At its May 22 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $22.1 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the 23 funded projects will provide benefits to fish and wildlife – including some endangered species – while others will provide the public with access to important natural resources. Several projects will also demonstrate the importance of protecting working landscapes that integrate economic, social and environmental stewardship practices beneficial to the environment, land owners and the local community. The funds for all these projects come from bond initiatives approved by voters to help preserve and protect California’s natural resources. Some of the funded projects include:
- A $4.5 million grant to Humboldt County for a cooperative project with the State Coastal Conservancy and the Natural Resources Agency to acquire approximately 1,000 acres of land for the protection of a mixed conifer forest property, including riparian corridors, salmonid streams, coastal watershed and habitat linkages, and to expand future wildlife oriented public use opportunities.
- A $3.2 million grant to Sanctuary Forest Land Trust to acquire a conservation easement over approximately 2,612 acres of land for the protection of a mixed conifer working forest with riparian corridors, salmonid streams, coastal watersheds and habitat linkages near the community of Whitehorn in Humboldt and Mendocino counties.
- A $1.7 million grant to the National Audubon Society for a cooperative project with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Students and Teachers Restoring a Watershed to enhance and restore approximately 260 acres of the Sonoma Creek Marsh on San Pablo Bay, within the boundary of the USFWS’s San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge, 15 miles southeast of the city of Sonoma in Sonoma County.
- A $531,000 grant to the Santa Cruz Resource Conservation District for a cooperative project with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Fisheries Restoration Grant Program, the USFWS, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the California Conservation Corps, the Coastal Conservancy and others to restore approximately 10 acres of riparian and wetland habitat in areas critical to special status amphibian and fish species on four coastal watersheds in Santa Cruz County.
- Accepted a USFWS Recovery Land Acquisition grant and approved a sub-grant of these federal funds to the California Rangeland Trust. Approved a WCB grant to the California Rangeland Trust for a cooperative project with the U.S Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Bureau of Reclamation to acquire a conservation easement over approximately 4,417 acres of land for the protection of grassland and associated vernal pools, blue oak woodland and riparian habitats to promote recovery of threatened and endangered species near the community of Snelling in Merced County.
- A $4.5 million grant to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority for a cooperative project with the State Coastal Conservancy and the County of Los Angeles to acquire approximately 700 acres of land for the protection of chaparral, coastal sage scrub, scrub-oak chaparral, native grasslands and oak woodland-savannah habitat and to enhance wildlife linkages, watershed protection and provide future wildlife oriented public use opportunities, located in the central Santa Monica Mountains, near the community of Malibu, in Los Angeles County.
- Accepted a USFWS Habitat Conservation Plan Land Acquisition grant of $786,750 and approved a sub-grant of these federal funds to the Friends of the Palm Spring Mountains (FOPSM). Approved a Wildlife Conservation Board grant to FOPSM, for a cooperative project with the Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy to acquire approximately 353 acres of high desert, desert alluvial fan and habitat linkages to promote recovery of the Peninsular bighorn sheep and other threatened and endangered species covered under the Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan, along the lower elevations of the San Jacinto mountains near the northwest border of the city of Palm Springs, in Riverside County.
For more information about the WCB please visit www.wcb.ca.gov.
John Donnelly, WCB Executive Director, (916) 445-0137
Dana Michaels, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-2420