Tag Archives: Sonoma

Wildlife Conservation Board Funds Stream Flow Enhancement Projects

At a March 22 meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $33.1 million in grants for 22 projects to enhance stream flows to benefit fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. The Legislature appropriated funding for these projects as authorized by the Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Proposition 1). A total of $200 million was allocated to the WCB for projects that enhance stream flow.

A total of $38.4 million—including $5 million designated for scoping and scientific projects—was allocated to the WCB for expenditure in Fiscal Year 2017/18 for the California Stream Flow Enhancement Program. Projects were chosen through a competitive grant process, judged by the WCB, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the State Water Resources Control Board. Guided by the California Water Action Plan, funding is focused on projects that will lead to direct and measurable enhancements to the amount, timing and/or quality of water for anadromous fish; special status, threatened, endangered or at-risk species; or to provide resilience to climate change.

Funded projects include:

  • A $4.8 million grant to The Wildlands Conservancy for a project to enhance stream flow on Russ Creek by reestablishing channel alignment to provide continuous summer base flows suitable for fish passage. The project is located on the southern portion of the Eel River Estuary Preserve in Humboldt County, approximately four miles west of Ferndale.
  • A $693,408 grant to the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District for the purpose of dedicating a portion of the District’s diversion water rights to instream flow use that will benefit fish and wildlife by increasing habitat for salmonids and special status species in the Mad River. The project is located on the main-stem Mad River in the Mad River Watershed with releases coming from Matthews Dam at Ruth Reservoir, approximately 48 miles southeast of Eureka and 53 miles southwest of Redding.
  • A $726,374 grant to Mendocino County Resource Conservation District for a cooperative project with Trout Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to reduce summer diversions and improve dry season stream flows for the benefit of Coho salmon and steelhead trout. The Navarro River watershed is located approximately 20 miles south of Fort Bragg.
  • A $5 million grant to the Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency for a cooperative project with the Department of Water Resources and CDFW, to improve roughly 7,500 linear feet of existing channels to connect isolated ponds. This will provide fish refuge and eliminate potential stranding. This project’s design was funded by the Stream Flow Enhancement Program in 2016. The project site is within the Sacramento River watershed and is less than one mile southwest of the town of Oroville, on the east side of the Feather River.
  • $609,970 grant to the University of California Regents for a cooperative project with the University of Nevada, Reno and the Desert Research Institute, to expand monitoring, scientific studies and modeling in the Tahoe-Truckee Basin. The results will guide watershed-scale forest thinning strategies that enhance stream flow within an area that provides critical habitat for threatened species. The project is located in the central Sierra Nevada mountain range, primarily on National Forest lands in the Lake Tahoe Basin and Tahoe National Forest.
  • A $851,806 grant to the Sonoma Resource Conservation District for a cooperative project with the Coast Ridge Community Forest and 29 landowners, to install rainwater harvesting tanks and enter into agreements to refrain from diverting stream flow during dry seasons. The project area consists of 29 properties within the coastal Gualala River, Russian Gulch and Austin Creek watersheds, which discharge to the Pacific Ocean approximately 40 miles northwest of Santa Rosa.
  • A $5.3 million grant to the Alameda County Water District for a cooperative project with the Alameda County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, California Natural Resources Agency, State Coastal Conservancy and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to modify flow releases in Alameda Creek and construct two concrete fish ladders around existing fish passage barriers. This will provide salmonids access to high value habitat upstream of the project location, approximately 17 miles north of San Jose and 22 miles southeast of Oakland.
  • A $3.9 million grant to The Nature Conservancy for a cooperative project with U.C. Santa Barbara and the Santa Clara River Watershed Conservancy to remove approximately 250 acres of the invasive giant reed (Arundo donax), which will save approximately 2,000 acre-feet of water annually for the Santa Clara River. The project is located in unincorporated Ventura County approximately two miles east of the city of Santa Paula and three miles west of the city of Fillmore, along the Santa Clara River.

Details about the California Stream Flow Enhancement Program are available on the WCB website.

Wildlife Conservation Board Funds Environmental Improvement and Acquisition Projects

At its Aug. 30 quarterly meet

Green iceplant and pampas grass invade southern California coastal wetlands between two roads.
Iceplant invades coastal wetlands at Ponto Beach near Encinitas. Photo courtesy of San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy

ing, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $15 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the 21 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. Funded projects include:

  • A $135,000 grant to the Lake County Land Trust to acquire in fee approximately 34 acres of land for the protection of shoreline freshwater wetland, riparian woodland
    and wet meadow habitats that support the state-threatened Clear Lake hitch and the western pond turtle, a state species of special concern. This will also provide future wildlife-oriented public use opportunities in an area known as Big Valley, on the northwestern shore of Clear Lake in Lake County.
  • A $1.2 million grant to the Feather River Land Trust for a cooperative project with the Natural Resources Agency to acquire a conservation easement over approximately
    5,530 acres of land to provide protection for deer, mountain lion and oak habitats near the town of Doyle in Lassen County.
  • A $1.7 million acquisition in fee of approximately 1,066 acres of land by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to expand the Crocker Meadows Wildlife Area, protect riparian and oak woodland habitat, and for future wildlife oriented public use opportunities near Beckwourth in Plumas County.
  • A $3 million grant to Sonoma County Agriculture Preservation and Open Space District for a cooperative project with the State Coastal Conservancy to acquire a conservation easement over approximately 871 acres of forest lands, including large areas of old and new growth redwood located near Stewarts Point in Sonoma County.
  • A $2.5 million grant to the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust for a cooperative project with the Inland Empire Resource Conservation District to acquire in fee approximately 240 acres of land as an expansion of the Sawmill Pebble Plain Ecological Preserve – rare pebble plain habitat supporting a wide variety of endemic plant species – south of Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains, in San Bernardino County.
  • An $850,000 grant to the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy for a cooperative project to implement a comprehensive habitat restoration program, remove target nonnative invasive weed species and restore native habitat on 65 acres of coastal wetlands on several sites located at Agua Hedionda, Batiquitos Lagoon and San Elijo Lagoon. These are located from approximately nine miles north to five miles south of Encinitas on privately owned properties and on properties owned by CDFW and the Department of Parks and Recreation.

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

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Oak woodland on hills behind a wide, open plain with scrub brush
Crocker Meadows Wildlife Area. CDFW photo
View from hillside high above the blue Pacific ocean behind green and brown pasture land.
View from Stewarts Point Ranch in Sonoma County. CDFW photo
A rare, pebble plain habitat with goldend-dry vegetation in front of a green oak forest.
Sawmill Pebble Plain Ecological Preserve. CDFW photo

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

CDFW to Host Public Meetings to Initiate Partnership with Sonoma County Landowners

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) invites Sonoma County residents to two upcoming public meetings to discuss the impacts of the drought on endangered coho salmon and other aquatic life. CDFW is urging  landowners to commit to voluntary water conservation measures in critical watersheds as a necessary means to save the fish.

The meetings will be held in Occidental and Windsor at the following locations:

Thursday, May 14, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Salmon Creek Elementary School
1935 Bohemian Highway
Occidental (95465)

Thursday, May 21, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Mary Agatha Furth Center
8400 Old Redwood Highway
Windsor (95492)

CDFW is working closely with several other agencies and organizations, including water interests, to develop strategies to keep enough water in the creeks to support coho salmon throughout the summer. Without major water-saving efforts, the fish will die from low water levels and high temperatures.

In addition to promoting water conservation, the department is asking landowners near Dutch Bill, Green Valley, Mark West and Mill creeks to allow CDFW personnel access to their property for continuing fish and creek monitoring. Fish rescue operations may be necessary later in the summer.

During the meetings, CDFW representatives will provide an overview of the drought and its impact on these watersheds, the department’s concerns and roles, and basic history and science of the species in these historic waterways. Representatives from local community resource conservation groups will provide information on water conservation strategies and technical assistance to landowners.

In April 2015 Governor Jerry Brown issued an Executive Order declaring a state of emergency and called on California residents to reduce water consumption wherever possible. The State Water Resources Control Board adopted an emergency regulation requiring an immediate 25 percent reduction in overall potable urban water use statewide in accordance with the Executive Order. The state drought web page can be found at drought.ca.gov.

For complete information and documents to download go to CDFW’s Voluntary Drought Initiative webpage at goo.gl/4rOjd0.

Media Contact:
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

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CDFW to Host North Coast Natural Resource Volunteer Academy

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is seeking applicants for the Natural Resource Volunteer Program (NRVP) to serve in in the North Coast Enforcement District (NCED). Interested residents in, but not limited to, Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Mendocino, San Francisco and western Solano counties are strongly encouraged to apply.

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“The mission of the Natural Resources Volunteer Program is to provide conservation and enforcement education and public service while providing biological, enforcement and administrative support to CDFW staff,” said NRVP Program Coordinator Lt. Joshua Nicholas. “NRVP volunteers do not have law enforcement authority, but they are a huge help to the officers in the field and other CDFW staff members.”

CDFW is holding an NRVP training academy in Santa Rosa Jan. 12-14, with continued training to follow once a month through May 2015. Graduates of the academy become volunteers for CDFW. These positions are unpaid. Interested individuals go through a selection process, which includes an initial screening, application, interview and background check. If selected, individuals attend an 80-hour conservation course to prepare them for a monthly service commitment of at least 16 hours. After completing the academy, volunteers work with a trained volunteer mentor to implement their newly acquired skills during a six-month probationary period.

Applicants need to be over 18, should be teachable, accountable, have basic computer and writing skills and a willingness to talk about conservation principles to the public in the field and in a classroom setting. Applicants must show a desire to work well with others in a team environment to do tasks that free up time for paid CDFW staff.

Natural resource volunteer duties may include responding to human/wildlife incident calls, instructing at NRVP academies, representing CDFW at community outreach events and patrolling CDFW lands, ecological reserves and coastal and inland fishing areas.

Volunteers who are successful in the application and oral interview phase and will be required to have a Live Scan fingerprint performed and submitted.

Volunteer applicants must also have a current California driver license and produce a Department of Motor Vehicle driving report showing a good driving record for the last five years.

Please contact Lt. Joshua Nicholas at (707) 944-5562 prior to submitting an application.

Mail the completed applications by Monday, Oct. 6, 2014 to:

Natural Resource Volunteer Program
CDFW Bay Delta Region Office
7329 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558

 

Further information and an application can be found on the NRVP website at www.dfg.ca.gov/volunteer/NRVP/.

Media Contacts:
Lt. Joshua Nicholas, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (707) 944-5562
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

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Wildlife Conservation Board Funds Environmental Improvement and Acquisition Projects

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

At its June 4 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $21.8 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the 19 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 $1.4 million grant to the Bear Yuba Land Trust to acquire approximately 652 acres of land along the Bear River in Nevada County, for the purpose of wildlife habitat protection including riparian, riverine and oak woodland habitat communities.
  • A $3 million grant to Truckee Donner Land Trust for a cooperative project with Placer County, Northern Sierra Partnership, the Trust For Public Land and private donors to acquire two parcels totaling approximately 2,520 acres of land in Nevada and Placer counties, in order to protect alpine forests and meadows, wildlife corridors and habitat links, and provide future wildlife-oriented public use opportunities.
  • A $5 million grant to Sonoma Land Trust (Trust) for a cooperative project with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Federal Highway Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Department of Water Resources and State Coastal Conservancy to restore 955 acres of tidal marsh on the Trust’s Sears Point Property in Sonoma County, five miles east of the city of Novato.
  • A $660,000 grant to Big Sur Land Trust to assist with the acquisition of a conservation easement over approximately 964 acres of land to preserve and protect native oak woodland, grassland, riparian and wildlife habitat, and sustain working landscapes in Monterey County, 6 miles northeast of the city of Salinas.
  • A $570,000 grant to the California Rangeland Trust to assist with the acquisition of a conservation easement over approximately 575 acres of land approximately 12 miles south of Lake Isabella in Kern County to preserve, protect and sustain the rangeland, grazing land, grassland, working landscapes, wildlife habitat, and watersheds.
  • Acceptance of settlement funds from the U.S. Department of the Interior Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Fund (a.k.a. ARCO funds), and a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Land Acquisition grant and the approval to sub-grant the ARCO funds and $260,000 grant funds to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to acquire approximately 286 acres of land just south of community of Acton in Los Angeles County to protect habitat for threatened and endangered species, and maintain habitat connectivity within the upper Santa Clara River floodplain and watershed in Arrastre Canyon, a tributary to the Santa Clara River.

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