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

CDFW Officers Capture and Relocate Mountain Lion in Santa Barbara

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officers successfully tranquilized and captured a mountain lion trapped in a Southern California backyard this afternoon.

CDFW wildlife officers responded to a call from a Santa Barbara homeowner approximately 8:30 a.m. to find a lion trapped in a heavily wooded backyard bordering the Santa Barbara Golf Club, two blocks north of U.S. Highway 101. Officers determined that the lion was stable and hidden in heavy brush and trees of the yard and not a public safety threat.

Several CDFW wildlife officers were on scene evaluating the situation, the condition of the lion and gathering resources to ensure the safety of the officers, the public and the animal before attempting any effort to subdue the lion.

Wildlife officers determined the lion was not in a place where it could be chased it back into the wild without taking action. A plan was formulated to tranquilize the animal and return it to open space; there were no plans to destroy the animal.

About 12:30 p.m., wildlife officers successfully used a tranquilizer gun to immobilize the cat and secure it for evaluation and transportation.

The cat is a young, male lion, about 100 pounds and appears to be healthy. Officers took the animal to Los Padres National Forest for release.

A nearby elementary school was notified as a precaution but was not locked down or evacuated.

Media Contacts:
Capt. Mike Stefanak, CDFW Law Enforcement (805) 746-7590
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944