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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

PACIFIC SOUTHWEST REGION: Service and Bureau of Reclamation grant programs benefit Central Valley species and habitats

Region 8, September 26, 2017
San Joaquin Kit Fox.
San Joaquin Kit Fox. - Photo Credit: n/a
Large-flowered fiddleneck .
Large-flowered fiddleneck . - Photo Credit: n/a
California tiger salamander.
California tiger salamander. - Photo Credit: n/a
California's serpentine habitat.
California's serpentine habitat. - Photo Credit: n/a
Yellow-billed cuckoo.
Yellow-billed cuckoo. - Photo Credit: n/a

By Caroline Prose

Since 1996, two federally-funded grant programs have provided significant contributions towards species and habitats that were adversely impacted by the Central Valley Project: the Central Valley Project Improvement Act Habitat Restoration Program and the Central Valley Project Conservation Program. The programs’ main objectives are to protect and restore native habitats, and stabilize and improve populations of native species, with a special emphasis on federally listed species within the Central Valley of California and adjacent lands. The Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Reclamation manage these programs. 

The HRP was established under Title XXXIV, Section 3406 (b)(1) “other” of the CVPIA under the “Fish and Wildlife Restoration Activities” section to benefit species and habitats impacted by the Central Valley Project. The CVPCP was developed during the Endangered Species Act section 7 consultation process to ensure that the existing operation of the CVP, implementation of the CVPIA, and renewal of CVP water service contracts would not jeopardize federally listed or proposed species, or adversely affect designated or proposed critical habitat.

The current emphases of the programs are land protection (fee title or conservation easement), habitat restoration, research (studies and surveys), and species captive propagation and reintroduction projects. Land protection projects have the highest priority and normally receive at least 50 percent of available funding. Almost 200 diverse and beneficial projects have been funded by the programs. Many of these projects were continuing phases of prior projects, such as restoration following protection, or sequential years of captive propagation, to improve the likelihood of success. Proposals for projects are solicited on an annual basis.

With financial support from numerous partners, the programs have contributed towards protection of over 127,000 acres of habitat, and restoration of over 19,000 acres of habitat for special status species and their populations throughout the Central Valley. The habitat types protected and/or restored include alkali scrub, chaparral, valley grassland, riparian woodland, serpentine soils, riverine dunes, vernal pools, and other wetlands. Numerous species have benefited including the San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica), giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ingens), Tipton kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nitratoides nitratoides), least Bell’s vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus), giant garter snake (Thamnophis gigas), blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia sila), California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense), California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii), Bay checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha bayensis), Kern primrose sphinx moth (Euproserpinus euterpe), large-flowered fiddleneck (Amsinckia grandiflora), Bakersfield cactus (Opuntia treleasei), and many federally listed vernal pool plants and invertebrates.

Research projects have benefited numerous listed species through actions such as genetic analyses for riparian brush rabbit (Sylvilagus bachmani riparius); surveys to find new populations of species; identification of precipitation effects on the giant kangaroo rat; hydrologic studies; behavioral studies; and assessing methods used for vernal pool creation and restoration.
Captive breeding and propagation projects benefited the endangered Metcalf Canyon jewelflower (Streptanthus albidus ssp. albidus) and large-flowered fiddleneck (Amsinckia grandiflora), and helped preserve the critically endangered riparian brush rabbit and Lange’s metalmark butterfly (Apodemia mormo langei) from extinction.

The Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for the solicitation of proposals for fiscal year 2018 is currently posted at www.grants.gov under FOA No. BOR-MP-18-F001. Outlined in the FOA are “Priority Actions” for each category of activity which relate to CVP impacted species needs and habitat trends, and describe the types of projects we are interested in funding. Priority Actions are established annually and relate to high and very high CVP-impacted federally listed species, their habitats, and corresponding geographic areas; reflect the most current evaluation of species needs and habitat trends; complement other on-going conservation actions within the Central Valley; take into account past funding contributions by the Programs; and consider future threats to specific ecosystems. Proposals for FY 2018 are due by March 16, 2018.

For more information about the CVPCP and HRP, please visit the programs’ website at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/cvpcp/. The site includes background information about the programs, a spreadsheet showing priority species, the project area map, and a database for querying information about past-funded projects.


If you have any questions about this article, please contact: Caroline Prose, Program Manager for the CVPIA Habitat Restoration Program at 916-414-6575 or caroline_prose@fws.gov

Contact Info: Jon Myatt, 916-414-6474, jon_myatt@fws.gov