Category Archives: Habitat Conservation

CDFW Reminds Visitors of Usage Rules at Burton Mesa Ecological Reserve

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Media Contact:
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

Local Treasure Home to Badgers, Bobcats, Deer, Sensitive Plant Species and More

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is asking visitors to the Burton Mesa Ecological Reserve (BMER) to be mindful of the property rules.

The BMER is open to the public for walking and wildlife watching from sunrise to sunset. Mountain biking, hunting and horseback riding are prohibited. On all state properties, it is illegal to feed wildlife, operate motorized vehicles outside of designated areas, disturb bird nests, release any fish or animal, start any fire or light fireworks or other explosive or incendiary devices, disturb habitat, alter the landscape or remove vegetation.

“In the past year, we have seen an excessive amount of habitat destruction at the Burton Mesa property, which has included tree removal, altered vegetation and increased erosion,” said CDFW Environmental Scientist Christine Thompson. “Visitors are welcome and should stay in designated areas, observe usage rules at trailheads and respect the property. We all need to commit to protecting this reserve for all to enjoy in the years to come.”

The BMER consists of 5,368 acres and is characterized by unusual, low-growing, multi-trunked coast live oaks. It is one of the last significant stands of maritime chaparral in central California and is home to several rare, threatened and endangered species, including 14 plant species found nowhere else in the world. Badgers, bobcats, deer, mountain lions, woodrats, snakes and many other species occupy the habitat as well.

The property is owned by the State Lands Commission and leased to CDFW for management, operation and maintenance. In 2004, the Fish and Game Commission approved the designation of ecological reserve status due to its environmentally sensitive resources. Ecological reserves are designed to provide public enjoyment and education as well as protect fragile habitat for a variety of threatened and endangered plants, mammals and reptiles.

According to state law (Title 14, CCR section 630), CDFW is obligated to protect and maintain designated ecological reserves, which includes enforcing the rules. Failure to comply with the law could result in a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.

For more information on BMER, please visit: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/er/region5/burtonmesa.html.

Video clips and pictures of vegetation damage can be found here: http://ftp.dfg.ca.gov/public/oceo.

CDFW Urges Californians to Be Mindful of Property Rules on Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve

Media Contact:
Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 654-9937

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is reminding those who visit state ecological reserves to be mindful of the site’s specific rules and regulations. CDFW also reminds Californians that trespassing on ecological reserves and wildlife areas that are closed, like the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve (BWER), is not only a crime, but can be very dangerous.

CDFW limits public access to BWER due to health, safety and resource concerns. CDFW is working to address the onsite criminal activity, including drugs, as well as homeless encampments and their related issues. BWER also has sensitive cultural resources that should be respected.

Public access to BWER is available through Friends of Ballona Wetlands (www.ballonafriends.org/), The Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority (www.mrca.ca.gov/), and the Audubon Society (http://losangelesaudubon.org/index.php/education-mainmenu-194/ballona-wetlands-program-mainmenu-203) which conduct organized tours and restoration activities in specified areas of BWER. CDFW also partners with local law enforcement agencies to assist with site security and addressing issues pertaining to the homeless encampments. If people want to participate in protecting, visiting and restoring BWER they can contact the organizations above to get involved. They can also report suspicious activity witnessed at BWER to the CalTIP Hotline by calling (888) 334-2258. Finally, they can spread the word to friends and family about this important natural resource in a highly urban area.

According to state law (Title 14 CCR, section 630), CDFW is obligated to protect and maintain designated ecological reserves which includes enforcing the rules.

Reserves that are open to the public have hours from sunrise to sunset. On all state properties, it is illegal to feed wildlife, operate motorized vehicles outside of designated areas, disturb bird nests, release any fish or animal, start any fire or light fireworks or other explosive or incendiary devices, disturb habitat, alter the landscape or remove vegetation.

Failure to comply with the law could result in a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.

For more information on CDFW’s ecological reserves, please visit http://www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/er/.

CDFW Completes Emergency Restoration Project to Save Giant Garter Snakes in Sacramento County

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Media Contacts:
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908
Eric Kleinfelter, CDFW Environmental Scientist, (209) 744-1598

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has completed an emergency restoration project at the Cosumnes River Preserve to help save a state and federal threatened species, the giant garter snake (Thamnophis gigas).

Snake Marsh at the Cosumnes River Preserve is home to a genetically unique population of giant garter snakes. With two consecutive years of drought, there was a significant chance of the marsh ponds drying up, potentially causing severe impacts to the snakes.

“The project consisted of well water being pumped into the marsh and the ponds where the snakes live. It was planned and carried-out on CDFW land that is part of the Preserve,” said CDFW Environmental Scientist Eric Kleinfelter. “We had very dedicated contractors and department staff who completed this project in just one month. The Nature Conservancy also played an important role by funding a hydrologic study that showed just how vulnerable to drought this aquatic system is. It was truly a collaborative effort.”

Endemic to California’s Central Valley, the non-venomous giant garter snake is olive to black in color with light yellowish stripes on each side and can grow from three to five feet long. Secretive and difficult to find, this aquatic snake will quickly drop into the water from its basking site before the observer can get close. When threatened, it will excrete a foul-smelling musk. It feeds primarily on fish, frogs and tadpoles and can live up to 12 years.

Located approximately 25 miles south of Sacramento near Galt, the Cosumnes River Preserve consists of approximately 48,000 acres of wildlife habitat and agricultural lands. The Preserve is buffered by a variety of agricultural operations and provides numerous social, economic and recreational benefits to local communities residing in the larger Sacramento and San Joaquin areas. The habitat supports many species of native wildlife, including greater and lesser Sandhill cranes, Swainson’s hawks and waterfowl that migrate throughout the Pacific Flyway.

Preserve ownership includes seven partners: The Nature Conservancy, Bureau of Land Management, CDFW, Sacramento County, Department of Water Resources, Ducks Unlimited, and the California State Lands Commission. The Preserve is centered along the Cosumnes River, its floodplains, and riparian habitat. For more information about the Cosumnes River Preserve, please visit http://www.cosumnes.org.

CDFW Seeks Public Comment on Wetland Restoration Grant Program

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is seeking comments on a new solicitation of grant proposals for wetland restoration grants.

Dry grasses surround blue water in a seasonal wetland
Flooded section of Yolo Basin Wildlife Area, north of the Delta. Dana Michaels/CDFW photo

CDFW recently initiated its Wetlands Restoration Greenhouse Gas Reduction Grant Program, and is seeking public input on the development of a solicitation for projects to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) and achieve co-benefits for fish and wildlife habitat. CDFW is seeking input on the geographic scope of projects, solicitation priorities, types of projects, methods of monitoring and quantifying GHG reduction, and proposal evaluation criteria for this solicitation. The project area is currently defined as the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, coastal wetlands and mountain meadows.

Proposals submitted under this solicitation will undergo an evaluation and ranking process to identify high quality projects to achieve the priorities and objectives of this solicitation.

Written public comments on this solicitation must be submitted by noon on Sept.18 and sent to:

California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Attention: Helen Birss
Re: Wetland Restoration Grant Program
1416 Ninth Street, Suite 1260
Sacramento, CA 95814

Comments can also be sent via e-mail to Helen.birss@wildlife.ca.gov (please use “Solicitation comment” in the subject line.)

For more information on the solicitation process, please visit https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=88780&inline.

Media Contacts:
Helen Birss, CDFW Habitat Conservation Branch, (916) 653-9834
Dana Michaels, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-2420

State and Federal Wildlife Managers Preparing Habitat for Migrating Birds

Media Contacts:
Clark Blanchard, CDFW Communications, (916) 651-7824
Brad Burkholder, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-1829

Each year millions of birds migrate along the Pacific Flyway relying on a diverse string of habitats that stretch from Alaska and Canada to Central and South America. While the wetlands of the Central Valley provide less than 5 percent of the habitat historically available, they are critical as a feeding area during the migration and wintering of these birds. In following its mission, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has responsibility to provide habitat for these migrating birds.

Because habitat conditions on the northern breeding grounds have been good, a higher number of migratory birds have been reported across the Pacific Flyway. The fall migration into California is anticipated to result in numbers like those seen in the 1970s, when record numbers of birds made their way to the state’s wetlands areas. As California endures one of the worst droughts in recorded history, managers of state, federal and privately owned wildlife areas have been coordinating operational planning and the potential impacts of drought on the coming waves of migratory birds that depend on California habitats. To support these birds during their long migration, these efforts will greatly improve our ability to maximize habitat and food resources over the fall and winter with reduced water supplies.

“As the drought continues, it will be of key importance to balance the habitat needs of migratory birds and other species with the overall needs of domestic and agricultural uses,” said CDFW Deputy Director Dan Yparraguirre. “The situation is changing constantly so we will have to make some tough decisions ahead. We will continue to work with our partners to provide much needed habitat for waterfowl. In doing so, we will be employing the most efficient water saving strategies we can that provide the highest benefit to wildlife. Throughout the state, CDFW staff is carefully developing the most effective actions to conserve water and provide critical habitat.”

Migratory birds begin showing up in the Central Valley as early as July, with peak populations typically occurring in December and January. To accommodate the birds, wildlife area and refuge managers typically create habitat through water delivery to some wetlands in stages. As a result of extremely limited water supply this year, habitat availability on public areas will be all the more critical for early migrating species and to maintain natural habitat to reduce depredation on agricultural lands. Birds will congregate on fewer, smaller wetlands, likely increasing the effect of disease, which occurs even in wet years. Recreational opportunities on some public areas may be limited and reduced managed wetlands may also increase depredation on nearby agricultural fields.

Some state wildlife areas and the National Wildlife Refuge System were established as long ago as 1937 to provide core habitat areas and offset crop depredation by migratory waterfowl. State and federal agencies have relied on strong partnerships with nongovernmental organizations and private landowners to implement wetland habitat management and wildlife-friendly farming practices to meet the habitat needs in the Klamath Basin, Sacramento Valley, Suisun Marsh, San Joaquin Valley and the Imperial Valley regions.  Those partnerships and private lands programs have resulted in providing two-thirds of the wetland acreage while the wildlife areas and refuges provide the remaining one-third.

In support of the habitat needs and as part of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA), the federal water project dedicates water supplies to 18 state and federal refuges throughout the Central Valley and the Grasslands Water District in Merced County. Due to limited water resources, these wetland habitats will be receiving only a portion of the water this year. Water supply quantities available to support the wetlands range from 30 percent at Kern National Wildlife Refuge south of the Delta, to 75 percent at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, north of the Delta. Other refuges and private wetlands that do not receive CVPIA water are also facing significant water reductions. While strong partnerships and coordination make maximizing water resources possible, the extremely limited water supplies are anticipated to result in a 25 percent reduction of all managed wetland and significantly larger reductions of wildlife-friendly farming which will likely impact birds and humans alike.

“Scientists are predicting one of the largest Pacific Flyway bird migrations this fall due to a wet spring and above average breeding conditions in the north. With California’s historic drought, this could be a devastating year for birds,” said Sandi Matsumoto, senior project director of The Nature Conservancy’s migratory bird initiative. “The Nature Conservancy is very concerned about protecting enough viable wetland habitat for the incoming migratory birds. We are working with partners, such as CDFW, to reduce the potential negative impacts.”

Governor Brown has called on all Californians to reduce their water use by 20 percent and prevent water waste – visit saveourwater.com to find out how everyone can do their part, and visit drought.ca.gov to learn more about how California is dealing with the effects of the drought.

For more information on CDFW’s actions to protect and preserve the state’s wildlife resources during this exceptional drought, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/drought.

 

Joint Release of Federal Recovery Plan for Salmon and Steelhead and Conservation Strategy for California’s Ecosystem Restoration Program

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SACRAMENO, Calif. – NOAA Fisheries and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) today jointly released two plans to restore populations of salmon and steelhead in California’s Central Valley: NOAA Fisheries’ Chinook Salmon and Steelhead Recovery Plan and CDFW’s Ecosystem Restoration Program (ERP) Conservation Strategy.

The two plans are complementary in that CDFW’s conservation strategy presents a broader framework for restoring aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems throughout the Central Valley, while the federal recovery plan focuses on the recovery of endangered Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, threatened Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon, and threatened Central Valley steelhead.

A shared goal of both plans is to remove these species from federal and state lists of endangered and threatened species. The recovery plan provides a detailed road map for how to reach that goal. It lays out a science-based strategy for recovery and identifies the actions necessary to restore healthy salmon and steelhead populations to the Central Valley.

“Establishing clear priority watersheds, fish populations and actions is essential to achieve recovery,” said Maria Rea, NOAA Fisheries Assistant Regional Administrator for California’s Central Valley Office. “Implementation of this plan will depend on many parties working collaboratively to pool resources, expertise and programs to recover Chinook salmon and steelhead populations that are part of California’s natural heritage.“

Recovery plans required by the Endangered Species Act are guidance documents, not regulatory requirements, and their implementation depends on the voluntary cooperation of multiple stakeholders at the local, regional, state and national levels.

“The Sacramento Valley joins together a world-renowned mosaic of natural abundance: productive farmlands, meandering rivers that provide habitat and feed salmon and steelhead, wildlife refuges and managed wetlands, and cities and rural communities,” said David Guy, President of the Northern California Water Association. “The recovery plan is a positive step forward–through efficient management of the region’s water resources, water suppliers throughout the Sacramento Valley will continue to work with our conservation partners to help implement the recovery plan and improve ecological conditions in the Sacramento River for multiple species and habitat values.”

The ERP conservation strategy was developed by CDFW collaboratively with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries to help guide environmental restoration and establish adaptive management to improve restoration success in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and its watershed. The approach of conservation strategy is to restore or mimic ecological processes and to improve aquatic and terrestrial habitats to support stable, self-sustaining populations of diverse and valuable species.

“It is critical we make strategic investments in our natural resources,” said Charlton H. Bonham, Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. “The funding of these high-priority restoration projects is not only an example of the coordinated effort between state and federal governments, but an example of California’s continued efforts to minimize the effects of drought on fish and wildlife. Central Valley salmon and steelhead deserve nothing less.

California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.’s 2014-15 budget provided CDFW with $38 million to implement enhanced salmon monitoring, restore sensitive habitat, improve water infrastructure for wildlife refuges, expand the fisheries restoration grant program, and remove barriers for fish passage. Some of that money will be used on projects recommended by the federal recovery plan.

Dick Pool of the Golden Gate Salmon Association said, “We thank and congratulate the scientists of NOAA Fisheries for their outstanding work in developing the Central Valley Recovery Plan. GGSA and the salmon industry particularly appreciate the fact that the plan includes both short range and long range actions that can reverse the serious salmon and steelhead population declines. GGSA has identified a number of the same projects as needing priority action. We also commend the agency for its diligent efforts to engage the other fishery agencies, the water agencies and the salmon stakeholders in the process. We look forward to assisting in finding ways to get the critical projects implemented.”

The federal recovery plan and state conservation strategy work together as a blueprint of how at-risk species can be restored to sustainable levels.Restoring healthy, viable salmon and steelhead runs will preserve and enhance the commercial, recreational and cultural opportunities for future generations. As the fish populations grow and recover, so too will the economic benefits and long-term fishing opportunities for everyone.

“The Recovery Plan provides a clear framework to better coordinate and align restoration projects in the Delta, the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers and their tributaries to achieve greater conservation outcomes,” said Jay Ziegler, Director of External Affairs and Policy for The Nature Conservancy. “We are pleased to see the integration of multiple habitat values in the Plan including the importance of expanding lateral river movements to enhance floodplain habitat and recognition of the importance of variable flow regimes to benefit multiple species.”

The development of a recovery plan is an important part in the successful rebuilding of a species because it incorporates information from a multitude of interested parties including scientific researchers, stakeholders and the general public. Since 2007, NOAA Fisheries has held 14 public workshops, produced a draft for public comment, and met with strategic stakeholders to guide the plan’s development and ensure a comprehensive and useful document.

CDFW will be investing considerable resources in improving water conservation on public wildlife refuges in the Central Valley and protecting important salmon stocks that contribute to the state’s fishery. The department has also recently released a restoration grant solicitation which includes salmon and steelhead watersheds in the Central Valley. The solicitation can be found here. Applications are being accepted until August 12, 2014.

More on the NOAA Fisheries Recovery Plan and the CDFW Ecosystem Restoration Program

Contact:
Jim Milbury, NOAA Fisheries Communications, (562) 980-4006
Clark Blanchard, CDFW Communications, (916) 651-7824

Emergency Water Conservation Regulations for Timber Harvesters Enacted

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Conservation Will Protect Drinking Water and Help Provide Flows for Fish During Drought

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – In light of the unprecedented drought, the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection adopted emergency regulations to conserve water for fish habitat and drinking water for Californians. The regulations became effective June 19.

The new Water Drafting Emergency Regulations require approved timber harvesting plans on private timber lands and plans pending approval to disclose all water drafting operations, drafting rates and volumes, compliance with Fish and Game Code Section 1600 and potential effects on downstream aquatic habitat. The emergency regulations will be in place for 180 days.

“The severity of the drought we are experiencing makes it imperative for all of us to conserve water wherever possible,” stated Dr. J. Keith Gilless, California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection chairman. “These emergency regulations will help land owners evaluate the cumulative effects of forest management on all resource systems and values.”

Additionally, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) are drafting a joint letter to private timberland owners and foresters. The letter summarizes the new regulations and provides a reminder that approved timber harvesting plans require compliance with Fish and Game Code Section 1600. The letter will also state that timber harvesting plans must provide background on potential drought impacts to fisheries, wildlife and domestic water supplies. Licensed timber operators will be required to ensure that water is not removed in quantities harmful to domestic water supplies, fish, wildlife or other current beneficial uses of the water.

State agencies responsible for regulatory compliance of timber operations will continue to pay close attention to water diversion activities on all active timber harvesting plans and will work to ensure that water conservation is implemented to the extent feasible.

Governor Brown has called on all Californians to reduce their water use by 20 percent and prevent water waste – visit saveourH2O.org to find out how everyone can do their part, and visit drought.ca.gov to learn more about how California is dealing with the effects of the drought.

Media Contacts:
Clark Blanchard, CDFW Communications, (916) 651-7824
Janet Upton, CAL FIRE Communications, (916) 704-4287

Wildlife Conservation Board Funds Environmental Improvement and Acquisition Projects

Hill and canyon covered in chaparral, sage and scrub
The chaparral-sage-scrub-habitat of Puerco Canyon
View of the ocean and undeveloped coast hills from hilltop in Los Angeles County
View of the Pacific from Puerco Canyon, Los Angeles County. WCB photo
A lone tree on a rolling, grassy plain
West side of Dry Creek Ranch. WCB photo
A wood and wire fence on a plain of green grass
Northern boundary of Dry Creek Ranch, Merced County. WCB photo

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.

Media Contacts:
John Donnelly, WCB Executive Director, (916) 445-0137
Dana Michaels, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-2420

New Website Highlights Potential Restoration Alternatives at Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission, State Coastal Conservancy and the Annenberg Foundation today announced a joint website to provide an initial outline of potential restoration alternatives at Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve on the Los Angeles County coast. The website builds on a prior site, and also features scientific studies, history of meetings and information about the wetlands.

The website, ballonarestoration.org, provides an early overview of proposed alternatives that will be presented in a draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) that is anticipated to be released before the end of 2014. Upon release, interested parties and members of the public will have an opportunity to review and comment on the EIR/EIS.

Because this website precedes the EIR/EIS, the proposed alternatives are subject to change. The state and private partners created the site to provide as much information as possible to interested parties.

In January 2013, the Annenberg Foundation entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the aforementioned state partners that proposes to enhance the state’s existing goal of establishing Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve as a thriving wildlife habitat and an outdoor education destination for local communities.

Media Contacts:
Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 654-9937

Nominations Now Being Accepted for Fisheries Restoration Grant Program Peer Review Committee

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Fisheries Restoration Grant Program (FRGP) is seeking nominations to fill a vacancy on the FRGP Peer Review Committee (PRC).

Pursuant to the Public Resources Code, section 6217, members of the PRC are appointed by the Director of CDFW to provide advice, oversight and recommendations regarding grant funding priorities for the FRGP.  Seven of the PRC’s 14 representatives are recommended by the California Advisory Committee on Salmon and Steelhead Trout. The remaining seven represent the following interests: one representative from the agriculture industry, one representative from the timber industry, one representative of public water agency interests, one academic or research scientist with expertise in anadromous fisheries restoration, and three county supervisors from coastal counties (the county supervisors are recommended by the California State Association of Counties).  Because the FRGP only awards grants to applicants within coastal counties of California, all representatives must reside in or represent interests in coastal counties in which salmon and steelhead exist.

CDFW will accept nominations from the general public for the Academic and Research position through April 15, 2014.  The appointed Academic and Research representative will serve until December 2017, starting with the PRC meeting in the fall of 2014.

To nominate a representative for the Academic and Research seat, please send a nomination letter to Patty Forbes, FRGP Coordinator, 830 S Street, Sacramento, CA 95811. Nomination letters should include a resume of the candidate and verification that they represent coastal counties in which salmon and steelhead exist.

Contact:
Patty Forbes, Fisheries Branch, (916) 327-8842
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944