Wildlife Conservation Board Funds Stream Flow Enhancement Projects

The Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) has approved approximately $33.5 million in grants to help enhance flows in streams throughout California. A total of 30 stream flow enhancement projects were approved for funding at its April 22 meeting. The approved projects will provide or lead to a direct and measurable enhancement of the amount, timing and/or quality of water in streams for anadromous fish or special status, threatened, endangered or at-risk species, or to provide resilience to climate change. 

Funding for these projects comes from the Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Proposition 1). The Act authorized the Legislature to appropriate funds to address the objectives identified in the California Water Action Plan, including more reliable water supplies, the restoration of important species and habitat, and a more resilient and sustainably managed water infrastructure. 

Funded projects include: 

  • A $441,273 grant to Round Valley Indian Tribes for a project to develop stream flow recommendations for tributaries to the Middle Fork and North Fork of the Eel River in Mendocino County to be implemented in future project phases on the Round Valley Indian Tribes’ tribal lands to support direct, long-term increases and protection of instream flow enhancements through policy and regulations that can be put in place and enforced by the Tribal Council, under their existing sovereign authority.
  • A $196,071 grant to Butte County Resource Conservation District for a cooperative project with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to promote enhanced stream flow and resilient forests through forest health treatments while simultaneously restoring meadow systems to enhance landscape function and ecological flows in Butte Creek House Meadow in the CDFW Butte Creek Ecological Reserve in Butte County.
  • A $551,255 grant to The Nature Conservancy for a cooperative project with Trout Unlimited to create an online decision support tool to evaluate water supply and demand for coastal streams within Marin, Sonoma, and portions of Napa, Mendocino and Humboldt counties. This online tool will provide water availability analysis information necessary to develop and permit flow enhancement projects and serve as an important decision support tool when evaluating water availability for projects designed to benefit instream flows for fish and wildlife.
  • An $892,051 grant to the City of San Diego for a restoration planning project to restore ecosystem function to the lower Otay River and associated habitats in San Diego County, laying the groundwork for future ecological restoration in the lower Otay River that will enhance stream flows and water quality as well as wetland habitat for wildlife, including some sensitive species.
  • A $1,743,458 grant to Truckee River Watershed Council for an implementation project designed to restore hydrologic function to approximately 100 acres of meadow habitat at Upper Lacey Meadow approximately two miles upstream from Webber Lake within Sierra and Nevada counties, benefiting stream flow, supporting resilience to climate change and improving habitat for numerous wildlife species.
  • A $1,985,000 grant to Yuba Water Agency for a cooperative project with Teichert Aggregates and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore and enhance ecosystem processes with a primary objective of rehabilitating productive juvenile salmonid rearing habitat to increase natural production of fall-run and spring-run Chinook salmon and California Central Valley steelhead trout in the lower Yuba River in Yuba County.
  • A $2,203,000 grant to Marin Open Space Trust for a cooperative project with the California Natural Resources Agency to acquire a conservation easement over 135 acres of the former San Geronimo golf course in West Marin County within the Lagunitas Creek Watershed and the permanent dedication of 20 acre-feet per year as instream flow to Larsen Creek to support special-status salmonids and provide a publicly accessible natural open space.
  • A $2,636,208 grant to San Mateo Resource Conservation District for a cooperative project with California State Parks to create a reliable, drought resilient water supply for Butano State Park in San Mateo County, restoring and protecting stream flow in Little Butano Creek for federally threatened steelhead trout and federally endangered coho salmon and creating a sustainably managed water system that is built to withstand the long-term effects of climate change.

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

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Media Contacts:
John Donnelly, Wildlife Conservation Board, (916) 445-0137
Amanda McDermott, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8907

Butte Creek House Meadow. Photo by Thad Walker, Butte County Resource Conservation District.

Black bear cub in rehab

California Wildlife Rehabilitation Centers Receive Financial Support from the State

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is directing approximately $550,000 in grant funding to 45 nonprofit wildlife rehabilitation organizations to immediately support care for injured, sick and orphaned wildlife. The funds are made available from taxpayer contributions to the Native California Wildlife Rehabilitation Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund.

“California’s injured, sick and orphaned native wildlife need our help now more than ever,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “We are proud to quickly make funds available to help these important partner organizations operate during difficult economic times.”

In 2017, Assemblymember Marie Waldron’s Assembly Bill 1031 created the Native California Wildlife Rehabilitation Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund on the state’s income tax form, and thanks to taxpayers’ generosity, more than $820,000 has been donated as of October 2020.

“I am so pleased these organizations will receive the funding they desperately deserve,” Waldron said. “Without them, California’s wildlife would suffer, which would mean we all suffer.  I’m honored to have played a role in conserving California’s abundant natural beauty.”

In 2019, these 45 organizations collectively cared for nearly 112,000 orphaned or injured wild animals, including bats, opossums, skunks, raptors, reptiles, foxes, songbirds, fawns, sea birds, coyotes, bears and many other native species.

CDFW acted swiftly to stand up the new competitive grant program to support and advance the recovery and rehabilitation of injured, sick or orphaned wildlife and conservation education. Funds may be used to support activities such as operations and ongoing facility needs, innovation in animal care (e.g., wildlife rehabilitation techniques, enclosure designs, diet and behavioral enrichment), post-release monitoring and conservation education for the public.

“The California wildlife rehabilitation community is incredibly grateful for this much-needed support,” said Rachel Avilla, president of the California Council for Wildlife Rehabilitators Board of Directors. “While 2020 has certainly taken its toll on many small organizations, our commitment to helping wildlife remains strong as injured and orphaned animals continue to need our help daily. We want to thank Assemblymember Waldron and her team for pushing this landmark legislation through and CDFW for being an excellent ally. We are profoundly grateful for their continued collaboration and support to help care for California’s precious wildlife.”

Consistent with the legislation, eligible organizations were required to document their status as a nonprofit organization that operates a permitted wildlife rehabilitation facility, complies with all conditions of its Wildlife Rehabilitation Memorandum of Understanding, and maintains active participation in the Wildlife Rehabilitation Medical Database.

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Media Contact:
Clark Blanchard, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 591-0140

Chinook Salmon

CDFW Awards $10.7 Million for Fisheries Habitat Restoration Program Projects

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) today announced the selection of 27 projects that will receive funding for the restoration, enhancement and protection of anadromous salmonid habitat in California watersheds.

The grants, which total $10.7 million, were awarded through CDFW’s Fisheries Restoration Grant Program (FRGP). Established in 1981, FRGP has included funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund since 2000. The federal fund was established by Congress in 2000 to reverse the declines of Pacific salmon and steelhead throughout California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska.

“The ongoing momentum to restore California’s habitat for these historic species hasn’t stopped as we face a global pandemic and devastating wildfires,” CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham said. “Awarding these projects highlights the resilience, passion and vision for salmon recovery by our state’s restoration community, for which we are grateful.”

In response to the 2020 Fisheries Habitat Restoration Grant Solicitation, CDFW received 80 proposals requesting more than $40.6 million in funding. As part of the competitive grant program, proposals underwent a rigorous technical review by CDFW and NOAA scientists.

The 27 approved projects will further the objectives of state and federal fisheries recovery plans, including removing barriers to fish migration, restoring riparian habitat, monitoring of listed populations, and creating a more resilient and sustainably managed water resources system (e.g., water supply, water quality and habitat) that can better withstand drought conditions. These projects further the goals of California’s Water Action Plan and CDFW’s State Wildlife Action Plan, as well as addressing limiting factors specified in state and federal recovery plans.

The list of approved projects is available on the FRGP website.

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Media Contacts:
Matt Wells, Watershed Restoration Grants Branch, (916) 216-7848
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 804-1714

Rays of sun shining through clouds over mountains with lake in foreground

Wildlife Conservation Board Funds Environmental Improvement and Acquisition Projects

At its Nov. 18, 2020 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $19 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the 26 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 $760,000 grant to The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County for a cooperative project with the Department of Conservation and the State Coastal Conservancy to acquire a conservation easement over approximately 717 acres of land to protect and preserve native oak woodlands, deer, mountain lions and maintain wildlife corridors near Cayucos in San Luis Obispo County.
  • A $2.5 million grant to the Siskiyou Land Trust to acquire a conservation easement over approximately 8,269 acres of land for the protection of mixed conifer working forest, including riparian corridors, fish and wildlife resources, wetlands and watersheds located near the community of Callahan in Siskiyou County.
  • A $3.6 million grant to the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust to acquire approximately 76 acres of land on behalf of the San Joaquin River Conservancy for the protection of riparian habitat and future wildlife-oriented, public-use opportunities within the San Joaquin River Parkway, located near the city of Fresno in Fresno County.
  • A $836,000 grant to the JMT Wilderness Conservancy for a cooperative project with U.S. Forest Service, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and private donors for restoration activities benefiting approximately 1,300 acres of eastern Sierra montane meadows, subalpine meadows and connected riparian zones in Ansel Adams Wilderness located in Inyo National Forest approximately nine miles northwest of Mammoth Lakes in Mono and Madera counties.

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

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Media Contacts:
John Donnelly, Wildlife Conservation Board, (916) 445-0137
Amanda McDermott, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8907


Ediza Lake, Ansel Adams Wilderness, photo by Lyle Smith, JMT Wilderness Conservancy

Valley with winding river and creek surrounded by trees.

Wildlife Conservation Board Funds Environmental Improvement and Acquisition Projects

At its Aug. 26, 2020 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $25.3 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the 26 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 $5 million grant to the National Wildlife Federation for the Liberty Canyon Wildlife Overpass Crossing in cooperation with the California Department of Transportation, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), the California State Coastal Conservancy (SCC), the City of Agoura Hills and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy to construct a wildlife crossing over U.S. Route 101 to facilitate wildlife migration near Agoura Hills in Los Angeles County.
  • A $350,000 grant to The Nature Conservancy for a cooperative project with CDFW and California State Parks to complete a suite of planning activities to daylight a storm drain and restore multiple habitat types including arroyo, riparian, intermittent wetlands and coastal sage scrub along the Los Angeles River in Los Angeles County.  
  • A $670,000 grant to American Rivers for a cooperative project with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to restore approximately 140 acres of wet meadow habitat in the Pine Creek watershed, located on USFS’s Lassen National Forest approximately 30 miles northwest of Susanville in Lassen County.
  • A $700,000 grant to California State Parks for a cooperative planning project with the California Tahoe Conservancy to complete plans, designs and permits for pier replacement and recreation access improvements at Kings Beach State Recreation Area, located 10 miles northeast of Tahoe City in Placer County.
  • A $700,000 grant to Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District for a cooperative project with SCC and the California Natural Resources Agency to acquire approximately 341 acres of land for the protection of coastal dunes, Sitka spruce and beach pine forest habitats in order to promote the recovery of threatened and endangered species, and provide future wildlife-oriented, public-use opportunities in the community of Samoa in Humboldt County.
  • A $4 million grant to the Santa Clara Valley Habitat Agency (SCVHA) and the acceptance of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Habitat Conservation Plan Land Acquisition grants with the approval to subgrant these federal funds to SCVHA to acquire approximately 1,741 acres of land for the protection and preservation of existing regional wildlife linkages and special status species occurrences, as well as rare serpentine bunchgrass plant communities, grasslands, oak woodlands, and pond and riparian habitat areas within the Santa Clara Valley Habitat Conservation Plan/Natural Community Conservation Plan, located west of U.S. Route 101 in Santa Clara County.
  • A $1.08 million grant to SCC for a cooperative project with the Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy to acquire approximately 44 acres of land for the protection of nesting and foraging habitat for state-listed Belding’s Savannah sparrow and foraging habitat for California least tern and other sensitive species located in Huntington Beach in Orange County.
  • A $3.5 million grant to The Nature Conservancy for the acquisition in fee of approximately 3,148 acres for the protection of deer, mountain lion and special status species habitat, and to increase protection of regional wildlife habitat corridors in the Tehachapi Mountain Range located near Bakersfield in Kern County.

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

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Media Contacts:
John Donnelly, Wildlife Conservation Board, (916) 445-0137
Amanda McDermott, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8907

Photo credit: Confluence Meadow by Dave Lass, Trout Unlimited