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PACIFIC SOUTHWEST REGION: Conservation Easement Acquisition on the Rickert Ranch Property in Shasta County
California-Nevada Offices , October 8, 2011
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Dan Strait, Program Manager for CVPCP and HRP, and Ben Miles, Executive Director of Shasta Land Trust at the Dedication and Celebration Event.
Dan Strait, Program Manager for CVPCP and HRP, and Ben Miles, Executive Director of Shasta Land Trust at the Dedication and Celebration Event. - Photo Credit: USFWS
Vernal Pools at Rickert Ranch in Shasta County.
Vernal Pools at Rickert Ranch in Shasta County. - Photo Credit: Ben Miles, Shasta Land Trust

By Caroline Prose, CVPIA Habitat Restoration Program

On October 8, 2011, Shasta Land Trust and the Rickert family hosted a dedication and celebration event to acknowledge the funders and other contributors to the establishment of the Rickert Brothers Ranch conservation easement. The event included a short program thanking everyone who contributed to the project’s success, particularly recognizing the financial and programmatic support of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) through the Central Valley Project Conservation Program (CVPCP) and Habitat Restoration Program (HRP). (see editor's note re: CVPCP)

In 2009, the CVPCP and HRP provided $959,000 to the Shasta Land Trust to join State and non-profit funding partners in the acquisition of a perpetual conservation easement on the 5,081-acre Rickert Brothers Ranch in Shasta County, California. CalTrans, the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, and the Trust for Public Land also provided funds toward the purchase of the conservation easement.

The easement will protect a working cattle ranch and its important cultural and natural resources, including riparian woodland, grassland, vernal pool, and oak woodland habitats, which includes habitat for federally listed CVPCP/HRP priority species. The CVPCP/HRP priority species to benefit from protection are the federally listed vernal pool fairy shrimp, vernal pool tadpole shrimp, slender Orcutt grass, California red-legged frog, valley elderberry longhorn beetle, bald eagle, and other species impacted by the construction and continuing operation of the CVP. Funding for the conservation easement will allow for the long-term sustainability of the Ranch’s working lands to help support the local agricultural economy and the community that depends upon it.

Editor's note:

In 1996, the Central Valley Project Conservation Program (CVPCP) was developed during the Endangered Species Act section 7 consultation process with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) to ensure that the existing operation of the Central Valley Project (CVP), implementation of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA), and renewal of CVP water service contracts would not jeopardize listed or proposed species, or adversely affect designated or proposed critical habitat. In 1992, the CVPIA Habitat Restoration Program (HRP) was established under Title XXXIV, section 3406 (b)(1) “other” of the CVPIA under the “Fish and Wildlife Restoration Activities” section. As grant programs, the CVPCP and HRP annually solicit for proposals for acquisition, restoration, research, or outreach projects that will protect and enhance native habitats, and stabilize and improve populations of native species impacted by the CVP. The CVPCP is managed by Reclamation, and the HRP is co-managed by Reclamation and the Service.

 


Contact Info: Caroline Prose, 916-414-6575, Caroline_Prose@fws.gov



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