RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. – April 10, 2013 – Ducks Unlimited Inc. (DU) was recently awarded a North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant to conserve 6,460 acres of habitat in northeastern California. DU's Western Region staff will collaborate with federal, state and local partners and private entities to deliver the Fall River Valley-Big Valley Wetlands Project. Approximately $2.5 million in partner funds will be paired with $1 million in NAWCA grant funds to underwrite wetlands restoration and enhancement activities. This is the first NAWCA grant project to be implemented in this focus area.
The Fall River Valley and Big Valley region overlaps the Southern Oregon-Northeast California (SONEC) region, which has been identified as one of the most important areas in North America for spring migrating waterfowl. SONEC is comprised of seven primary sub-basins, with the Fall River Valley-Big Valley region corresponding to the northeast California sub-basin. This region annually supports approximately 7.7 million waterfowl-use days during spring migration and is critical to migrating shorebirds and water birds.
Federal funding will allow DU and its partners to restore or enhance 4,921 acres of seasonal wetland, wet meadow, emergent marsh and riparian wetland habitats, as well as 1,103 acres of associated uplands. Project-related actions have already permanently protected 436 acres on a private working ranch that includes 161 acres of wetland and riverine/riparian habitats and 275 acres of mixed deciduous-coniferous uplands.
"The Fall River Valley-Big Valley region is a major link for migratory birds, connecting the Klamath Basin and Oregon Closed Basin in the north to southern wintering grounds in the Central Valley," said John Ranlett, regional biologist for DU. "Wetland and upland habitat improvements provided by this project will benefit numerous waterfowl, shorebirds, other water birds and songbirds that use the area in fall and spring migration, including northern pintails, mallards, American wigeon, green-winged teal; white-fronted, snow, Ross's and Canada geese; sandhill cranes; and long-billed curlews.
More than a dozen partners have worked with DU over the past two years to develop the project proposal and apply for the NAWCA grant: Fall River Ranch Partnership, Kramer Ranch, Shasta Land Trust, Western Agricultural Services, Fall River Resource Conservation District, Todd Sloat Biological Consulting, Steve Gaines, California Natural Resources Agency, Sierra Nevada Conservancy, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife and North American Wetlands Conservation Council.
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org. Connect with us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/DucksUnlimited, follow our tweets at twitter.com/DucksUnlimited and watch DU videos at youtube.com/DucksUnlimitedInc.