At its November 20 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $26 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 $5 million grant to Western Rivers Conservancy for a cooperative project with the State Coastal Conservancy, Wyss Foundation, the Yurok Tribe and the New Market Tax Credit Program to acquire approximately 6,479 acres of land for the protection of a mixed conifer forest property that includes riparian corridors, salmonid streams, coastal watershed and habitat linkages near the town of Klamath, traversing both Humboldt and Del Norte Counties.
- A $450,000 grant to Ducks Unlimited, Inc. for a cooperative project with the State Water Quality Control Board, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Caltrans to restore and enhance salt marsh, riparian forest and tidal sloughs on approximately 356 acres of formal tidal habitat on 2.5 miles of the Salt River channel, three miles northwest of Ferndale and one mile from the mouth of the Eel River in Humboldt County.
- A $9 million grant to the Pacific Forest Trust for a cooperative project with the California Department of Transportation to acquire a forest conservation easement over approximately 12,644 acres of land to protect working forest lands, forest reserve areas, watersheds, fisheries and habitat linkages covering a significant portion of the upper watershed of the McCloud River, near the town of McCloud, traversing both Siskiyou and Shasta Counties. The upper McCloud River is considered by the Regional Water Quality Control Board as one of the most pristine rivers in northern California, providing important fisheries habitat and quality drinking water for much of California.
- A $2 million grant to Reclamation District 2035 (RD 2035) for a cooperative project with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the Department of Water Resources and the Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency to construct a new screened water intake for RD 2035, the largest remaining unscreened intake on the Sacramento River north of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. This proposed project is located five miles east of Woodland on privately owned land on the west bank of the Sacramento River levee, approximately one-half mile north of Interstate 5, in Yolo County.
- A $1.2 million grant to the National Forest Foundation for a cooperative project with the U.S. Forest Service, Alcoa, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens, Oakwood School and Los Angeles Conservation Corp to restore and enhance riparian and chaparral habitats within the Big Tujunga Canyon in Angeles National Forest, immediately east of the City of Los Angeles in Los Angeles County.
- A $650,000 grant to the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains for a cooperative project with Caltrans, Los Angeles County, a private landowner, and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority to enhance an existing undercrossing to allow wildlife to cross Highway 101, approximately nine miles east of Thousand Oaks in Los Angeles County.
- A $3.3 million grant to the Imperial Irrigation District for a cooperative project with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Water Resources to construct approximately 640 acres of shallow saline water habitat identified as part of the Salton Sea Species Conservation Habitat Project, at the mouth of the New River approximately ten miles west of Calipatria in Imperial 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