During an October 6 meeting with the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) Commissioner Mike Connor and other senior staff, Ducks Unlimited Director of Public Policy Barton James commended the agency for recent actions that will help the National Wildlife Refuge System maintain critical wetland habitat. Recently, the BOR met full allocation for Level 4 water on the federal refuges in California
. Additionally, the bureau approved hiring a South Delta Refuge Water Supply Program Manager who will help manage and meet allocated water levels.
"The full allocation of Level 4 water is great news, especially for wildlife refuges located in the Central Valley of California," DU Director of Public Policy
, Barton James said. "This approved level combined with the new water supply management position will be critical to conserving wetlands that help maintain waterfowl populations."
California's Central Valley is considered one of the most important and most threatened waterfowl habitats on the continent. This region provides critical habitat for 60 percent of wintering waterfowl in the Pacific Flyway. However, uncertainty regarding water availability is threatening the benefits of critical wetlands, water supplies and waterfowl-friendly agriculture.
To help save wetlands in this region, DU and its partners created the Valley/Bay Conserving Agriculture Resources and the Environment (CARE) program. While this program has resulted in substantial increases in waterfowl habitat
, work still remains to ensure that Central Valley wetlands are conserved and that proper water access is maintained. To learn more about DU's work in California, click here