New Studies Document Losses of Vernal Pool Habitat in the Central Valley

“Because the loss of vernal pools poses a threat to the biological diversity of the Central Valley, three related scientific studies were conducted to better understand how much vernal pool habitat has been lost in recent years, how this loss has occurred under the current regulations, and how vernal pool loss has been mitigated. The studies were required and funded through the settlement of a lawsuit brought by a consortium of organizations, including Butte Environmental Council, California Native Plant Society, Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Foothills Audubon Society, and Sierra Club Mother Lode Chapter, who challenged a large residential development in western Placer County, California, which would result in loss of vernal pool habitat. The studies include analyses of (1) historical losses of vernal pools in the Central Valley from the 1970s to 2005 and what land-use changes contributed, (2) losses of vernal pools and required mitigation related to permits for fill of vernal pool wetlands issued by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) from 2000 to 2006, and (3) effectiveness of small preserves to protect vernal pool habitat.”

Small Preserves Final Report

Vernal Pool Summary Report