U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Sacramento Fish & Wildlife OfficeServing the people, conserving the fish, wildlife, and plants of California

A Unit Of The Pacific Southwest Region

Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office Partners Granted $8M+ for Conservation

September 18, 2014

BCB Coyote Ridge

Photo Credit: John Cleckler

The conservation efforts of partners of the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office received a big boost recently when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the grant recipients of the 2014 Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund. More than $8M of the $35M awarded nationally went to projects to support conservation planning and acquisition of vital habitat for threatened and endangered fish, wildlife and plants in their jurisdiction.

Authorized by Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act, the competitive grants enable states to work with private landowners, conservation groups and other state and local agencies to initiate cost-effective conservation planning efforts and acquire and protect habitat to support the conservation of threatened and endangered species.

"Our office has a long history of building partnerships at the local level, empowering local governments and landowners to seek creative solutions to development and conservation issues," said Jennifer M. Norris, Field Supervisor, Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office.

"These grants will help many of our partners meet their goals for conserving and recovering listed and other imperiled species."

The funds will support the conservation of threatened and endangered species through development of Habitat Conservation Plans, as well as baseline surveys and inventories, document preparation, outreach and similar planning activities. They will also provide for land acquisitions associated with approved Habitat Conservation Plans and species Recovery Plans.

Project Descriptions
Project descriptions for the Service’s 2014 Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund in the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office’s jurisdiction are as follow:

Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) Land Acquisition Grants

  • East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservation Plan/Natural Community Conservation Plan (HCP/NCCP) (Contra Costa County) $2,000,000.
    These funds will purchase approximately 700 acres of important habitat land for many of the species covered in the HCP/NCCP, including federally listed species such as the San Joaquin kit fox, California red-legged frog, and vernal pool tadpole shrimp. The acquisition of these properties adds to the reserve system and provides protection for lands that have rich on-site resources and support a diverse mosaic of habitat types.
  • Santa Clara Valley HCP/NCCP (Santa Clara County) $2,000,000.
    This grant will support the acquisition of 1,881 acres in Santa Clara County that will protect key serpentine grassland habitat and associated species, such as the federally listed Bay checkerspot butterfly, as well as other listed species, including California tiger salamander and California red-legged frog. The property is not only a key acquisition for the NCCP/HCP, but it also fits into a local assemblage of publicly and privately protected lands which complement a suite of other organizations’ conservation goals for the Mount Hamilton region, including The Nature Conservancy, Peninsula Open Space Trust, Silicon Valley Land Conservancy, and others. Purchase of this property will secure a vital linkage between the Santa Cruz Mountains and Mount Hamilton Range through the Coyote Valley, and will ameliorate the effects of climate change on covered species by providing a range of environmental gradients.

HCP Planning Assistance Grants

  • Bakersfield Regional HCP (Kern County) $717,271.
    The HCP for Metropolitan Bakersfield seeks to balance conservation of species and habitats with impacts from urban development. The plan has a unique opportunity to address take avoidance and minimization efforts for threatened and endangered species that have become accustomed to the urban environment. A key element of the new plan would be to establish standardized avoidance and take minimization measures for the San Joaquin kit fox, a federally listed endangered species that utilizes the urban environment within the City of Bakersfield.
  • City of Antioch NCCP/HCP (Contra Costa County) $688,131.
    The proposed NCCP/HCP plan area will encompass the City’s jurisdiction area, and include its surrounding areas. Anticipated growth in Antioch could impact key habitats and linkages needed to protect a variety of state- and federally-listed threatened, endangered and special-status species, including the Antioch Dunes evening primrose, Lange’s metalmark butterfly, Contra Costa wallflower, San Joaquin kit fox, California red-legged frog, and California tiger salamander. The proposed Antioch NCCP/HCP plan area supports a variety of habitats and natural communities, including annual grassland, alkali grassland, chaparral, oak woodland, oak savanna, riparian woodland and scrub, wetlands, ponds, streams, and sensitive riverine sand dunes.
  • Feather River HCP (Sutter, Placer, and Butte County) $735,379.
    To restore habitats while also providing for needed flood control, the State of California Department of Water Resources is developing an HCP to support implementation of the 2017 Central Valley Flood Protection Plan and Central Valley Flood System Conservation Strategy within the plan area. This HCP will contribute to species recovery through conserving lands and making improvements to riverine and floodplain ecosystems and associated habitats (aquatic, riparian and marsh) and species including: Valley elderberry longhorn beetles, greater sandhill cranes, giant gartersnake and others. The plan area includes approximately 59% of the lower Feather River sub-basin, a significant tributary to the Sacramento River. The HCP will provide a science-based conservation approach to conserving ecosystem functions while also satisfying the federal and state Endangered Species Act requirements.
  • Kern County Valley Floor HCP (Kern County) $354,771.
    This plan is being designed to address the protection of 25 federal and State threatened, endangered and candidate species including, but not limited to, the San Joaquin kit fox, blunt-nosed leopard lizard, Buena Vista Lake shrew, giant kangaroo rat, Bakersfield cactus, and many other species. Significant ecologically-important undisturbed natural areas containing saltbush scrub and valley sink scrub as well as larger expanses of non-native grasslands afford important habitat to species covered under the plan. The conservation strategy is designed to conserve these important habitat areas which are largely in private ownership through a landscape-level, incentive-based approach, that will compliment several individual conservation planning efforts that are currently underway or proposed.
  • Placer County Conservation Plan (Placer County) $337,500.
    This funding will support the Placer County Conservation Plan in northern California. Placer County is currently developing a comprehensive, multi-species Habitat Conservation Plan and Natural Community Conservation Plan. The county has partnered with other local, state and federal agencies to develop the plan. The primary objective of the plan is to balance development with the conservation of the County's natural resources, and provide for the protection of sensitive species and their respective habitats. Numerous state and federally listed threatened and endangered, and sensitive species will benefit from this plan including; vernal pool fairy shrimp, giant garter snake, and American peregrine falcon.
  • South Sacramento HCP (Sacramento County) $195,000.
    The South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan provides a regional approach to balancing development with conservation and protection of habitat, species, open space, and agricultural lands. Several local jurisdictions are involved in efforts to complete the HCP and guide new urban growth into suitable areas, thereby protecting the most vulnerable natural resources and species populations within Sacramento County. The HCP will protect a broad diversity of species and habitats in a regionally coordinated manner that provides the greatest opportunity for long-term viability of native species populations, conserves and enhances ecosystem functions, and will establish a meaningful system of preserves that are located in areas of the highest-quality habitat. Species protected will include California tiger salamander, vernal pool tadpole shrimp, slender orcutt grass and others. The HCP will provide large, linked preserves that will connect the existing patchwork of small and noncontiguous preserves.
  • Yuba & Sutter Counties HCP/NCCP (Yuba and Sutter Counties) $725,000.
    This plan seeks to balance conservation with urban development. Although much of the plan area remains undeveloped or in agricultural uses that benefit natural communities and the species they support, most of the land is in private ownership without protection. Many undeveloped areas within the plan area are anticipated to accommodate population growth over the next few decades. The plan is a unique opportunity for the plan participants to develop a comprehensive, multi-species conservation plan addressing both listed and non-listed but sensitive species including vernal pool fairy shrimp, Northwestern pond turtle, tricolored blackbird, and others. The plan will provide a regional framework for conservation including natural land and agricultural use preservation

Recovery Land Acquisition Grants

  • Cameron Meadows Phase II (El Dorado County) $332,475. This acquisition will permanently protect highly-developable habitat occupied by the federally listed Pine Hill ceanothus, Stebbins’ morning glory, El Dorado bedstraw, and Layne’s butterweed and an assemblage of rare plants known from gabbro soil habitat. Conversion of gabbro soil habitat to urban and industrial uses has eliminated occurrences of these plant species. To prevent further habitat fragmentation, acquisition of land occupied by these rare plants is the most effective means of securing long-term protection. Acquisition of the property will also protect a corridor between two conserved properties of the Pine Hills Ecological Preserve.

Background Information

Photo Credit: Mike Thomas

The health of threatened and endangered species is strongly linked to our own well-being. Millions of Americans depend on habitat that sustains these species — for clean air and water, recreational opportunities and for their livelihoods. By taking action to protect imperiled native fish, wildlife and plants, we can ensure a healthy future for our community and protect treasured landscapes for future generations.

HCPs provide for partnerships with non-Federal parties to conserve the ecosystems upon which listed species depend, ultimately contributing to their recovery. They benefit threatened and endangered species by providing an incentive for landowners to integrate conservation measures into the day-to-day management of their lands. http://www.fws.gov/endangered/what-we-do/hcp-overview.html

Recovery plans provide a road map with detailed site-specific management actions for private, Federal, and State cooperation in conserving listed species and their ecosystems. A recovery plan is a non-regulatory document, but it provides guidance on how best to help listed species achieve recovery.

HCP Planning Assistance and HCP Land Acquisition Grants are selected through a national competition, and approved by the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Secretary of the Interior. Recovery Land Acquisition Grants are selected through a regional competition and approved by the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Secretary of the Interior.

Last updated: November 9, 2017