Deer Creek Tribute Trail

The Sierra Nevada mountain range’s thousands of miles of rivers and streams sustain an incredible diversity of life and offer world-class fishing, whitewater boating, and other recreational opportunities. However, many rivers and streams are not accessible. For this reason the American Rivers’ California Field office is working with multiple partners to create the Deer Creek Tribute Trail.
This project, which was made possible by a grant from the California Resources Agency River Parkways Grant Program, will create a nine-mile, multi-use trail offering a cultural and ecological greenway along the Deer Creek corridor. Project Partners include: Friends of Deer Creek, City of Nevada City, Nevada County, Nevada County Land Trust, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Chinese Quarter Society, Greater Champion Neighborhood Association, Tsi-Akim Maidu Tribe, and Forest Charter School.

The overall goal of the Deer Creek Tribute Trail and Restoration Project is: to directly improve the quality of life for Nevada City and Nevada County citizens and visitors by providing critical recreational, open space, wildlife, flood management, and water quality benefits in the Deer Creek watershed.

To achieve this goal, we have the following seven objectives:

  1. To bring town-centered planning and economic development to a rural disadvantaged community by linking an overlooked river resource to our downtown area;
  2. To address a severe shortage of locally accessible recreational opportunities by providing safe public access to currently inaccessible BLM and city-owned riparian land for picnics, bicycling, hiking, swimming, and fishing;
  3. To promote better water quality in Deer Creek as called for by our watershed plans through planned recreation, restoration, monitoring, and reduced risk of catastrophic fires;
  4. To restore floodplain habitat in Deer Creek and to reduce downstream flooding by restoring a wetland and reconnecting the creek to its floodplain;
  5. To increase wildlife habitat through the removal and replacement of invasive, non-native species with native species, and through thinning of overstocked stands;
  6. To shine a light of acknowledgement on the important, but overlooked role that Chinese immigrants and the native Tsi-Akim Maidu Tribe played in the evolution of California gold-mining towns, including Nevada City; and
  7. To serve as a model for other California communities who wish to highlight and restore their unique river resources to serve their present day residents while celebrating the past.