Ducks Unlimited, Wetlands America Trust (WAT) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) recently protected 39.33 acres of upland and wetland habitat immediately west of Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Glenn County, California.

Sacramento NWR contains approximately 10,819 acres of habitat, including about 7,086 acres of managed wetlands and 3,360 acres of unmanaged wetlands, grasslands, alkali meadows, vernal pools and riparian habitats. These habitats are vital for wintering waterfowl and other wetland-dependent wildlife.

Sacramento NWR supports approximately 250 species of birds, including up to 750,000 ducks and 200,000 geese. It also supports numerous rare, threatened or endangered species, of which eight are federally listed. Many of these listed species are associated with vernal pool habitat on the refuge. The alkali meadow and vernal pool habitats on the refuge represent some of the largest remaining areas of these habitat types in California.

Sacramento NWR is also a very popular public hunting area and is used by approximately 7,000 hunters each year, including hundreds of disabled hunters.

In 2018, the USFWS contacted DU seeking assistance with acquiring this property and protecting it from development. Due to the property's location along Interstate 5 and the exit ramp for Norman Road (County Road 68), it was in a prime location for commercial development.

The property is adjacent to the public hunting area on Sacramento NWR and on the direct flight path of hundreds of thousands of ducks and geese that fly off of Sacramento NWR's wetlands daily to feed in the rice fields to the west. Commercial property development, associated noise, lighting, and human activity, would have adversely impacted waterfowl movements and public hunting.

DU and WAT purchased the property in 2018, resolved a property boundary issue and held it until the USFWS appropriated the necessary funds to buy it. The USFWS acquired the property from DU and WAT in June 2022 and incorporated it into Sacramento NWR.

Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 15 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