Audubon Receives Million-Dollar Grant for Wetlands Protection

Tulare Basin to Benefit from Federal North American Wetlands

Conservation Act Grant



Apr 02, 2001, 01:00 ET from National Audubon Society

    SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Audubon Society
 has received a million-dollar North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA)
 grant, allowing the conservation group to launch a program to restore and
 enhance wetlands and uplands in the historic Tulare Basin of the southern
 Central Valley of California.
     The NAWCA grant, the first to apply to the southern San Joaquin, will
 support the acquisition and restoration of wetlands on 2,762 acres; the
 restoration of an additional 200 acres; and the enhancement of more than
 22,400 acres.  Ducks Unlimited, Inc. (DU) will partner with Audubon to deliver
 the projects.
     "Historic Goose Lake, along with Tulare, Kern, and Buena Vista Lakes, once
 provided homes for millions of waterfowl and shorebirds.  Today, these areas
 are dry in all but the wettest of winters.  This project allows a desperately
 needed restoration of what was once among the nation's most significant
 wetland habitats," says Audubon California State Director Dan Taylor.  "We
 look forward to working with Ducks Unlimited to help this area recover its
 natural resource value."
     "The work will focus upon improving water delivery systems to restored and
 existing wetlands, enhancing levee systems, and restoring wetland basins.
 Nesting cover adjacent to the wetland projects also will be enhanced," says
 Ducks Unlimited Project Leader Dan Connelly.
     Less than 1 percent of the Tulare Basin's historic 520,000 acres of
 wetlands and seasonal wetlands has survived agriculture and development.  The
 grant is expected to have major, long-term environmental benefits to
 waterfowl, shorebirds and mammals.  A total of 214 bird species have been
 counted in the region's remaining wetlands.
     Partners contributing to the habitat rescue effort include the Natural
 Resource Conservation Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, private
 landowners, the Semi-tropic Water District, and DU.  Partner funds and
 matching funds total over $11 million of the $12.78 million proposal.
     Wildlife benefiting from the project includes numerous duck species, such
 as Northern Pintail, Mallard, Lesser Scaup, Greater Scaup, Redheads,
 Canvasback, Ring-necked Duck and the American Wigeon.  The Mountain Plover,
 Long-billed Curlew, Nuttall's Woodpecker, Black-headed Grosbeak, Tri-colored
 Blackbird, Western Grebe, American Bittern, Sandhill Crane, American Avocet,
 Western Sandpiper, Short-eared Owl, and dozens of others will also benefit.
     The effort to create permanent and seasonal wetlands hinges, in part, on
 the pipeline project by the Semi-tropic Water District.  The pipeline will
 play a major role in supplying water, particularly during drought periods.
     Land acquisitions will be made through the Natural Resource Conservation
 Service's Wetland Reserve Program.  The 2,762 acres will be converted into
 1,657 acres of seasonal wetlands and 1,105 acres of associated uplands.
 Acquisitions are expected to cost $3.6 million.
     Founded in 1905, Audubon connects people with nature through education and
 experience on the land.  We help children, families, and adults from all walks
 of life develop an understanding of and appreciation of birds and other
 wildlife.  We inspire them and give them the tools to act on behalf of the
 environment -- in their own homes and communities, as well as on the national
 level and beyond.
 
              Tulare Basin Wetlands Restoration Project Fact Sheet
 
     The North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant-funded program
 to restore and enhance wetlands in Tulare Basin will fund the following
 habitat improvements:
 
     Willow Creek Ranch/Badger Almond Restoration
     The area constitutes the major portion of the western edge of historic
     Goose Lake. A total of 2,762 acres will be restored to wetlands and
     uplands.  Work will include contouring the laser-leveled agricultural
     fields, constructing levees and installing water controls.
 
     Kern National Wildlife Refuge Water Control
     More than 4,600 acres of the refuge will be enhanced through the
     construction of levees and installation of water control structures.  The
     work will cost approximately $7.9 million.
 
     South Pintail Pipeline
     An area of private wetland parcels will benefit from the construction of
     lateral irrigation pipelines from the South Pintail Pipeline.  These
     wetlands have depended upon deep water wells, limiting the ability to
     maintain or expand wetlands.  The establishment of a reliable and less
     costly water source will benefit 2,236 acres.
 
     Goose Lake/Perimeter Water Delivery Ditch, Habitat Enhancement
     Two peripheral water supply ditches will be constructed to supply water to
     existing wetland acres and create a water resource for future wetland
     development.  The area involves about 2,900 acres, and 1,450 of those
     acres currently are managed as wetlands.
 
     Kern National Wildlife Refuge, Unit 1B Wetland Enhancement
     A 6,000-foot-long levee will be constructed to divide a wetland management
     unit so water management may be improved.  The levee will enhance refuge
     manager's ability to control vegetation and allow water levels for Ibis
     and Tri-colored Blackbird nesting during the summer months.
 
 

SOURCE National Audubon Society
    SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Audubon Society
 has received a million-dollar North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA)
 grant, allowing the conservation group to launch a program to restore and
 enhance wetlands and uplands in the historic Tulare Basin of the southern
 Central Valley of California.
     The NAWCA grant, the first to apply to the southern San Joaquin, will
 support the acquisition and restoration of wetlands on 2,762 acres; the
 restoration of an additional 200 acres; and the enhancement of more than
 22,400 acres.  Ducks Unlimited, Inc. (DU) will partner with Audubon to deliver
 the projects.
     "Historic Goose Lake, along with Tulare, Kern, and Buena Vista Lakes, once
 provided homes for millions of waterfowl and shorebirds.  Today, these areas
 are dry in all but the wettest of winters.  This project allows a desperately
 needed restoration of what was once among the nation's most significant
 wetland habitats," says Audubon California State Director Dan Taylor.  "We
 look forward to working with Ducks Unlimited to help this area recover its
 natural resource value."
     "The work will focus upon improving water delivery systems to restored and
 existing wetlands, enhancing levee systems, and restoring wetland basins.
 Nesting cover adjacent to the wetland projects also will be enhanced," says
 Ducks Unlimited Project Leader Dan Connelly.
     Less than 1 percent of the Tulare Basin's historic 520,000 acres of
 wetlands and seasonal wetlands has survived agriculture and development.  The
 grant is expected to have major, long-term environmental benefits to
 waterfowl, shorebirds and mammals.  A total of 214 bird species have been
 counted in the region's remaining wetlands.
     Partners contributing to the habitat rescue effort include the Natural
 Resource Conservation Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, private
 landowners, the Semi-tropic Water District, and DU.  Partner funds and
 matching funds total over $11 million of the $12.78 million proposal.
     Wildlife benefiting from the project includes numerous duck species, such
 as Northern Pintail, Mallard, Lesser Scaup, Greater Scaup, Redheads,
 Canvasback, Ring-necked Duck and the American Wigeon.  The Mountain Plover,
 Long-billed Curlew, Nuttall's Woodpecker, Black-headed Grosbeak, Tri-colored
 Blackbird, Western Grebe, American Bittern, Sandhill Crane, American Avocet,
 Western Sandpiper, Short-eared Owl, and dozens of others will also benefit.
     The effort to create permanent and seasonal wetlands hinges, in part, on
 the pipeline project by the Semi-tropic Water District.  The pipeline will
 play a major role in supplying water, particularly during drought periods.
     Land acquisitions will be made through the Natural Resource Conservation
 Service's Wetland Reserve Program.  The 2,762 acres will be converted into
 1,657 acres of seasonal wetlands and 1,105 acres of associated uplands.
 Acquisitions are expected to cost $3.6 million.
     Founded in 1905, Audubon connects people with nature through education and
 experience on the land.  We help children, families, and adults from all walks
 of life develop an understanding of and appreciation of birds and other
 wildlife.  We inspire them and give them the tools to act on behalf of the
 environment -- in their own homes and communities, as well as on the national
 level and beyond.
 
              Tulare Basin Wetlands Restoration Project Fact Sheet
 
     The North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant-funded program
 to restore and enhance wetlands in Tulare Basin will fund the following
 habitat improvements:
 
     Willow Creek Ranch/Badger Almond Restoration
     The area constitutes the major portion of the western edge of historic
     Goose Lake. A total of 2,762 acres will be restored to wetlands and
     uplands.  Work will include contouring the laser-leveled agricultural
     fields, constructing levees and installing water controls.
 
     Kern National Wildlife Refuge Water Control
     More than 4,600 acres of the refuge will be enhanced through the
     construction of levees and installation of water control structures.  The
     work will cost approximately $7.9 million.
 
     South Pintail Pipeline
     An area of private wetland parcels will benefit from the construction of
     lateral irrigation pipelines from the South Pintail Pipeline.  These
     wetlands have depended upon deep water wells, limiting the ability to
     maintain or expand wetlands.  The establishment of a reliable and less
     costly water source will benefit 2,236 acres.
 
     Goose Lake/Perimeter Water Delivery Ditch, Habitat Enhancement
     Two peripheral water supply ditches will be constructed to supply water to
     existing wetland acres and create a water resource for future wetland
     development.  The area involves about 2,900 acres, and 1,450 of those
     acres currently are managed as wetlands.
 
     Kern National Wildlife Refuge, Unit 1B Wetland Enhancement
     A 6,000-foot-long levee will be constructed to divide a wetland management
     unit so water management may be improved.  The levee will enhance refuge
     manager's ability to control vegetation and allow water levels for Ibis
     and Tri-colored Blackbird nesting during the summer months.
 
 SOURCE  National Audubon Society