At its May 20, 2021 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $23.5 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the 35 approved projects will benefit fish and wildlife — including some endangered species — while others will provide public 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, landowners and the local community.
Funding for these projects comes from a combination of sources including the Habitat Conservation Fund and bond measures approved by voters to help preserve and protect California’s natural resources.
Funded projects include:
- A $1.5 million grant to Save the Redwoods for a cooperative project with the California Department of Parks and Recreation and the National Park Service to enhance forest health and reduce hazardous fuels through selective thinning on 1,000 acres of mixed conifer forest and four miles of road removal in Redwood National and State Parks in Del Norte and Humboldt counties.
- A $950,000 grant to the Trust for Public Land for a cooperative project with the Sierra Nevada Conservancy to acquire a conservation easement over approximately 2,476 acres of land for the protection of significant wet meadow and montane riparian habitat and fish and wildlife resources near the town of Westwood in Lassen County.
- A $1.58 million grant to California Waterfowl Association for a cooperative project with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to restore 680 acres of wetland habitat and 169 acres of upland nesting habitat within the CDFW Grizzly Island Wildlife Area in Solano County.
- A $748,000 grant to San Mateo Resource Conservation District for a cooperative project with the City and County of San Francisco, California State Coastal Conservancy and Natural Resource Conservation Service to remediate a dam and fish ladder that block the passage of coho salmon and steelhead trout to 4.5 miles of upstream habitat on Mindego Creek, 21 miles southeast of the city of Half Moon Bay in San Mateo County.
- A $2.56 million grant to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority to acquire approximately 320 acres of land for the protection of oak woodlands, chaparral, coastal sage scrub, cactus scrub and grasslands that support numerous wildlife species including least Bell’s vireo, southwest willow flycatcher, yellow warbler, coastal cactus wren and other sensitive species located near Chino Hills in San Bernardino County.
- A $925,111 grant to the University of California, Santa Barbara to upgrade the wastewater treatment system and install two new prefabricated shipping container homes and associated utilities at the Santa Cruz Island Reserve on Santa Cruz Island in Santa Barbara County.
- A $1.42 million grant to Rivers and Lands Conservancy (RLC) and the acceptance of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Habitat Conservation Plan Land Acquisition grant, and the approval to subgrant these federal funds to RLC to acquire approximately 98 acres of land for the protection of habitat for the coastal California gnatcatcher, cactus wren, intermediate Mariposa lily, Coulter’s matilija poppy and other federally listed species as well as other sensitive species located in the community of Silverado in Orange County.
For more information about the WCB please visit wcb.ca.gov.
Mountain Meadows. Photo by Markley Bavinger, provided by The Trust for Public Land.