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California Foothills Legacy Area

California's Great Central Valley is surrounded by a ring of nearly 14 million acres of rangelands. Lands within this "rangeland ring" are predominantly private working rangelands that include a rich and varied landscape of grasslands, oak savanna and woodlands, vernal pools, riparian areas, and wetlands. These rangelands provide a home for breathtaking diversity of wildlife, including numerous imperiled species. Yet of all the major habitats in California, rangelands are among the least protected.


In an effort to conserve these working rangelands and the wildlife they support, we are preparing an Environmental Assessment to determine whether to establish the California Foothills Legacy Area (CFLA). The CFLA would be new voluntary conservation easement program focused on the rangeland ring. This easement program would be a new tool to help ranching families stay on their land while permanently protecting a portion of this important resource for wildlife.

Current Status:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hosted six public scoping meetings during June 2011. Approximately 400 people attended the six meetings, and verbal comments were recorded. In addition to the verbal comments recorded at these meeting, we received 49 letters and 78 emails providing comments on the proposed new easement program. The scoping comment period ended on July 15, 2011.

The issues identified in these comments provide us a basis for developing a range of alternatives to be considered in the planning process. The scoping report below summarizes the comments we received during the scoping period. Also available below are a document answering frequently asked questions about the CFLA, a draft easement template, and a separate Q&A specific to the easement template. Some of the questions about the proposed CFLA contained the scoping report will require further analysis to answer. We plan to address these questions in the draft Environmental Assessment which is due to be completed this fall. In the meantime, we will to post additional information on this website which should answer many of the other questions.

Documents Available Online:

The following documents may take a few minutes to read, print, or download using Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). A free copy of the Adobe software is available from the Adobe website.

Easement Information (NEW):

Draft Easement Termplate (1MB, PDF)

Easement Q&A (1MB, PDF)

Questions and Answers about the CFLA:

CFLA Frequently Asked Questions (175 KB, PDF)

Planning Updates:

California Foothill Legacy Area Planning Update #2 (1 MB, PDF)


Scoping Summary Report (1 MB, PDF)

Availability of Alternate Text Format

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to providing information about its operations to the public. If you are unable to access any of the information contained on our site, please email us at: Your request will be referred to the appropriate program for assistance. Please indicate the nature of the accessibility need, your preferred format (electronic format, print, etc.) the web address of the requested material, and your full contact information so we can reach you if questions arise while fulfilling your request.

Our contact mailing address
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-2606
Sacramento, Calif., 95825
Phone: 916-414-6464
Fax: 916-414-6486

Project Contacts:

If you have questions and concerns, or would like more information, please feel free to call or write us at the following addresses and phone numbers:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region
Mark Pelz, Chief, Refuge Planning
2800 Cottage Way, Room W-1832
Sacramento, CA 95825-1846
916-414-6504 (phone)
916-414-6497 (fax)

You may also use our e-mail and website

(Please use "CFLA" as the subject.)

Return to Refuge Land Conservation Planning Web page

Last Updated:

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Documents Available Online

You can read, print, or download the following documents online using the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software. Download Adobe Acrobat Reader Button

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