Excerpts from California's Wildlife Action Plan applicable to Private Landowners
By: Resources First Foundation - RFF
QUICK LINKS TO SECTIONS OF THIS DOCUMENT:
Wildlife Species Matrix
Plant and Animal Species Lists
Information Sources for Private Landowners
CALIFORNIA'S NATURAL DIVERSITY
California is the wildlife state. Its diverse topography and climate have given rise to a remarkable diversity of habitats and a correspondingly diverse array of both plant and animal species. California has more species than any other state in the United States and also has the greatest number of endemic species—species that occur nowhere else in the world (CDFG 2003). Wildlife provides significant economic benefits to the state through recreation, tourism, and commercial harvest. Many of the places where wildlife thrives are often the same as those valued for recreation and other human activities. By learning what threatens the state’s wildlife and the steps that can be taken to reduce those threats, California’s residents have the opportunity to become more active stewards of this precious resource, ensuring that the Golden State remains the wildlife state for generations to come.
WILDLIFE SPECIES MATRIX
The Wildlife Species Matrix provides the ability to query for species listings by species status, taxonomic group, habitat type and geographic region. Using these elements provided below, viewers can create informative queries by combining multiple selection criteria.
Click here to query the Matrix
PLANT AND ANIMAL SPECIES LISTS
AnimalsTop of PageINFORMATION SOURCES FOR WILDLIFE AND HABITAT CONSERVATION ON PRIVATE LANDS
With more than 50 percent of California in private ownership, private landowners play an important role in maintaining the state’s wildlife diversity. Landowners who are interested in providing wildlife habitat on their lands face a variety of challenges, including inadequate technical knowledge or capacity, funding, or time to take conservation actions.
Depending on their specific situation, landowners may be receptive to different types of assistance. Some landowners prefer minimal or no government involvement. Others may need some financial incentives but prefer market-based approaches, such as conservation banking. Landowners amenable to government assistance may be interested in programs that provide technical assistance, financial assistance, or both.Informational Programs and Documents
The resources below provide information about how to manage agricultural-, range-, and forestlands in ways that are compatible with wildlife and habitat conservation.Multiple Land UsesCroplandsRangelands
ForestlandsTop of PageFinancial Assistance Programs
- Integrated Hardwood Range Management Program
Guidelines for Managing California’s Hardwood Rangelands (1996), a report of the University of California, Fish and Game, and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
- NRCS Field Office Technical Guides
- NRCS National Range and Pasture Handbook
Publications on rangeland management.
- Riparian Management Guidance
Publications from the University of California, Davis, Department of Plant Sciences’ rangeland management series.
- Rangelands of the Western United States
A collaborative program comprising land grant universities in the Western U.S. with range extension programs that provides recommendations for management of grazing, invasive species, inventorying and monitoring, fire management, restoration, and wildlife habitat.
- University of California Cooperative Extension Rangeland Watershed Program Fact Sheets
- Watershed Resource Guide
(click on “Industry Issues” > “Producer Information” > “Watershed Resources Guide”)
A number of programs exist to provide financial assistance, either as direct funding or tax benefits, for management practices that will conserve wildlife and habitat.
Various state and federal agencies (and private sources) provide direct contributions to private landowners or landowner organizations. These include grants, cost-sharing agreements, debt forgiveness, and reimbursement of expenses. These methods are a way for the government or a private organization to shoulder some of the cost of maintaining habitat or recovering endangered species on private land. Under these types of agreements, a landowner receives financial assistance in carrying out activities intended to benefit wildlife and natural resources. A relatively comprehensive, regularly updated guide to these programs is available on the Web:
There are several types of tax benefits that can benefit landowners for efforts to conserve natural resources, including deductions based on charitable donations of property and a reduction in capital gains tax on sales of conservation easements or property to a land trust or conservation agency. Examples of tax incentive programs include:
Technical assistance can include education about available assistance programs, developing conservation plans, or designing on-the-ground habitat improvements. Three key sources of local technical assistance are:
Top of PageState and Federal Programs
The following programs provide financial and/or technical assistance.
-Department of Fish and Game
- Fishery Restoration Grants Program
Grants to improve or restore salmon and steelhead populations through fishery habitat improvement projects, cooperative fish-rearing programs, and public education.
- California Landowner Incentive Program
Assists with the enhancement of riparian, wetland, and native grassland habitats by providing participating landowners with annual incentive payments in return for implementing habitat management plans that benefit special status species.
- Private Lands Management Program
Allows landowners to offer fishing and hunting beyond traditional seasons while enhancing and safeguarding habitat for wildlife. Also helps develop nonhunting activities such as bird watching, photography, camping, and hiking.
- Wildlife Conservation Board
An independent board within the Department of Fish and Game with authority and funding to carry out an acquisition and development program for wildlife conservation. The board offers grants for conservation and restoration of oak woodlands, inland wetlands, riparian habitat, rangelands, and grasslands.
-Department of Conservation
-California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
-U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
-Farm Service Agency (FSA)
- Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)
Provides annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to establish long-term resourceconserving covers on eligible cropland.
- Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)
Provides incentive payments for agricultural landowners for instituting specific conservation practices.
- Debt for Nature Program
(Also known as the Debt Cancellation Conservation Contract Program) Landowners with FSA loans may qualify for cancellation of a portion of their indebtedness in exchange for a conservation contract with a term of 50, 30, or 10 years.
-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
The NRCS offers 11 programs that provide technical and/or financial assistance. A complete list is available on the Web