Wildlife Conservation Board Funds Environmental Improvement and Acquisition Projects

At its Nov. 30 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $2.6 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the 12 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 $310,000 grant to the California Waterfowl Association for a cooperative project with the North American Wetlands Conservation Council to construct water conveyance infrastructure and restore wetlands and upland habitats on 507 acres of privately owned property, approximately seven miles south of Oroville in Butte County.
  • A $385,000 grant to the U.S. Forest Service for a cooperative project with the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to restore five meadows, stabilize head-cuts and fill sections of incised stream channels. This project will restore channel form, floodplain connectivity, stream bank stability and meadow vegetation on Stanislaus National Forest lands, seven miles northeast of Pinecrest in Tuolumne County.
  • $340,000 for in-fee acquisition of approximately 12 acres of land by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and a Transfer of Jurisdiction of the land by CDFW to the San Joaquin River Conservancy (SJRC), to protect riparian habitat and provide future wildlife-oriented public use opportunities within the San Joaquin River Parkway, near the City of Fresno in Madera County.
  • A $400,000 augmentation to an existing grant to the Elkhorn Slough Foundation for a cooperative project with CDFW, California State Coastal Conservancy, DWR, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Santa Cruz County Public Works. This project will restore 46 acres of tidal marsh and five acres of perennial grasses on CDFW’s Elkhorn Slough National Marine Estuarine Research Reserve, two miles east of Moss Landing in Monterey County.

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

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Media Contacts:
John Donnelly, WCB Executive Director, (916) 445-0137
Dana Michaels, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-2420

Wildlife Conservation Board Funds Environmental Improvement and Acquisition Projects

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.

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

a muddy drive leads to a river with trees and grass on the banks
Photo courtesy of DWR
dried-out scrub brush and dead grass among fan palms, with arid mountains in the distance, under a blue sky
Photo courtesy of City of Los Angeles
wet, grassy vernal pool habitat damaged by mountain bikes
WCB photo by Don Crocker

 

Media Contacts:
John Donnelly, WCB Executive Director, (916) 445-0137
Dana Michaels, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-2420

Grand Opening of San Joaquin River Parkway Trail in Fresno County

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and partners are pleased to announce the opening of a new link of the San Joaquin River Parkway Trail, part of the Friant Interactive Nature Site (FINS), and new outdoor educational facilities at the San Joaquin Fish Hatchery. The trail stretches nearly a mile from the community of Friant to Lost Lake Recreation Area in Fresno County.

FINS was constructed in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources and the San Joaquin River Conservancy.

“We accomplish a lot when we all work together,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “To me, this new link of the trail signifies our connection to the outdoors. It connects the public to nature, providing environmental educational opportunities that we can all be proud of for generations to come. Thank you to the partners and volunteers for their work on this important part of the trail.”

FINS includes a new parking lot located on Friant Road to serve school buses and other visitors, an outdoor classroom, trailhead facilities, interpretive exhibits and the following:

  • Small Fry Children’s Trail and “Stormy Creek” — A play area and educational introduction to ecosystems, encouraging children to learn about the life of a trout while enjoying nature. “Stormy Creek” demonstrates a bio-swale, which is a landscaped area designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water before entering a river system like the San Joaquin River.
  • San Joaquin Hatchery— conveniently located for tourists, visitors and Friant residents, offers free visitation and public viewing of the life stages of a trout.
  • Salmon Conservation and Research Facility — Construction is slated to begin within the next year on a state-of-the-art $23.7 million fisheries facility that will produce spring-run Chinook salmon for reintroduction to the San Joaquin River.

Funding for the $3.38 million project was provided by the San Joaquin River Conservancy with approval of the California Wildlife Conservation Board, using state bond funds from the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Fund of 2006 (Proposition 84) and the Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks, and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2002 (Proposition 40).

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Media Contacts:
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944
Steve Gonzalez, CDFW Communications, (916) 715-9072

CDFW Releases Draft Environmental Impact Report on Planned Salmon Conservation Hatchery

Salmon Media Contacts:
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908
Gerald Hatler, CDFW Central Region, (559) 243-4014, ext. 259

California’s Second Longest River One Step Closer to Restoring Historic Salmon Runs

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has released a draft environmental impact report (DEIR) for a conservation fish hatchery to assist with the restoration of salmon runs in the San Joaquin River.

The proposed site of the new Salmon Conservation and Research Facility (SCARF) is located in Friant in Fresno County and adjacent to the San Joaquin River approximately 1.1 miles downstream of Friant Dam. The project, which is part of the San Joaquin River Restoration Project (SJRRP), proposes to release juvenile salmon from the facilities starting in 2015.

The DEIR describes how salmon would be collected and bred, using modern genetic management techniques to ensure genetic diversity that will produce traits that are beneficial in the wild, while minimizing impacts to the donor salmon populations. It also contains information on planned fisheries management within the plan area, among other information on environmental impacts.

An interim conservation facility is located at the site of the future SCARF and would be incorporated into the SCARF.

The DEIR can be found at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/regions/4/SanJoaquinRiver and is in circulation for a 45-day comment period that will end Nov. 21, 2013. Public meetings will be scheduled during that time in Fresno and Sacramento, as follows:

– Fresno, Nov. 4, 6-8 p.m., at the California Retired Teachers Association Building, 3930 E. Saginaw Way, Fresno.

– Sacramento, Nov. 6, 6-8 p.m., at the Department of Health Care Services and Department of Public Health Building, 1500 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento.

Comments may be made during the public meetings or by submitting them to CDFW, Attn: Gerald Hatler, SCARF Draft EIR Comments, 1234 E. Shaw Ave., Fresno, CA 93710 or by email to REG4SCARFCEQA@wildlife.ca.gov.

The San Joaquin River Restoration Program arose from a settlement in 2006 among the federal government, environmental groups and water users. CDFW and other state entities agreed to assist in implementation of the settlement agreement pursuant to a memorandum of understanding between the state agencies and the settling parties.

The San Joaquin River, California’s second longest tributary, was the site of one of the state’s most populous salmon fisheries. Historically, over a half million spring run Chinook salmon may have migrated up the San Joaquin River. The spring and fall runs of returning Chinook salmon were eliminated after the construction of the Friant Dam in 1942.

Wildlife Conservation Board funds environmental improvement and acquisition projects

Media Contacts:
John Donnelly, WCB Executive Director, (916) 445-0137
Dana Michaels, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-2420

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At its Sept. 4 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $8.6 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the 10 funded projects will provide benefits to 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, land owners and the local community. The funds for all these projects come from bond initiatives approved by voters to help preserve and protect California’s natural resources. Some of the funded projects include:

  • A $172,000 grant to the Tehama County Resource Conservation District for a cooperative project with the landowners and the Natural Resources Conservation Service to initiate planning, design, and environmental review on two ranches in Tehama County: the Leininger Ranch and the C&R Ranch, approximately 10 miles east and 17 miles west of the City of Corning, respectively.
  • A $1.4 million grant to the River Partners for a cooperative project with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Department of Water Resources and others to restore approximately 599 acres of riparian habitat at the confluence of the Tuolumne and San Joaquin rivers in Stanislaus County.
  • A $3 million grant for a cooperative project with the River Partners, Department of Water Resources and the Packard Foundation, to acquire in fee approximately 466 acres of valley floodplain and riverine habitat for protection of threatened and endangered species located approximately 10 miles west of the City of Modesto, just south of the confluence of the Tuolumne and San Joaquin rivers, in Stanislaus County.
  • A $1 million grant to the River Partners for a cooperative project with the City of San Diego to restore approximately 100 acres of riparian and oak woodland habitat on City of San Diego property just upstream of Lake Hodges, near Escondido in San Diego County.

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