Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin
(USFWS Photo/Tony Immoos)

California Foothills Legacy Area

In an effort to conserve working rangelands and the wildlife they support, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to launch a new conservation easement program called the California Foothills Legacy Area (CFLA). This 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 easements would encourage continued ranching operations because of the wildlife benefits they provide, while limiting the type and amount of development that may take place on a property in the future. The proposed program would be completely voluntary. 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. Planning Update #3 (below) provides a concise summary of the alternatives evaluated in the draft EA.

Current Status:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is pleased to announce the availability of the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) on the proposed CFLA easement program. We invite you 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 your comments on the Draft EA.

Date/Time Public Open House Locations
Thursday, August 1, at 5-8 p.m Porterville - Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, 840 S. Jaye St.
Friday, August 2, at 5-8 p.m. Bakersfield - East Bakersfield Veterans Building, Rooms 1&2, 2101 Ridge Road
Monday, August 5, at 5-8 p.m. Modesto - Modesto Centre Plaza, Pistash Room, 1000 L Street
Tuesday, August 6, at 5-8 p.m. Merced - Merced County Farm Bureau, 646 South Highway 59
Wednesday, August 7, at 5-8 p.m. Mariposa- Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, 5100 Bullion St.
Thursday, August 8, at 5-8 p.m. Los Banos - San Luis NWR Complex Visitor Center, 7376 S. Wolfsen Road
Friday, August 9, at 5-8 p.m. Hollister - Hollister Community Center, 300 West St.

Submitting Comments:

Comments may be submitted at the open houses, or through the following:

Email: Fax: 916/414-6497
Mail: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Pacific Southwest Region, Refuge Planning, 2800 Cottage Way, W-1832, Sacramento, CA 95825

Deadline for Comments: Comments must be received by September 15, 2013, to be considered for development of the final proposal.

Documents Available For Review: The following documents may take a few minutes download using Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). A free copy of the Adobe software is available from the Adobe website.

Draft Environmental Assessment (6 MB, PDF)

Appendix A - Land Protection Plan (1 MB, PDF)

Appendix B - CFLA Conservation Easement Template and Q & A (500 KB, PDF)

Appendix C - Priority Species and Habitats (5 MB, PDF)

Appendix D - Rangeland Conservation Components of County General Plans (140 KB, PDF)


Other CFLA Documents:

Scoping Summary Report (1 MB, PDF)

CFLA Frequently Asked Questions (175 KB, PDF)

Planning Update #3 (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.)

Refuge Land Conservation Planning Website: