Imperial Wildlife Area wetlands. Photo by Chadd Santerre, Wetland Programs Supervisor, California Waterfowl Association
November 16, 2022
At its Nov. 15, 2022 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $24.46 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the 16 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.
Funding for these projects comes from a combination of sources including the Habitat Conservation Fund and bond measures approved by voters to help preserve and protect California’s natural resources. The General Fund is also being used, which will help to achieve the 30×30 Initiative (the goal to conserve 30 percent of California’s lands and coastal waters by 2030) and nature-based solutions.
Funded projects include:
- A $650,000 grant to California Rangeland Trust (CRT), the acceptance of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Habitat Recovery Land Acquisition grant, and the approval to subgrant these federal funds to CRT to acquire a conservation easement over approximately 4,503 acres for the protection and preservation of threatened and endangered species habitat, rangelands and grasslands, and habitat linkages located near Hollister in San Benito County.
- A $1.1 million grant to the Tehama County Resource Conservation District to conduct the planning, design, impacts analysis and permit implementation actions necessary for the reconnection and restoration of salmonid rearing habitat in a historic side channel immediately downstream of Battle Creek’s confluence with the Sacramento River in Tehama County.
- A $2.38 million grant to the Feather River Land Trust for a cooperative project with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to acquire a conservation easement over approximately 4,101 acres of working landscape to protect and preserve open waterways, emergent wetlands, wet meadows, perennial native grasslands, dry meadows and the open-space characteristics which support numerous sensitive species along with providing future potential wildlife-oriented, public-use opportunities located in Plumas County.
- A $2.4 million grant to California Waterfowl Association for a cooperative project with California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to enhance 798 acres of wetlands and 17 acres of native upland habitat for the benefit of migratory birds located at the Imperial Wildlife Area in Imperial County.
- A $3.17 million grant to Caltrans for a cooperative project with CDFW, Eastern Sierra Land Trust and U.S. Bureau of Land Management to complete the designs and environmental compliance necessary to install a wildlife crossing corridor consisting of two enhanced undercrossing structures and exclusion fencing along U.S. Highway 395, 10 miles southeast of the town of Mammoth Lakes in Mono County.
- A $4.72 million grant to the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains for a project to develop the planning, designs and environmental review for a wildlife overpass across Interstate 5 in the Newhall Pass Region near Santa Clarita in Los Angeles County.