, and educational projects. Leveraging funds and long-term support for projects, NHA partnerships foster pride of place and an enduring stewardship ethic.

The National Heritage Area Program

“NHAs further the mission of the National Park Service (NPS) by fostering community stewardship of our nation’s heritage. The NHA program, which currently includes 49 heritage areas, is administered by NPS coordinators in Washington DC and six regional offices – Anchorage, Oakland, Denver, Omaha, Philadelphia, and Atlanta – as well as park unit staff.

“NHAs are not national park units. Rather, NPS partners with, provides technical assistance, and distributes matching federal funds from Congress to NHA entities. NPS does not assume ownership of land inside heritage areas or impose land use controls.”

Retrieved March 13, 2016 from

The legendary California Gold Rush arising from within the historic American River Watershed culminating in the nationally recognized American River Parkway are truly within the parameters deserving consideration of National Heritage Area designation.

We have proffered one suggested name, Rivers of Gold National Heritage Area, which would encompass the American River Watershed, the gold discovery site at Coloma and the American River Parkway.

Working for National Heritage Area status is a strategy that we feel has great value for the preservation, protection and strengthening of the Parkway at a much higher level than that of a state conservancy.

We wrote about this in our 2007 research report online at

Organizational Leadership

American River Parkway Preservation Society

Sacramento, California

March 15, 2016

Contact Information

David H. Lukenbill, Senior Policy Director

American River Parkway Preservation Society

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About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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