Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Service Proposes Conservation Program for Foothill Rangelands

Jul 19, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:  Mark Pelz – Region 8 Refuge Planning Office – (916) 414-6504

Service Proposes Conservation Program for Foothill Rangelands

Sacramento, CA -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is pleased to announce the availability of the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) on the proposal to launch a new conservation easement program called the California Foothills Legacy Area (CFLA).

The proposed CFLA easement program would provide a new tool to help ranching families stay on their land while permanently protecting a portion of this important resource for wildlife. The proposed program would be completely voluntary. The easements would encourage continued ranching operations but would limit certain types of development that could take place on a property in the future. No new regulatory requirements would be placed on lands within or outside the program area. Ranches within three foothill areas bordering the San Joaquin Valley could be eligible for the program, depending on which alternative is selected.

The Draft EA and appendices are available online at:  http://go.usa.gov/YMWQ

Public input is very important to us. We invite members of the public to attend one of seven public open houses during early August. Fish and Wildlife Service staff will be available at several stations located in the meeting rooms to answer questions and gather comments on the Draft EA for the proposed California Foothills Legacy Area.

Date

Location

                                        Address

Time

August 1

Porterville

Holiday Inn Express, 840 S. Jaye Street, 93257

5-8pm

August 2

Bakersfield

E. Bakersfield Veterans Rooms 1&2, 2101 Ridge Rd.  93395

5-8pm

August 5

Modesto

Modesto Centre Plaza, Pistache Rm, 1000 L Street, Modesto 95354

5-8pm

August 6

Merced

Merced Farm Bureau, 646 S. Hwy 59, Merced  95341

5-8pm

August 7

Mariposa

Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, 5100 Bullion St., Mariposa 95338

5-8pm

August 8

Los Banos

San Luis NWR Complex Visitor Center

5-8pm

August 9

Hollister

Hollister Community Center, 300 West Street, Hollister, 95023

5-8pm

The public can also provide comments via email to fw8plancomments@fws.gov. For additional information, contact Mark Pelz, Chief, Refuge Planning, at (916) 414-6500. Comments must be received by September 15, 2013, to be considered for development of the final proposal.

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/cno. Connect with our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/usfwspacificsouthwest, follow our tweets at http://twitter.com/USFWSPacSWest, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfws_pacificsw/.

-FWS-