Tag Archives: habitat restoration

Habitat Restoration Projects to Help California’s Wintering Waterfowl

State Duck Stamp Dollars Support Waterfowl Population at Beginning of Their Life Cycle

It might seem incongruous for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to fund a habitat restoration project located somewhere outside of California. Yet, doing so is a very important part of biologists’ efforts to protect and manage the approximately 5 million waterfowl that winter in our state annually – and is a very important use of the conservation dollars provided by waterfowl hunters.

“The goal is to ensure the long-term security of the northern pintail and other duck species that winter in the Central Valley of California,” said Craig Stowers, CDFW’s Game Species Program Manager. “In order to do that, we need to consider their entire life cycle, and trace their migration all the way back to their origin. That’s why legislation and the best available science both support the use of California Duck Stamp dollars and funding through the North American Wetland Conservation Act to secure and restore additional habitat for breeding waterfowl in Canada.”

In an average year, CDFW sells almost 70,000 state duck stamps, generating about $1.3 million for waterfowl-related projects. The number of stamps sold has been relatively consistent since 1991. The majority of wetland enhancement and restoration projects supported through the state Duck Stamp Fund occur here in California, on public lands open to hunting. For the 2016-2017 fiscal year, that includes more than $1 million allocated for habitat restoration and enhancement projects at Honey Lake Wildlife Area, Butte Valley Wildlife Area, Modoc National Wildlife Refuge, Upper Butte Wildlife Area, Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, Napa-Sonoma Marshes Wildlife Area, Kern National Wildlife Refuge, Imperial Wildlife Area and Morro Bay Estuary.

But few hunters realize $2.25 of every duck stamp sold is allocated by law (California Fish and Game Code, section 3704) for the purposes of restoring habitat in those areas of Canada from which come substantial numbers of waterfowl migrating to, or through, California.

In 1972, the State Legislature implemented a mandate to use duck stamp funds in Canada in order to conserve critical waterfowl habitat in North America’s breeding grounds. This legislation looked to the future of waterfowl populations and directed CDFW (then known as the California Department of Fish and Game) to spend these moneys wisely and seek out matching funds to get as much conservation work done as possible. Those matching funds come both from CDFW’s conservation partners and the federal government via the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.

This year, duck stamp dollars marked for Canadian wetland and upland conservation projects will go to the King Conservation Easement in Alberta. This is a key breeding area for pintail and is in need of wetland and upland habitat protection. The Duck Stamp Fund will contribute $155,000, with the rest provided via federal match, to protect approximately 48 acres of wetlands and 592 acres of uplands. This particular easement is key because it is adjacent to other conservation easements that together form a habitat range of more than 15,000 acres.

In addition to wetland restoration projects, duck stamp funds also support species-specific projects. For the 2016-2017 fiscal year, these projects will include:

  • A pintail banding project that will help biologists study harvest and survival rates ($35,000)
  • A mallard banding project that will provide data critical to the establishment of annual duck hunting regulations ($23,000)
  • A tule greater white-fronted goose study that will use radio transmitters to collect data about this special-status species’ population, habitat use and distribution ($7,000)
  • A waterfowl food study to determine the amount of calories provided by post-harvest rice and corn, and how these food sources affect waterfowl ($51,890)

Any projects that are supported by duck stamp funds are approved only with the input and analysis of waterfowl conservation groups such as the California Waterfowl Association and Ducks Unlimited. And, unlike nearly all other hunter-generated funds, state duck stamp projects must be first approved by the California Fish and Game Commission, which adds another important layer of accountability and transparency.


Media Contacts:
Melanie Weaver, CDFW Waterfowl Program, (916) 445-3717
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

State Offers $200,000 in Grants to Benefit California Habitat

California’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) is accepting grant proposals for projects that enhance wildlife habitat and environmental restoration.

The funds come from OSPR’s Environmental Enhancement Fund (EEF), which originates from oil spill violations, in accordance with California’s Lempert-Keene-Seastrand Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act.

Multiple projects may be selected, with available funding up to $200,000; typically past grant recipients have been awarded between $50,000- $100,000. Multi-year projects are also considered.

To qualify, an environmental enhancement project must acquire habitat for preservation or improve habitat quality and ecosystem function. In addition, it must meet all of the following requirements:

  •  Be located within or immediately adjacent to waters of the state.
  • Have measurable outcomes within a predetermined timeframe.
  • Be designed to acquire, restore, or improve habitat or restore ecosystem function, or both, to benefit fish and wildlife.

“It’s great to be part of an environmental restoration program that makes a difference,” said OSPR Environmental Scientist Bruce Joab. “We’re proud that our Environmental Enhancement Fund projects have helped improve California’s habitats.”

The California Coastal Conservancy and National Fish and Wildlife Federation will join OSPR in selecting the winning recipients.

Disbursement of the grants is contingent on the availability of funds in the EEF.

Grant applications must be received by 5 p.m. on 31 August 2016. To contact the grant coordinator, email bruce.joab@wildlife.ca.gov. For more information, visit


Media Contacts:
Steve Gonzalez, OSPR, (916) 327-9948




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.

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.

“There is a significant demand for funding of projects that protect and restore our state’s ecosystems, as evidenced by the initial rollout of our Proposition 1 programs,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “The department is planning to continue this momentum by funding projects that complement these efforts and further address critical statewide needs.”

The FY 2016-2017 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://faast.waterboards.ca.gov. The deadline to apply is Friday, June 24, 2016 at 4 p.m.

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

For Fiscal Year 2016-2017, a total of $31.4 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.


Media Contacts:
Rebecca Fris, CDFW Watershed Restoration Grants Branch, (916) 445-4289
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

Wildlife Conservation Board Funds Environmental Improvement and Acquisition Projects

At its Feb. 24 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $14 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the 17 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. Some of the funded projects include:

A $410,000 grant to the County of Fresno for a project to extend an existing boat launch and provide shade pavilions for boaters in the City of Shaver Lake on privately owned land, approximately 45 miles northeast of the City of Fresno.

$282,720 for the acquisition in fee of approximately 185 acres of land by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for the protection of core wildlife linkages and endangered species habitat, located near the community of Jamul in San Diego County.

  • A grant of up to $3.5 million to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE) under the California Forest Legacy Program Act of 2007, to assist with the acquisition of three separate conservation easements, totaling approximately 15,620 acres. The easements will protect significant forest, natural, ecological and open space conservation values on lands located near Willits in Mendocino County.
  • A $407,000 grant to the California Rangeland Trust for a cooperative project with the Natural Resource Conservation Services to acquire a conservation easement over approximately 1,547 acres of land for the protection of oak woodlands, deer and mountain lion habitat, watersheds and wildlife corridors located in Bear Valley in Colusa County.
  • A $332,500 grant to the California Rangeland Trust for another cooperative project with the Natural Resource Conservation Services to acquire a conservation easement over approximately 2,507 acres of land for the protection of oak woodlands, deer and mountain lion habitat, watersheds and wildlife corridors located in Bear Valley in Colusa County.
  • A $1 million grant to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) for a cooperative project with the California State Coastal Conservancy and the Santa Clara River Trustee Council to remove non-native invasive plants and restore riparian habitat, on TNC’s Hanson property, located two miles southwest of the City of Santa Paula in Ventura County
  • A $3.3 million grant to the San Diego Unified Port District for a cooperative project with the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Division of Boating and Waterways to replace the Shelter Island Boat Ramp, located on land held and maintained in a public trust by the District within the City of San Diego.

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

Media Contacts:
John Donnelly, WCB Executive Director, (916) 445-0137
Dana Michaels,

CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 322-2420

Nominations Now Being Accepted for Fisheries Restoration Grant Program Peer Review Committee

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Fisheries Restoration Grant Program (FRGP) is seeking nominations to fill two vacancies on the FRGP Peer Review Committee (PRC).

Pursuant to the Public Resources Code, section 6217, members of the PRC are appointed by the director of CDFW to provide advice, oversight and recommendations regarding grant funding priorities for the FRGP.

Seven of the PRC’s 14 representatives are recommended by the California Advisory Committee on Salmon and Steelhead Trout. The remaining seven represent the following interests: one representative from the agriculture industry, one representative from the timber industry, one representative of public water agency interests, one academic or research scientist with expertise in anadromous fisheries restoration and three county supervisors from coastal counties (county supervisors are recommended by the California State Association of Counties). All representatives must reside in or represent interests in coastal and Central Valley counties in which native salmon and steelhead exist.

CDFW will accept nominations from the general public for the timber industry and public water agency industry positions through May 2, 2016. The appointed representatives serve four-year terms, and these appointments extend until December 2019, starting with the PRC meeting scheduled in the fall of 2016.

To nominate a representative for either of the two seats, please send a nomination letter to:

Patty Forbes, FRGP Coordinator
California Department of Fish and Wildlife
830 S St.
Sacramento, CA 95811

Nomination letters should include a resume of the candidate and verification that they represent coastal or Central Valley counties in which salmon and steelhead exist. For more information or any questions, please contact Ms. Forbes at (916) 327-8842 or Kevin Shaffer at (916) 327-8841.


Media Contacts:
Patty Forbes, CDFW Watershed Restoration Grant Branch, (916) 327-8842
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988