Tag Archives: habitat

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




Multiple Agencies Work to Restore Trails, Fishing in Tehama County

Several federal, state and local agencies worked together over the last week to remove trash, widen trails and provide better access to the Sacramento River for fishing and recreation.

Employees from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), Bureau of Reclamation, city of Red Bluff’s Parks and Police departments, Tehama County Sheriff’s and Probation departments, Tehama County Fish and Game Commission and an inmate fire crew from CAL FIRE’s Ishi Conservation Camp all worked to remove several tons of trash and pollutants from abandoned transients camps in Dog Island Park in Red Bluff.

“All the work we did will be great for the people who use this part of the Sacramento River,” said Lt. Rich Wharton, CDFW Law Enforcement Division. “Having all the different agencies working together on one goal helps us create bonds in the community too.”

More than 200 cubic yards of trash, debris and material were removed and existing trails were widened to allow residents better and safer access to the Sacramento River.

Green Waste of Tehama donated more than $3,300 worth of hauling services and the Tehama County Solid Waste Management Agency waived more than $11,000 in disposal fees.

Media Contacts:
Lt. Rich Wharton, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (530) 225-2300
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

CDFW Seeks Agricultural Lease Applications on Properties in Humboldt County

Media Contacts:
Charles Bartolotta, CDFW Northern Region, (707) 498-9072
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

In an effort to provide short-grass habitat and lessen depredation impacts from Aleutian Canada geese, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will once again be accepting applications for cattle grazing and haying on CDFW lands in Humboldt County.

CDFW plans to alleviate some pasture depredation by providing foraging areas on public lands. CDFW has had success in this effort in the past and hopes to continue its partnership with the local agricultural community to maintain high quality habitat for the geese and other species associated with short-grass pastures.

The identified wildlife areas are located near sea level and are subject to freshwater inundation from late fall through late spring. They provide crucial habitat for waterfowl, wading birds and other water-associated species. In past years, pasture depredation has been a cause of concern for those in area ranching communities as tens of thousands of Aleutian Canada geese annually descend on local pastures in the spring and consume the available feed for livestock.

CDFW will host mandatory site visits on April 20 at Fay Slough Wildlife Area (10 a.m.) and Mad River Slough Wildlife Area (1 p.m.), and on April 21 at the Cock Robin Island Unit (9 a.m.) and Salt River Unit (11 a.m.) of the Eel River Wildlife Area.

Proposals for grazing at Fay Slough (130 acres), Mad River Slough (115 acres) and Salt River (70 acres) and bids for haying at Cock Robin Island (73 acres) must be received by CDFW no later than 5 p.m. on May 6. Successful applicants will be notified before May 25, with an expected permit start date of July 1.

Applications for the Mad River, Fay Slough and Salt River Unit properties will be through the Request for Proposal (RFP) process. Proposals will require applicants to demonstrate that they possess the skill and knowledge to perform the tasks outlined within the permit. Answers to a series of questions will be scored and the total points accumulated will determine ranking. The monetary bid will be considered in the ranking but will not be the sole factor in choosing the top proposal. The Cock Robin Island Unit will be leased for haying only and will be selected via an “Invitation to Bid.” The lease will be awarded to the highest bidder once basic criteria in the permit have been met.

For more information, please visit www.dgs.ca.gov/pd/Programs/caleprocure.aspx or https://caleprocure.ca.gov/pages/public-search.aspx and search for permit numbers P2016101 (Cock Robin Island Unit), P2016102 (Fay Slough), P2016103 (Mad River Slough) and P2016104 (Salt River Unit), or contact Charles Bartolotta, CDFW Wildlife Habitat Supervisor, at (707) 498-9072.


CDFW Monitors Effect of Severe Drought on Wildlife

Stream- and Wetland-Dependent Species Most at Risk

Amphibian, reptile, bird and mammal populations that depend on freshwater marsh, streamside habitat and wet meadows are struggling most to endure the drought that has gripped California for more than four years, according to a comprehensive assessment released today by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

CDFW biologists ranked the vulnerability of the state’s terrestrial species and gave top priority for additional monitoring and assistance to 48 species. The greatest concentrations of these high-risk populations are found in Southern California coastal, mountain and valley regions, the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the Mojave Desert, Central Valley and the southern Cascade mountain range.

The majority of these “Priority 1” species are found in freshwater marsh, riparian and wet meadow habitats. The species include the mountain yellow-legged frog, the giant garter snake, tricolored blackbird and the Amargosa vole.

CDFW researchers analyzed and assessed the vulnerability of more than 358 land species. Scientists then classified them into Priority I (most vulnerable) and Priority II (less vulnerable) categories. All of the species evaluated were threatened, endangered or were otherwise considered species of special concern before the drought impacted them.

CDFW also determined the San Joaquin Valley, southern Sierra Nevada, western Mojave Desert and Owens Valley areas experienced the least amount of normal average rainfall during this extended drought. As a result, wildlife in these regions struggle most finding resources to survive.

“While many species are mobile and able to deal with periods of extended drought, some are more vulnerable than others,” said CDFW Program Manager Karen Miner. “Each species plays an important role in the overall health of the ecosystem and contributes something that impacts other animals in the food chain. It’s important to recognize that the effects of extended or more frequent extreme droughts may not be immediately apparent for some species.”

CDFW is taking action to help the most vulnerable species. Funding for these projects comes from several sources including emergency drought response funds provided in the current state budget, California’s Threatened and Endangered Species tax check-off program, federal grant programs, and contributions from a number of universities and other agencies working to save these rare animals.

  • In the Sierra Nevada and Northern California mountain ranges, amphibians such as yellow-legged frogs, Yosemite toads and Cascades frogs are struggling. Some species’ tadpoles require multiple years to develop into juveniles and lack of suitable habitat has eliminated several years of breeding effort at once. Removal of non-native predatory fish from select areas as well as assistance with disease intervention, translocations and reintroductions are underway to improve their chances of long-term survival.
  • In the Mojave Desert, researchers identified the Amargosa vole as a species of great concern. Voles play an important role as a prey species and were on the verge of extinction because their habitat had dried up. Juveniles were rescued and taken into captivity to establish a breeding population. Once suitable habitat is secured or restored, the voles will be released to the wild.
  • In southern Santa Cruz and northern Monterey counties, monitoring of the endangered Santa Cruz long-toed salamander revealed that over the last three years the breeding ponds dried up before the larvae could metamorphose into juveniles that are capable of surviving out of water. CDFW and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service salvaged hundreds of larvae on a property jointly managed by the two agencies. The salamanders were raised in captivity and released back at the site after restoration was completed. Follow-up monitoring is ongoing.
  • In the San Joaquin Valley, biologists are working with UC Berkeley, Humboldt State University and other organizations to save the giant kangaroo rat, a keystone species that serves as prey or provides habitat for several other listed animals. Kangaroo rats do not require direct water and get what they need from seeds. After several years without precipitation, seed availability was diminished and the population plummeted. As a result, the threatened and endangered San Joaquin kit fox is also struggling because their primary prey is disappearing. Researchers are studying population responses to food resource availability to determine how best to intervene to save these species.

California has more native species and the greatest number of endemic species than any other state in the nation with approximately 68 amphibian species, 85 reptile species, 429 bird species and 185 mammal species, many that occur nowhere else in the world. Identifying and saving at risk wildlife will secure the future for other populations in the years to come.

View the full report.

Media Contact:
Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 654-9937


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