Category Archives: Habitat Conservation

CDFW Seeking Grant Proposals to Restore Habitat Impacted by Cannabis Cultivation

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is now accepting proposals for habitat restoration projects within the California watersheds most impacted by unregulated cannabis cultivation.

Contingent on the Budget Act for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017-2018, a total of $1.5 million in Timber Regulation and Forest Restoration funds will be made available through CDFW’s Cannabis Restoration Grant Program. The program will focus on the North Coast watersheds extending from Sonoma County to the Oregon state line, as they have been most heavily impacted by cannabis cultivation.

“Existing damage to our watersheds due to unregulated cannabis cultivation is at crisis levels in terms of threats to habitat for aquatic and wildlife species,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “While many grow sites have been abandoned or shuttered, the infrastructure and ongoing damage remains. We are poised to initiate this critical and missing step in the process of decommissioning unwanted grow sites.”

California’s fish and wildlife are severely impacted by unregulated cannabis cultivation practices including unlawful water diversions for irrigation, conversion of lands, and prohibited herbicides, rodenticides and other environmental contaminants. The most impacted areas require immediate action. Assembly Bill 243 (Wood, Medical Marijuana) provides direction to CDFW to restore watersheds impacted by cannabis cultivation.

“Our beautiful, pristine North Coast forests have become havens for these rogue grow sites,” said Assemblymember Jim Wood, who represents five of the county areas eligible for these grants. “These sites have been ravaged by lethal chemicals, often-banned rodenticides which are used to keep animals away, but remain in the ground and eventually run off into rivers and streams, destroying everything in their path, including endangered fish species such as coho salmon. I am grateful that the Governor and CDFW are making these funds available for this much-needed cleanup.”

The FY 2017-2018 Proposal Solicitation Notice, application instructions and other information about the Restoration Grant Program are available at wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Watersheds/Cannabis-Restoration-Grant.

Proposals must be submitted online at https://soar.resources.ca.gov/. The deadline to apply is Friday, June 30, 2017 at 4 p.m.

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Media Contacts:
Matt Wells, CDFW Watershed Restoration Grants Branch, (916) 445-1285

Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

Help Kick Off California Invasive Species Action Week by Volunteering

The fourth annual California Invasive Species Action Week will run from Saturday, June 3 through Sunday, June 11. Sponsored by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), Invasive Species Action Week is a statewide event that provides the public with opportunities to learn about and take action against non-native plants and animals that harm our environment and the native species that live here.

Federal and state agencies and numerous organizations across the state have teamed up to host more than 40 individual Action Week events this year. Examples of upcoming public volunteer opportunities include:

  • Sacramento County: CDFW’s Marine Invasive Species Program will be hosting interactive displays, screening of educational videos and a chance to see live and preserved invaders from June 5-9 at the Nimbus Hatchery Visitor Center. This family-friendly opportunity will have activities for all ages and picnic facilities are on site.
  • Mendocino County: Mussel Dogs (a consulting and inspection service) will host a public demonstration of their Quagga and zebra mussel detection dogs’ work on the banks of Lake Mendocino on Saturday, June 3, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Sonoma County: California State Parks and Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods will host an invasive plant removal volunteer day in the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Preserve on Wednesday, June 7, from 9 a.m. to noon.
  • Los Angeles County: The Mountain Restoration Trust needs volunteers to help trap and remove invasive red swamp crayfish from the Malibu Creek Watershed on Saturday, June 10 from 9 to 11 a.m.

Many other counties will also have volunteer opportunities this week. To view the full schedule of events and map, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/CISAW.

Don’t forget – stopping the spread of invasive species does not have to wait for the Action Week! Citizens can also contribute to a healthy environment by taking small, everyday actions – like selecting native plants for landscaping, cleaning your outdoor and aquatic gear after use, being responsible pet and aquaria owners, and reporting invasive species findings.

Another opportunity to monitor for invasive species during and beyond the Action Week is through California Nerodia Watch, the CDFW’s citizen-science monitoring project for invasive (and restricted) Nerodia watersnakes. Currently, Nerodia watersnake populations are established in Roseville, Folsom and Harbor City, with several sightings reported in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Nerodia are notorious predators of fish and amphibians, and if their range expands, they will pose a serious threat to nearby endangered fish and wildlife. Members of the public are encouraged to help CDFW biologists to monitor and prevent the spread of existing populations! Visit the CDFW invasive species profiles at www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/invasives/species to learn more and report observations through the iNaturalist project webpage (www.inaturalist.org/projects/california-nerodia-watch) or by downloading the iNaturalist smartphone app.

For questions or more information about Action Week or California Nerodia Watch, please contact invasives@wildlife.ca.gov.

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Media Contacts:
Rachael Klopfenstein, CDFW Invasive Species Program, (916) 651-3122
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

 

CDFW Now Accepting Proposals for Proposition 1 Restoration Grant Programs

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is now accepting proposals for ecosystem restoration and protection projects that fulfill the objectives of Proposition 1.

For Fiscal Year (FY) 2017-2018, $31 million in Proposition 1 funds will be made available through CDFW’s two Proposition 1 Restoration Grant Programs. The Watershed Restoration Grant Program will fund up to $24 million in projects of statewide importance outside of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, while the Delta Water Quality and Ecosystem Restoration Grant Program will fund up to $7 million in projects that specifically benefit the Delta.

“We’re encouraged by the quality and scope of projects funded through Proposition 1 to date, and we look forward to another opportunity to fund new solutions to the greatest challenges facing California’s ecosystems,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “This latest grant cycle expands our focus to more watersheds in critical need, in line with the objectives of Proposition 1 and a suite of strategic plans.”

The FY 2017-2018 Proposal Solicitation Notice, application instructions and other information about the Restoration Grant Programs are available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/watersheds/restoration-grants.

Proposals must be submitted online at https://soar.resources.ca.gov/. The deadline to apply is Friday, July 14, 2017 at 4 p.m.

Approved projects will contribute to the objectives of California Water Action Plan and State Wildlife Action Plan, the Delta Plan, California EcoRestore and the fulfillment of CDFW’s mission.

Approved by California voters in November 2014, Proposition 1 provides funds to implement the three broad objectives of the California Water Action Plan: establishing more reliable water supplies, restoring important species and habitat and creating a more resilient, sustainably managed water resources system (water supply, water quality, flood protection and environment) that can better withstand inevitable and unforeseen pressures in the coming decades.

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Media Contacts:
Matt Wells, CDFW Watershed Restoration Grants Branch, (916) 445-1285

Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 804-1714

Wildlife Conservation Board Funds Environmental Improvement and Acquisition Projects

At its May 25 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $11.5 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the 11 funded 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. The state funds for all these projects come from bond measures approved by voters to help preserve and protect California’s natural resources. Funded projects include:

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  • A $600,000 grant to the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District for a cooperative project with the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority to acquire approximately 213 acres of wildlife habitat, to maintain a migration corridor for the Northeastern Simi Hills mule deer herd, to enhance wildlife linkages and to provide future wildlife-oriented public use opportunities in the Simi Hills, near Simi Valley in Ventura County.
  • Two grants totaling $4.8 million to Save the Redwoods League to acquire conservation easements over approximately 11,000 acres of land for the conservation and protection of managed forest lands and forest reserve areas that include Douglas fir, old growth redwood, riparian corridors, coastal watersheds and riverine habitats, and support salmonids and other rare wildlife species within the Garcia and Navarro River watersheds near Yorkville in Mendocino County.
  • A $3.5 million grant to the Truckee Donner Land Trust to acquire approximately 600 acres to provide wildlife-oriented public use opportunities and help preserve montane meadow, wildlife corridors and habitat linkages just northwest of Truckee in Nevada County.

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

Media Contacts:
John Donnelly, WCB Executive Director, (916) 445-0137
Mary Delaney, WCB Executive Office, (916) 445-0137

Wildlife Conservation Board Honored for Resource Conservation

The Green California Summit honored the California Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) Tuesday night with the 2017 Leadership Award for Resource Conservation. The annual summit showcases strategies for emission reduction, water conservation, clean transportation and other environmentally sustainable practices, and supports attainment of the sustainability goals set by the state.

The award was presented for projects that have accomplished preservation of a natural resource, such as wetlands, forest and species conservation. Accepting the award at the Sacramento Convention Center, WCB Executive Director John Donnelly thanked the organizers of the event, WCB staff and other government agencies, non-profits and private citizens who partner with the WCB.

“We’re pleased to fund projects designed to protect and restore critical habitats that are self-sustaining and essential to wildlife. The majority of Californians demonstrate their support for this work by voting in favor of ballot initiatives that benefit our wildlife, ecosystems and water.”

The WCB is an independent Board affiliated with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. It protects, restores and enhances California’s spectacular natural resources for wildlife and for the public’s use and enjoyment, in partnership with conservation groups, other government agencies and the people of California. John Donnelly has been its executive director for 10 years. To learn more about the WCB and its programs, please visit wcb.ca.gov.

The Green Leadership Awards, now in their eleventh year, are unique in that they honor and celebrate green government. The WCB is the first recipient of the Resource Conservation award, as it is a new category.

Media Contacts:
John Donnelly, Wildlife Conservation Board, (916) 445-0137
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958