Wildlife Conservation Board Funds Environmental Improvement and Acquisition Projects
Wild ducks fly over the Kramer Ranch, part of a conservation easement to protect migratory bird habitat, seasonal upland wetlands, rangelands, grasslands and habitat linkages in Lassen and Modoc counties. Photo © Josh Vest.
At its February 16, 2023, quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $51.83 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the 25 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 state’s General Fund, Habitat Conservation Fund and bond measures approved by voters to help preserve and protect California’s natural resources.
Some of the funded projects include:
- A $2.1 million grant to the Mid Klamath Watershed Council for a cooperative project with the State Coastal Conservancy, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to conduct prioritization, planning, design and permitting actions for 16 miles of high value waterways in the mid Klamath River basin where restoration activities following the removal of the Klamath Dam will benefit migratory salmonids and other aquatic species.
- A $1.27 million grant to the Montague Water Conservation District for a cooperative project with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to repair 1.19 miles of the Montague Water Conservation District’s Main Canal and to dedicate cold water annually for instream benefit to migratory salmonids and other aquatic species in the Shasta River in Siskiyou County.
- A $4.3 million grant augmentation to the Ventura County Watershed Protection District for a planning project that will complete final design plans for Matilija Dam removal and for three downstream levee construction and rehabilitation projects, which are essential components to support future restoration of the most productive and resilient spawning and rearing habitat for Southern California steelhead in support of the Matilija Dam Ecosystem Restoration Project located four miles northwest of the city of Ojai in Ventura County.
- A $4.9 million grant to the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains for a cooperative planning project with CDFW, State Coastal Conservancy, California Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks), and Caltrans to develop the technical studies, environmental review and outreach necessary to restore the Topanga Lagoon located within the third largest watershed that drains into the Santa Monica Bay and maintains a natural hydrologic regime that supports three native fish species and over 20 native amphibians, including a population of endangered tidewater goby and Southern California steelhead in Los Angeles County.
- A $1.35 million grant to California Rangeland Trust for a cooperative project with the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to acquire a conservation easement over approximately 4,922 acres of land for the protection and preservation of stream flow, migratory bird habitat, seasonal upland wetlands, rangelands, grasslands and habitat linkages located near the community of Bieber in Lassen and Modoc counties.
- A $1.5 million grant to Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority to acquire approximately 88 acres of land for the protection of threatened and endangered habitat and to provide for future wildlife-oriented, public-use opportunities located near Malibu in Los Angeles County.
- A $1.97 million grant to the Friends of the Dunes for a cooperative project with the Tollowa Dunes Stewards, CDFW, State Parks, USFWS and the Tollowa Dee-ni’ Nation to remove non-native vegetation, restoring 17.8 acres of coastal dune, coastal prairie, open sandspit, estuarine and freshwater wetland habitat within the Lake Earl Wildlife Area in Del Norte County.
- An $11 million grant to Save the Redwoods League for a cooperative project with the National Park Service, State Parks and CAL FIRE to enhance forest health and reduce hazardous fuels through selective thinning on 1,000 acres of mixed conifer forest and four miles of road removal in Redwood National and State Parks in Humboldt and Del Norte counties.
- A $1.81 million grant to California Waterfowl Association for a cooperative project with CDFW to complete wetland, riparian and upland habitat enhancement at the Palo Verde Ecological Reserve located in the town of Blythe in Riverside County.
For more information about the WCB please visit wcb.ca.gov.
John Donnelly, Wildlife Conservation Board, (916) 445-8448
Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 212-7352