At its most recent quarterly meeting in November, 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, owners and the local community.
Funding for these projects comes from a combination of sources, including the Habitat Conservation Fund and voter-approved bond measures to help preserve and protect California’s natural resources. Also used is the General Fund, which will help achieve the 30×30 Initiative (the goal of conserving 30 percent of California’s coastal lands and waters by 2030) and nature-based solutions.
Funded projects include:
• A $650,000 grant to the California Rangeland Trust (CRT), acceptance of a US Fish and Wildlife Service Habitat Restoration Land Acquisition Grant and approval to grant these federal funds to CRT to acquire a conservation easement of approximately 4,503 acres for the protection and preservation of threatened and endangered species habitat, grasslands and meadows, 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, impact analysis and permit implementation actions necessary for the reconnection and restoration of salmonid nursery 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 on approximately 4,101 acres of working landscape to protect and preserve open waterways , emergent wetlands, wet meadows and perennial native grasslands. , dry grasslands, and open space features that support numerous sensitive species and provide future wildlife-oriented public use opportunities located in Plumas County.
• A $2.4 million grant to the California Waterfowl Association for a cooperative project with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to improve 798 acres of wetlands and 17 acres of ‘natural upland habitat for the benefit of migratory birds located in 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 the US Bureau of Land Management to complete the designs and environmental compliance required to install a wildlife crossing corridor consisting of two improved crossing structures and exclusion fences along US Highway 395, 10 miles southeast of the town of Mammoth Lakes in Mono County.
• A $4.72 million grant to the Santa Monica Mountains Resource Conservation District for a project to develop planning, designs and environmental review for a wildlife overpass through Interstate 5 in the Newhall Pass region near Santa Clarita in Los Angeles County.
For more information about the Wildlife Conservation Board, visit wcb.ca.gov.