At its Feb. 23 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $10 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California, including the Salton Sea. Some of the 16 funded 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 $900,000 grant to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to construct a boat launch facility on Trout Lake, renovate the entrance road and replace a bridge over the Little Shasta River on CDFW’s Shasta Valley Wildlife Area, approximately eight miles east of the City of Yreka in Siskiyou County.
- A $1.4 million grant to the County of Yolo to re-construct the boat launch facility on the CDFW Knights Landing Public Access property, in Knights Landing in Yolo County.
- A $2.4 million grant to the California Rangeland Trust for a cooperative project with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to acquire conservation easements over approximately 12,710 acres of land to protect open space and a natural landscape consisting of native oak woodlands, chaparral, annual grasslands and watersheds that are beneficial to Tule elk and other wildlife, and promote the preservation of habitat linkages and corridors between existing protected lands near the community of Pozo, in San Luis Obispo County.
- A $1 million grant to the City of Santa Clarita to acquire fee title to approximately 200 acres of land to protect upland coastal scrub, oak woodland, coastal watersheds and important habitat linkages, south of Santa Clarita in Los Angeles County.
- A $426,000 grant to Lakeside’s River Park Conservancy for a cooperative project with Department of Water Resources to restore approximately 97 acres of riparian habitat for threatened and endangered species. The property is on Endangered Habitats Conservancy property along the San Diego River in the El Monte Valley, two miles east of Lakeside in San Diego County.
For more information about the WCB please visit www.wcb.ca.gov.
John Donnelly, WCB Executive Director, (916) 445-0137
Dana Michaels, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 322-2420
The Putah Creek Wildlife Area in Solano County has reopened for public use as of Saturday, July 9, 2016. The wildlife area was closed in August 2015 to allow recovery from the Wragg Fire. Though the area continues to recover from the fire and winter rains, the slopes are now sufficiently stable to allow safe public access without incurring environmental damage.
Hikers are advised to choose their footing carefully and exercise caution as underlying surfaces of the existing trails may have undergone shifting and fallen trees and other hazards may still be present. As always, avoid hiking in extreme heat, wear appropriate footwear and bring plenty of water.
Putah Creek Wildlife Area is located in Solano County just east of Lake Berryessa.
For more information on the wildlife area, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/lands/places-to-visit/putah-creek-wa.
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Conrad Jones, CDFW Bay Delta Region, (707) 944-5544
Steve Gonzalez, CDFW Communications, (916) 327-9948
Because of the Rocky Fire in neighboring Lake County, Knoxville Wildlife Area is closed to all public use until further notice to allow safe access for emergency vehicles. The closure affects Knoxville-Berryessa Road north of Pope Canyon Road.
It is unknown when the wildlife area will be safe to reopen.
“We are hopeful that the wildlife area will reopen before the Saturday deer opener, but it’s impossible to say at this time,” said Conrad Jones, a senior environmental scientist at Knoxville. “Safety is our first priority, and we are cooperating with emergency responders who are working hard to get this fire under control.”
Interested members of the public can call (707) 944-5547 for updates on the closure. The message will be revised as more information becomes available.
The public can also monitor the status of the fire at www.fire.ca.gov/general/firemaps.php. Please note that on the webpage, Knoxville-Berryessa Road is referred to as Morgan Valley Road in the road closure section.
Conrad Jones, Knoxville Wildlife Area, (707) 944-5544
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Advanced Hunter Education Program is offering a turkey hunting clinic on March 1 at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area near Gridley.
Prospective hunters must register by 5 p.m. Friday, February 14.
Experienced instructors will instruct this exciting clinic on how to successfully hunt wild turkey. Topics to be covered are concepts of decoy placement, blind design, ballistics, calling, equipment, game care and cleaning, cooking tips and safety.
The clinic is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 1 and costs $45. Space is limited and registration is required so hunters are encouraged to apply early. Youths 16 years and younger are free but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
CDFW’s Advanced Hunter Education Program will provide all necessary class equipment.
Registration forms are available online at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/huntered/advanced/index.aspx. After registering, participants will receive an e-mail with a map to the facility and a list of items to bring.
Gray Lodge Wildlife Area is located, approximately 60 miles north of Sacramento.
Lt. Dan Lehman, Advanced Hunter Education Program Coordinator, (916) 358-4356
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944