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STOCKTON FWO: San Luis NWR Complex and Stockton FWO Examine Partnership to Manage Nearby Refuge Unit
California-Nevada Offices , October 9, 2008
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The Stanislaus River as seen from Mohler Tract. (photo: USFWS)
The Stanislaus River as seen from Mohler Tract. (photo: USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a
Staff from San Luis NWRC and Stockton FWO staff tour the Mohler Tract and discuss possible future actions. (photo: USFWS)
Staff from San Luis NWRC and Stockton FWO staff tour the Mohler Tract and discuss possible future actions. (photo: USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a

by Paul Cadrett, Stockton FWO

Staff from Stockton Fish and Wildlife Office and San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex are considering a cross-program partnership that could improve wildlife habitat and provide increased opportunities for public use on a remote refuge unit on the Stanislaus River.

 

Project leaders and staff from both Region 8 offices met October 9, to discuss the conservation opportunities and outreach potential for the 35-acre Mohler Tract, a unit of the San Joachin National Wildlife Refuge.  The tract is located along the Stanislaus River near Ripon, California.  Since acquiring the tract in 1999, the refuge has restored riparian plants to the tract, but earlier plans for flood plain access and other restoration projects have not yet been realized.  The small size of the parcel, neighboring urban properties, and distance and isolation from other refuge lands and offices has challenged the refuge to develop a practical management strategy for the tract.  

 

San Luis NWR Complex project leader Kim Forrest and staff Eric Hopson and Jack Sparks met with Stockton FWO project leader Kim Webb and staff Shannon Brewer, Beth Campbell, and Chris Vallee to tour the tract and discuss ideas for future projects.  Ideas discussed include local community outreach; natural resource interpretation trails and signs both within the parcel and adjacent to the Stanislaus River; a canoe and kayak launch; and potential collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a neighboring landowner, for infrastructure improvements (e.g., restrooms) and maintenance (e.g., invasive plant removal). 

 

The eventual goal would be to officially open the property for public use as part of the San Joaquin River NWR.  Mohler Tract could fit nicely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s “Connecting People with Nature” initiative, and its focus on bringing children and families outside in a natural setting.  Immediate next steps likely will involve a canoe/kayak trip to view the property from the Stanislaus River, and an inventory of existing and potential flora and fauna.

 

(Beth Campbell also contributed to this report.)

 

 

 


Contact Info: Paul Cadrett, 209-946-6400 x 312, paul_cadrett@fws.gov



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