UPDATE: On September 8, 2011 Placer Land Trust got more great news regarding grants, in addition to the grants already received below the California Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) approved another $39,000 to expand the enhancement project on Doty Ravine. This grant will directly fund technical assistance for the Doty Ravine Habitat Enhancement Project, which will restore native grassland, riparian areas and wetland enhancement. This gives Placer Land Trust a total of $69,000 to fund this amazing project. It is definitely going to be exciting work for the Eagle Scouts who are taking on this project. For more information about the restoration activities, please read below.
Placer Land Trust has been attracting all the right partners to its conservation efforts. In the past few weeks the Natural Resource Conservation Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) have awarded Placer Land Trust grant funds that will significantly jump start restoration projects on grassland properties outside of Lincoln and kick off the first registered oak woodland carbon inventory in the nation.
The USFWS Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program donated a $25,000 match grant that will engage Fish & Wildlife staff and community members in habitat restoration at Doty Ravine Preserve in Lincoln. Placer Land Trust and Fish & Wildlife staff will provide technical assistance for three Eagle Scout projects that will enhance and restore 91 acres of wetland and riparian areas at Doty Ravine Preserve. “We are looking forward to providing technical assistance and working side-by-side with Placer Land Trust and the Granite Bay Eagle Scouts on this project. This habitat is home to the Tricolor blackbird, numerous migratory birds and would provide ideal habitat for California Black Rail. Both the Tricolored blackbird and California Black Rail are protected species. The educational opportunities combined with the real wildlife benefits make it a great fit for us,” said Michael Dunphy at USFWS High Ranch Nursery will donate native trees such as valley oak and box elder for the project.
A short flight away, Swainsons Grassland Preserve will benefit from a large restoration project as well. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provided a $500,000 grant that will fund the creation of wetlands, riparian zones and two acres of oak savanna. The project will also enhance the grassland areas of the property. Placer Land Trust will restore a total of 17 acres of Swainsons Grassland Preserve in partnership with primary restoration partner Westervelt Ecological Services. “The project will be important to improve diversity, especially wetland and riparian dependent species. Additionally, the natural filtration system created by the wetland zone will benefit water quality by processing agricultural runoff leaving the property,” said Mark Young of Westervelt. Placer Land Trust will also use the restored areas as an educational site for students from the Lincoln area.
The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has a voluntary program called the Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) program. The CIG program provides funds for organizations and individuals developing new methods and technologies to protect or enhance natural resources in an agriculture setting. Placer Land Trust will use the $75,000 awarded as a matching grant to pilot a carbon inventory project on Harvego Bear River Preserve in Auburn. The inventory will be a model to determine the feasibility of listing oak woodlands for carbon offsets with the Climate Action Reserve where the carbon can be sold as credits. Any funds generated through this pilot project will contribute to Placer Land Trust’s perpetual land stewardship of oak woodlands. According to Placer Land Trust Assistant Director Jessica Pierce, “Placer Land Trust intends to create a model for other landowners – primarily ranchers – to replicate on other oak woodland properties as a means to generate sustainable revenue for property management.”
These projects will help foster and improve ecosystem services provided by Placer Land Trust properties, enhancing the natural resources of the properties, as well as generating revenue for perpetual protection and creating models for economically viable conservation for future generations. Placer Land Trust has long been a leader among land trusts in innovative environmental protection practices and continues to protect the natural wonders of Placer County, forever.