Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

California Receives Fish and Wildlife Service Funding for Wetlands, Grants to Protect Migratory Waterfowl Habitat

Sep 16, 2010

Contact: Erica Szlosek (916) 978-6159

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Pacific Southwest Regional Director Ren Lohoefener announced today the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission (MBCC) has approved three acquisitions that will add land to the National Wildlife Refuges in California. The projects are supported by the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, which includes proceeds from the sales of the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, known as the Federal Duck Stamp. Nationwide these projects will add an estimated 12,000 acres of quality waterfowl habitat to the National Wildlife Refuge System.

The California projects are:

Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Humboldt Bay County, California – Acquisition of 167 acres in fee for $1,238,240 - Acquisition of the property will enhance the refuge’s management capability and allow for native plant restoration.  This unique habitat contains coastal dunes, scrub forest, and beachfront.

Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Sacramento County, California – Acquisition of 104 acres in fee for $400,000-  The Service will secure an essential corridor of wintering habitat for tundra swans, white-fronted geese, and a variety of ducks.

Tulare Basin Wildlife Management Area, Kern and Tulare counties, California – Acquisition of 1,250 acres in easement for $2,505,000 – The Service  will secure habitat protection within the individual ownerships and create a larger block of contiguous habitat with compatible land uses.  This effort helps secure a corridor of habitats for migratory birds and resident wildlife within the Tulare lake Watershed.

 "The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is dedicated to wildlife and nature conservation," said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. "The North American Wetlands Conservation Act grants, the National Wildlife Refuge System and the Federal Duck Stamp are vital resources for waterfowl and wetland conservation, and these efforts are making a difference for wildlife habitats throughout our nation’s great outdoors."

MBCC also has approved $3 million in federal grants under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) for conservation projects in California that will protect, restore and enhance wetlands and associated habitats across the state. Wetlands provide many ecological, economic, and social benefits such as habitat for fish, wildlife, and a variety of plants. They serve as nurseries for saltwater and freshwater fishes and shellfish of commercial and recreational importance. Wetlands also hold and slowly release flood waters, act as filters to cleanse water of impurities, and provide recreational and wildlife viewing opportunities for millions of people. The three California projects are located in Stanislaus, Lassen, Modoc, Siskiyou, Shasta and Solano counties. For more information about these projects: http://www.fws.gov/birdhabitat/Grants/NAWCA/Standard/US/2010_Sept.shtm

Additional information about the history of North American wetlands and waterfowl conservation can be found at FLYways.us. The website provides waterfowl enthusiasts, biologists and agency administrators with the most up-to-date waterfowl habitat and waterfowl population information.

Since 1929, the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission has met several times each year to consider land purchases through the MBCF. In 1989, NAWCA added the grant program approvals to the Commission’s responsibilities. The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission includes Senators Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Representatives John Dingell (D-MI) and Robert Wittman (R-VA), Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, as well as state representatives as ex officio members who vote on projects located within their respective states. For more information about the Commission visit http://www.fws.gov/refuges/realty/mbcc.html .

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.