Wildlife Conservation Board funds environmental improvement and acquisition projects

lush, green riparian habitat on a far northern California creek

Strawberry Creek in Humboldt County. WCB photo

dry-looking pebble plain habitat with green forest in background

Sawmill Pebble Plain in San Bernardino County. WCB photo

large northern California cree with both grassy and rocky shoreline surrounded by trees and brush

Cow Creek Conservation Area near Redding. WCB photo

Marshy wetland with yellow wildflowers near Richmond

Wetland habitat in Breuner Marsh, at Point Pinole Regional Shoreline. WCB photo

Dry, rolling hill with few trees behind flat land with mostly dry grass.

Blue Oak Ranch Reserve in Santa Clara County. WCB photo

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

At its Feb. 20 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $14 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the 16 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 $253,000 grant to the Pacific Coast Fish, Wildlife and Wetlands Association for a cooperative project with Redwood National Park and the Fisheries Restoration Grant Program to restore approximately 1,600 linear feet of riparian habitat for Coho salmon and steelhead trout on Strawberry Creek, approximately 1.5 miles west of Orick in Humboldt County.
  • A $650,000 grant to the Shasta Land Trust (SLT) to acquire a conservation easement over approximately 600 acres of land to protect rangeland, riparian, floodplain and riverine habitat and provide habitat connectivity with the adjoining protected lands referred to as the Cow Creek Conservation Area, north of State Highway 44, about 10 miles east of the City of Redding in Shasta County.
  • A $1 million grant to the East Bay Regional Park District for a cooperative project with the State Coastal Conservancy and others to restore approximately 164 acres of wetland habitat in Breuner Marsh, at Point Pinole Regional Shoreline, five miles north of the city of Richmond in Contra Costa County.
  • A $4.2 million grant to the Regents of the University of California to construct new staff housing and storage facilities, enhance a campground, improve existing structures for visiting researchers and upgrade roads and other infrastructure at the Blue Oak Ranch Reserve, approximately 9 miles east of the City of San Jose in Santa Clara County.
  • A $2 million grant to the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust to acquire approximately  166 acres of very rare and endangered pebble plain habitat that supports a wide variety of endemic plant species, just south of Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains, in San Bernardino County.

For more information about the WCB please visit www.wcb.ca.gov.

Wildlife Conservation Board Funds Environmental Improvement and Acquisition Projects

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

At its June 4 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $21.8 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the 19 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 $1.4 million grant to the Bear Yuba Land Trust to acquire approximately 652 acres of land along the Bear River in Nevada County, for the purpose of wildlife habitat protection including riparian, riverine and oak woodland habitat communities.
  • A $3 million grant to Truckee Donner Land Trust for a cooperative project with Placer County, Northern Sierra Partnership, the Trust For Public Land and private donors to acquire two parcels totaling approximately 2,520 acres of land in Nevada and Placer counties, in order to protect alpine forests and meadows, wildlife corridors and habitat links, and provide future wildlife-oriented public use opportunities.
  • A $5 million grant to Sonoma Land Trust (Trust) for a cooperative project with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Federal Highway Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Department of Water Resources and State Coastal Conservancy to restore 955 acres of tidal marsh on the Trust’s Sears Point Property in Sonoma County, five miles east of the city of Novato.
  • A $660,000 grant to Big Sur Land Trust to assist with the acquisition of a conservation easement over approximately 964 acres of land to preserve and protect native oak woodland, grassland, riparian and wildlife habitat, and sustain working landscapes in Monterey County, 6 miles northeast of the city of Salinas.
  • A $570,000 grant to the California Rangeland Trust to assist with the acquisition of a conservation easement over approximately 575 acres of land approximately 12 miles south of Lake Isabella in Kern County to preserve, protect and sustain the rangeland, grazing land, grassland, working landscapes, wildlife habitat, and watersheds.
  • Acceptance of settlement funds from the U.S. Department of the Interior Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Fund (a.k.a. ARCO funds), and a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Land Acquisition grant and the approval to sub-grant the ARCO funds and $260,000 grant funds to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to acquire approximately 286 acres of land just south of community of Acton in Los Angeles County to protect habitat for threatened and endangered species, and maintain habitat connectivity within the upper Santa Clara River floodplain and watershed in Arrastre Canyon, a tributary to the Santa Clara River.

For more information about the WCB please visit www.wcb.ca.gov.

Tehama County CDFW Officer Selected as NWFT Wildlife Officer-of-the-Year

The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) has selected Wildlife Officer Mitch Carlson as the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Wildlife Officer-of-the-Year for 2012.

Every year, NWTF honors a California wildlife officer who serves as an outstanding example of its mission on behalf of wild turkeys, turkey hunting and wildlife conservation. Carlson will now be in the competition for the federation’s national officer of the year award.

Wildlife Officer Carlson patrols northern Tehama County, which is known for healthy turkey populations. During the spring and fall turkey hunting seasons, he devotes much of his patrol time to protecting the resources and has developed an excellent reputation for differentiating between turkey hunters and poachers.

On his own initiative, Carlson in 2012 coordinated and implemented a wildlife habitat restoration project on the Merrill’s Landing Wildlife Area. The 300-acre wildlife area had experienced a massive noxious weed infestation resulting in dramatically reduced habitat quality.

“Waist-high yellow starthistle, a noxious weed, choked off native vegetation and rendered the area almost useless to wildlife,” said Carlson. “Habitat quality, more than anything else, affects wildlife populations.”

In order to complete his vision for a restored wildlife area, Carlson brought together several state and federal agencies, including CDFW, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, CAL FIRE, the Tehama County Fish & Game Commission and others to provide labor and funding for the restoration. The ongoing project should be complete by the spring of 2014.

In addition to turkeys, the project will benefit black-tailed deer, waterfowl, song birds, resident upland game birds and various species listed as threatened or endangered such as the elderberry longhorn beetle, western yellow-billed cuckoo, bank swallow and Swainson’s hawk.

Carlson has been a wildlife officer for 11 years and takes pride in the protection of resources and sharing his knowledge, experience, training and education with other wardens by being a firearms and defensive tactics instructor, defensive tactics and firearms committee member, firearms armorer, and TASER instructor.  He is the lead trainer in defensive tactics for CDFW’s Wildlife Officer Academy. He is also an avid turkey hunter in his off-time.

On Jan. 1, 2013 the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) became the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). The new name was mandated by AB 2402, which was signed Sept. 25 by Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. and is one of numerous provisions passed into law during 2012 that affect the department. Traditionally known as game wardens, the department’s law enforcement staff will now be called wildlife officers

The NWTF is a national nonprofit conservation and hunting organization that, along with its volunteers, partners and sponsors, has worked for the conservation of the wild turkey and preservation of our hunting heritage. When the NWTF was established in 1973, there were only 1.3 million wild turkeys. Today that number stands at more than seven million birds throughout North America and hunting seasons have been established in 49 U.S. states, Canada and Mexico.

Media Contacts:
Wildlife Officer Mark Michilizzi, CDFW Law Enforcement (916) 651-2084

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