John Donnelly, Wildlife Conservation Board, (916) 445-0137
Dana Michaels, DFG Communications, (916) 322-2420
At its Sept. 13 meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) earmarked $43.6 million to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. The 19 funded projects will provide benefits to fish and wildlife species, including some endangered species, and increase public access to these lands. Several projects also demonstrate the importance of protecting working landscapes and integrate economic, social and environmental stewardship practices beneficial to the environment and the landowner. The funds for all of these projects come from recent bond initiatives approved by the voters to help preserve and protect California’s natural resources.
Some of the funded projects include:
- Riverside and San Diego County MSHCP/NCCP. The WCB approved
five projects designed to protect core areas of habitat that will benefit threatened and endangered species on 1,778 acres of important lands located in Riverside and San Diego counties. The Board approved the allocation of $7.7 million in state bond funds and an additional $8.4 million in federal matching funds from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Habitat Conservation Planning Land Acquisition grants.
- Windsor Oaks Habitat Restoration, Sonoma County.The WCB
approved a grant to the Center for Social and Environmental Stewardship for a cooperative project with Windsor Oaks Vineyard to restore and enhance wildlife and pollinator habitat by installing hedgerows, restoring riparian habitat, installing bat and cavity nesting bird boxes and enhancing bee habitat on approximately four acres of privately owned land.
- Arcata Community Forest Expansion, Humboldt County.The WCB
approved the allocation for two grants to the City of Arcata for a cooperative project with the Department of Fish and Game (DFG), the Trust for Public Land and Caltrans to acquire in fee approximately 136 acres of land for the expansion of the City of Arcata’s Community Forest (a mixed conifer managed working forest), located adjacent and east of the City of Arcata, in Humboldt County. The project will also protect riparian areas, the upper watersheds of salmonid streams, provide wildlife area linkages and will allow for public access and use.
- Eel River Wildlife Area Salt RiverUnit Wetland Restoration,
Humboldt County. The WCB approved a grant to Ducks Unlimited, Inc. for a cooperative project with the State Water Resources Control Board, DFG, the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, the North American Wetlands Conservation Council, USFWS, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Caltrans to restore and enhance salt marsh, riparian forest and tidal sloughs on approximately 356 acres of formal tidal area on 2.5 miles of the Salt River channel, located one mile from the mouth of the Eel River in Humboldt County.
- Leavitt Lake Conservation Easement, Lassen County.The WCB
approved a grant to Ducks Unlimited, Inc. and Wetlands America Trust Inc. to acquire a conservation easement over approximately 1,781 acres of land for the protection of wetlands, floodplain, grazing land and grassland areas that benefit sensitive and protected species, including the greater sandhill crane and allow for the continuation of grazing operations on the north shore of Leavitt Lake, five miles southeast of the City of Susanville, in Lassen County.
- Gualala River Forest Conservation Easement, Mendocino County.
The WCB approved a grant to The Conservation Fund to acquire a conservation easement over approximately 13,913 acres of land to conserve and protect an economically sustainable working forest, oak woodlands, grasslands and critical habitat for native fish, wildlife and plants, located approximately 20 miles west of Cloverdale in southern Mendocino County.
Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains Rudnik Ranch, Kern County.The
WCB approved a grant to The Nature Conservancy for a cooperative project with DFG, the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, Caltrans and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to acquire fee interest in approximately 14,945 acres of land for the protection and preservation of important landscape linkages between the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Tulare Basin, the Tehachapi Mountains and Mojave Desert.