There are 33 approved projects that will restore and protect fish and wildlife habitats in California and provide public access to natural resources.
On May 26, the Wildlife Conservation Board approved roughly $52.93 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitats throughout California. There are 33 approved projects that range from restoring floodplain connectivity and riparian habitat in Humboldt County to wildlife habitat preservation in Orange County. All the projects look to either protect natural resources or provide public access and emphasize the importance of environmental stewardship. The funding for these projects comes from a combination of sources, including the Habitat Conservation Fund, which allocates approximately $2 million a year for nature interpretation programs to bring urban residents into park and wildlife areas, protect various plant and animal species, and acquire and develop wildlife corridors and trails.
Funded projects include:
- A $5.95 million grant to State Coastal Conservancy (SCC) for a cooperative project with Save the Redwoods League, National Park Service, Ocean Protection Council, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and Cal Trout to restore floodplain connectivity and riparian habitat and construct accessible public access amenities on privately-owned land known as the former Orick Mill, located one mile northeast of Orick in Humboldt County.
- A $1.03 million grant to Ducks Unlimited, Inc., for a cooperative project with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to restore 2,157 acres of wetlands and 189 acres of upland nesting habitat for the benefit of migratory birds at the Honey Lake Wildlife Area in Lassen County.
- A $1.11 million grant to the California Waterfowl Association for a cooperative project with CDFW and the USFWS to restore 458 acres of wetlands and 20 acres of upland nesting habitat for the benefit of migratory birds at the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area in Solano County.
- A $4.83 million grant to the City of Rancho Palos Verdes for a cooperative project with USFWS, the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, and the County of Los Angeles, and the acceptance of a USFWS Section 6 grant with approval to subgrant these federal funds to the city to acquire approximately 96 acres of land for the protection of wildlife and endangered species habitat and wildlife corridors, and to provide potential future wildlife-oriented, public-use opportunities in the city of Rancho Palos Verdes in Los Angeles County.
- A grant of up to $15.5 million to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority for a cooperative project with CDFW, Natural Resources Agency, USFWS, and SCC to acquire approximately 385 acres of land for the protection of upland and lowland habitat consisting of wetlands, vernal pools, marshlands, arroyos and coastal sage scrub that support both state and federally endangered species, and to provide for potential wildlife habitat preservation, restoration and management, wildlife-oriented education and research, and compatible public uses, located in the cities of Costa Mesa and Newport Beach in Orange County.
The WCB was created in 1947 as a part of the California Department of Natural Resources before it was placed with the CDFW. The program was created to administer a capital outlay program for wildlife conservation. The WCB is a separate and independent board with authority and funding to carry out an acquisition and development program for wildlife conservation. The board’s responsibilities are to select, authorize, and allocate funds for the purchase of land and waters suitable for recreation purposes and the preservation, protection, and restoration of wildlife habitats. For more information on the WCB and a full list of their projects, see https://wcb.ca.gov/.