Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Grants Totaling $3 Million Will Help Fund Bird Habitat Restoration, Protection and Enhancement Projects in California's Central Valley

Mar 11, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2010
Contact: Scott Flaherty USFWS, 916-978-6156 

Grants Totaling $3 Million Will Help Fund Bird Habitat Restoration, Protection and Enhancement Projects in California’s Central Valley

SACRAMENTO- Three projects that will restore and protect more than 14,000 acres of wetland, riparian and upland habitats for migratory birds and other wildlife in California will receive $3 million in grants under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grants program, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today.  Partners in these projects will contribute more than $6 million in non-federal matching funds to support the conservation projects that will benefit California’s migratory birds and other wildlife. The California projects are among 20 projects in 16 States approved for funding by the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission March 10.  

The Commission also approved funding for a permanent easement that will conserve 38 acres of restored wetlands on privately owned land that will be managed as part of the North Central Valley Wildlife Management Area (WMA).  The North Central Valley WMA is located adjacent to Gray Lodge State Waterfowl Management Area in Butte County, and is managed as part of the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

The three California projects are:

Mid-Valley Wetland Habitat Project (Merced County)
A grant of $1 million to the California Waterfowl Association will be matched with $2,010,634 from project partners for this project that will protect, restore and enhance 6,712 acres  of habitat within the 180,000-acre Grassland Ecological Area, the largest contiguous wetland complex in California.  The Grasslands Ecological Area is home to three national wildlife refuges, two state wildlife areas and 175 privately owned properties. Project partners include the California Wildlife Conservation Board, California Department of Fish and game and Grassland Water District and private landowners.  

Northern Tulare/San Joaquin Basins III Project (Fresno and Merced Counties)
A grant of $1 million to Ducks Unlimited, Inc., will be matched by $2,114,602 from project partners for phase III of this project that will conserve protect and restore 4,273 acres ofpalustrine emergent wetlands and 31 acres of riparian habitats. In addition, 631 acres of native grasslands, scrublands and upland habitats will be restored or enhanced.  Project partners include the California Wildlife Conservation Board, California Department of Fish and Game and Grassland Water District.

Tulare Basin Wetlands Restoration (Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare Counties)
A grant of $1million to Ducks Unlimited, Inc., will be matched by $2,021,699 from partners and $15,000 in non-matching funds to fund phase one of a multi-phase project to conserve 1,535 acres of wetlands and 10 acres of associated habitats in the Tulare Basin in the Central Valley.  In addition, 703 acres of native grasslands, scrublands and upland habitats will be restored or enhanced.  Project partners include the California Wildlife Conservation Board, Pasuza Land & Water Company, Rancho Visalia, Side x Side Duck Club, Widgeon Land Company and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The three grants were awarded under NAWCA’s U.S. Standard Grants Program administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Division of Bird Habitat Conservation.  The grants are funded by annual Congressional appropriations; fines, penalties and forfeitures levied under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; interest accrued on funds under the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act and excise taxes paid on small engine fuels through the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Fund.

More information about projects funded under NAWCA is available at:  http://www.fws.gov/birdhabitat/Grants/NAWCA/Standard/US/2010_March.shtm

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