California’s Wildlife Conservation Board has approved about $21.4 million that will fund 22 projects designed to restore and preserve fish and wildlife habitats across the state.
The funds for all of the projects will come from the recent bond initiatives approved by voters to help preserve the state’s numerous natural resources, according to the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG).
Three of the most notable projects will involve land preservation agreements (technically called conservation easements) with the Conway Ranch in Yolo County, the Barboni Ranch in Marin County, the Kern River Corridor Endowment in Central Valley.
As part of the projects, the DFG has provided a grant of $7.8 million for a preservation agreement for about 6,224 acres of Conway Ranch land to protect habitats including wetlands, floodplains, and riverbanks. Preservation of these habitats has been designated as part of efforts to protect endangered species including: the Swainson’s hawk, tri-colored black bird, and giant garter snake.
As part of the Conway project, about 4,000 acres of land will have use restrictions placed on them, providing protections for aquatic and migratory birds, and allowing only “wildlife-friendly agricultural practices,” said the DFG, adding that all of the agreements will “allow for the continuation of agricultural uses, as long as those uses maintain the resource values” of the lands.