The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has released a Statewide Elk Conservation and Management Plan. The plan has undergone extensive public review and will help guide state wildlife managers’ efforts to maintain healthy elk herds. The plan builds on the success of efforts to reestablish elk in suitable historic ranges, and management practices that have resulted in robust elk populations throughout the state. It includes objectives for providing public educational and recreational opportunities, habitat enhancement and restoration, and minimization of conflicts on private property.
“This plan demonstrates CDFW’s commitment to build upon its strong foundation for the continued conservation of this iconic species for future management of California’s elk populations,” said CDFW Wildlife Branch Chief Kari Lewis.
There are three subspecies of elk in California: Roosevelt (Cervus canadensis roosevelti), Rocky Mountain (Cervus canadensis nelsoni) and Tule (Cervus canadensis nannodes). California’s 22 Elk Management Units (EMUs) collectively comprise the distribution of all three species within their respective ranges in the state. The plan addresses historical and current geographic range, habitat conditions and trends, and major factors affecting all three species statewide, in addition to individually addressing each EMU. The EMU plans include herd characteristics, harvest data, management goals and management actions to conserve and enhance habitat conditions on public and private lands.
At a March 22 meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $33.1 million in grants for 22 projects to enhance stream flows to benefit fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. The Legislature appropriated funding for these projects as authorized by the Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Proposition 1). A total of $200 million was allocated to the WCB for projects that enhance stream flow.
A total of $38.4 million—including $5 million designated for scoping and scientific projects—was allocated to the WCB for expenditure in Fiscal Year 2017/18 for the California Stream Flow Enhancement Program. Projects were chosen through a competitive grant process, judged by the WCB, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the State Water Resources Control Board. Guided by the California Water Action Plan, funding is focused on projects that will lead to direct and measurable enhancements to the amount, timing and/or quality of water for anadromous fish; special status, threatened, endangered or at-risk species; or to provide resilience to climate change.
Funded projects include:
A $4.8 million grant to The Wildlands Conservancy for a project to enhance stream flow on Russ Creek by reestablishing channel alignment to provide continuous summer base flows suitable for fish passage. The project is located on the southern portion of the Eel River Estuary Preserve in Humboldt County, approximately four miles west of Ferndale.
A $693,408 grant to the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District for the purpose of dedicating a portion of the District’s diversion water rights to instream flow use that will benefit fish and wildlife by increasing habitat for salmonids and special status species in the Mad River. The project is located on the main-stem Mad River in the Mad River Watershed with releases coming from Matthews Dam at Ruth Reservoir, approximately 48 miles southeast of Eureka and 53 miles southwest of Redding.
A $726,374 grant to Mendocino County Resource Conservation District for a cooperative project with Trout Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to reduce summer diversions and improve dry season stream flows for the benefit of Coho salmon and steelhead trout. The Navarro River watershed is located approximately 20 miles south of Fort Bragg.
A $5 million grant to the Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency for a cooperative project with the Department of Water Resources and CDFW, to improve roughly 7,500 linear feet of existing channels to connect isolated ponds. This will provide fish refuge and eliminate potential stranding. This project’s design was funded by the Stream Flow Enhancement Program in 2016. The project site is within the Sacramento River watershed and is less than one mile southwest of the town of Oroville, on the east side of the Feather River.
$609,970 grant to the University of California Regents for a cooperative project with the University of Nevada, Reno and the Desert Research Institute, to expand monitoring, scientific studies and modeling in the Tahoe-Truckee Basin. The results will guide watershed-scale forest thinning strategies that enhance stream flow within an area that provides critical habitat for threatened species. The project is located in the central Sierra Nevada mountain range, primarily on National Forest lands in the Lake Tahoe Basin and Tahoe National Forest.
A $851,806 grant to the Sonoma Resource Conservation District for a cooperative project with the Coast Ridge Community Forest and 29 landowners, to install rainwater harvesting tanks and enter into agreements to refrain from diverting stream flow during dry seasons. The project area consists of 29 properties within the coastal Gualala River, Russian Gulch and Austin Creek watersheds, which discharge to the Pacific Ocean approximately 40 miles northwest of Santa Rosa.
A $5.3 million grant to the Alameda County Water District for a cooperative project with the Alameda County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, California Natural Resources Agency, State Coastal Conservancy and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to modify flow releases in Alameda Creek and construct two concrete fish ladders around existing fish passage barriers. This will provide salmonids access to high value habitat upstream of the project location, approximately 17 miles north of San Jose and 22 miles southeast of Oakland.
A $3.9 million grant to The Nature Conservancy for a cooperative project with U.C. Santa Barbara and the Santa Clara River Watershed Conservancy to remove approximately 250 acres of the invasive giant reed (Arundo donax), which will save approximately 2,000 acre-feet of water annually for the Santa Clara River. The project is located in unincorporated Ventura County approximately two miles east of the city of Santa Paula and three miles west of the city of Fillmore, along the Santa Clara River.
At its Aug. 24 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $24.5 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the 15 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. 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:
A $317,000 grant to East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy (ECCCHC) and the acceptance of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Habitat Conservation Plan Land Acquisition grant, and the approval to sub-grant these federal funds to the ECCCHC. This will fund a cooperative project with the East Bay Regional Park District to acquire approximately 40 acres of land for the protection and preservation of existing regional wildlife linkages and grassland habitats that support listed species identified in the ECCCHC/Natural Community Conservation Plan, south of the city of Antioch in Contra Costa County.
A $1.6 million grant to the California Department of Water Resources for a cooperative project with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the San Joaquin River Conservancy (SJRC) to construct public access and habitat enhancements to a gravel pit pond adjacent to the San Joaquin River at the SJRC Sycamore Island property, approximately 3 miles downstream of the State Route 41 bridge in Madera County.
A $1.4 million grant to the Regents of the University of California for a cooperative project with University of California, Santa Barbara to construct an administrative and meeting hall, renovate research quarters, construct an outdoor kitchen and repair roads and other infrastructure and facilities needed to serve current and projected needs within the Sedgwick Reserve, 35 miles north of Santa Barbara near the town of Santa Ynez in Santa Barbara County.
A $20 million grant to assist a cooperative project with the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority to acquire a multipurpose easement over approximately 9 acres of land for habitat restoration, open space preservation, and to provide potential future wildlife-oriented public use opportunities, four miles north of downtown Los Angeles in Los Angeles County.
A $384,600 grant to The Chaparral Lands Conservancy for a cooperative project with the California Department of Parks and Recreation to restore approximately 5 acres of sensitive vernal pool and sensitive maritime succulent scrub habitats on City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department property adjacent to Ocean Hills Parkway and Otay Mesa Road, in the community of Otay Mesa.
ing, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $15 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the 21 funded projects will benefit 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, landowners and the local community. The state funds for all these projects come from initiatives approved by voters to help preserve and protect California’s natural resources. Funded projects include:
A $135,000 grant to the Lake County Land Trust to acquire in fee approximately 34 acres of land for the protection of shoreline freshwater wetland, riparian woodland
and wet meadow habitats that support the state-threatened Clear Lake hitch and the western pond turtle, a state species of special concern. This will also provide future wildlife-oriented public use opportunities in an area known as Big Valley, on the northwestern shore of Clear Lake in Lake County.
A $1.2 million grant to the Feather River Land Trust for a cooperative project with the Natural Resources Agency to acquire a conservation easement over approximately
5,530 acres of land to provide protection for deer, mountain lion and oak habitats near the town of Doyle in Lassen County.
A $1.7 million acquisition in fee of approximately 1,066 acres of land by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to expand the Crocker Meadows Wildlife Area, protect riparian and oak woodland habitat, and for future wildlife oriented public use opportunities near Beckwourth in Plumas County.
A $3 million grant to Sonoma County Agriculture Preservation and Open Space District for a cooperative project with the State Coastal Conservancy to acquire a conservation easement over approximately 871 acres of forest lands, including large areas of old and new growth redwood located near Stewarts Point in Sonoma County.
A $2.5 million grant to the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust for a cooperative project with the Inland Empire Resource Conservation District to acquire in fee approximately 240 acres of land as an expansion of the Sawmill Pebble Plain Ecological Preserve – rare pebble plain habitat supporting a wide variety of endemic plant species – south of Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains, in San Bernardino County.
An $850,000 grant to the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy for a cooperative project to implement a comprehensive habitat restoration program, remove target nonnative invasive weed species and restore native habitat on 65 acres of coastal wetlands on several sites located at Agua Hedionda, Batiquitos Lagoon and San Elijo Lagoon. These are located from approximately nine miles north to five miles south of Encinitas on privately owned properties and on properties owned by CDFW and the Department of Parks and Recreation.
Media Contacts: John Donnelly, Wildlife Conservation Board, (916) 445-0137 Dana Michaels, DFG Communications, (916) 322-2420
At its Dec. 8, 2011 meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) earmarked $22.3 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 that 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:
A $426,000 grant to Lassen Land and Trails Trust, Inc. to acquire a conservation easement over more than 535 acres adjacent to the Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) Bass Hill Wildlife Area for protection of important wildlife habitat values, watershed protection and habitat linkage for deer populations in Lassen County.
A $304,000 grant to Ducks Unlimited, Inc. for a cooperative project with DFG to complete final design plans for a tidal wetland restoration project on Ponds E12 and E13, located on the Eden Landing Ecological Reserve in Alameda County.
A $249,000 grant to the City of Pacifica to improve public access for sport fishing at the Pacifica Fishing Pier located in the City of Pacifica in San Mateo County.
A $415,000 grant to Save The Bay for a cooperative project with DFG, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to restore approximately 251 acres of transitional zone habitat adjacent to former salt ponds on the Eden Landing Ecological Reserve and the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Alameda and San Mateo counties.
A $7.8 million grant to the Pacific Forest Trust for a conservation easement over 8,230 acres of working forest lands to allow continued forest management, passive public use and enhance the protection of forest, meadow, riparian, fisheries and water resources. The property is located north and south of Highway 89 in a rural area of the southern Cascade Mountain Range in Shasta and Siskiyou counties near the communities of McCloud, Pondosa and Bartle.
A $1.1 million grant to the Northern California Regional Land Trust for a cooperative project with Western Rivers Conservancy and DFG to acquire fee title to approximately 599 acres of land for the expansion of the Lassen Foothills Conservation Area, northeast of Chico along State Highway 32 in Tehama County. The project will protect approximately 1.4 miles of riparian corridor along Deer Creek and surrounding forest and oak woodlands, including habitat for deer and mountain lion, Chinook salmon, the western pond turtle and the mountain yellow-legged frog. It will also allow the expansion of appropriate wildlife-oriented public use.
A $5 million grant to the Truckee Donner Land Trust to acquire approximately 2,995 acres of land for the protection of significant alpine and wet-meadow habitat, protection of the upper watershed and source of the Little Truckee River and allow for continued conservation-based management and wildlife-oriented public use of the property, located north of the town of Truckee, in Nevada and Sierra counties.
A $1.2 million grant to the Sierra Foothill Conservancy to acquire conservation easements over 2,011 acres of land for the protection of grazing lands, grasslands and blue oak woodlands that benefit sensitive and protected species, and to advance the development of a corridor among existing protected areas for migrating wildlife, located between Prather and Tollhouse in Fresno County.