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42 acres donated to Carrizo Plain National Monument

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The Carrizo Plain Conservancy announces that it has donated a 42-acre parcel of private land with a quarter-mile of shoreline on Soda Lake to the United States of America for inclusion in the Carrizo Plain National Monument.

While Interior Department officials in Washington, D. C., consider shrinking or doing away with national monuments in California, the citizens of California and the Central Coast continue to support the Carrizo Plain National Monument with their pocketbooks and volunteer efforts.

The recent addition was purchased in 2015 entirely with private funds donated by many citizens and a grant from the Oakland-based California Wildlife Foundation. The property had been the victim of illegal dumping over the years and so it was cleaned up with removal of over 11 tons of trash, also paid for with private donations.

The Carrizo Plain Conservancy has also offered to donate 13 additional parcels of land within current monument boundaries to the United States. These properties were recently purchased again entirely with private funds.

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Growing Our Partnership with the Sequoia Riverlands Trust

It takes a village to conserve important lands that connect wildlife corridors to keep landscapes and their ecosystems resilient. CPC is delighted to be adding the Sequoia Riverlands Trust (SRT) to our portfolio of partners (www.sequoiariverlandstrust.org).

image 1SRT recently became the Conservation Land Manager of property set aside during the construction of solar plants on the Carrizo Plain. Together, CPC and SRT are restoring lands that improve wildlife habitat and enables both organizations to combine financial forces, leveraged with grants and gifts.

Our first project is to improve and enhance a watering hole that currently looks like this.

After we’re done, both wildlife and cattle will be able to access water downslope and the hillside vegetation will be allowed to return after fencing is installed to restrict cattle at the actual springs.

The final watering site is envisioned to look like this and will include a wildlife ramp for small birds and mammals.image 2

Please consider making a donation to the Buttonwillow Springs project in any amount. Every drop counts these days and your dollars will allow CPC/SRT to do more with less.

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CPC Gets Grant to Update the Northern Carrizo’s Conceptual Area Protection Plan (CAPP)

The CPC has received a grant that will allow us to update the Northern Carrizo’s CAPP. Once updated, the CAPP will be used to line up funding for conservation acquisition. The funding comes from the Wildlife Conservation Board. According to their website, the WCB:

image 4was created by legislation in 1947 to administer a capital outlay program for wildlife conservation and related public recreation. Originally created within the California Department of Natural Resources, and later placed with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, WCB is a separate and independent Board with authority and funding to carry out an acquisition and development program for wildlife conservation (California Fish and Game Code 1300, et seq.). WCB consists of the President of the Fish and Game Commission, the Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Director of the Department of Finance. The primary responsibilities of WCB are to select, authorize and allocate funds for the purchase of land and waters suitable for recreation purposes and the preservation, protection and restoration of wildlife habitat. WCB approves and funds projects that set aside lands within the State for such purposes, through acquisition or other means, to meet these objectives.

The updated CAPP will include all the lands that were part of the recent acquisitions and set asides that occurred pursuant to the construction of the solar plants on the Carrizo. Updating the CAPP provides the WCB a renewed and updated perspective on where best to place conservation dollars on the Carrizo to benefit wildlife.

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CPC Now owns over 8000 acres of solar preservation lands

image 3The CPC recently took possession of the Topaz Settlement Lands and the California Valley Solar Ranch Settlement Lands, totally over 8000 acres. We are barely completing our third year of operation, a hearty accomplishment for such a young land trust. Owing to being in the right place at the right time, this transaction was made possible by the goodwill of many and the hard work of Board President Neil Havlik and Board Vice President Herb Stroh who both reviewed many documents to secure CPC’s due diligence to complete the transactions. We’ll be working in partnership with Sequoia Riverlands Trust who will serve as the conservation lands manager for both preserves. Stay tuned for naming the preserves!!

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CPC Requests President Obama to Add 12,000 acres to CPNM

In June of 2016, the Bureau of Land Management and Friends of the Carrizo Plain hosted the Carrizo Plain Conservancy and many CPNM friends and associates on a tour for Lois Capps as she completes her years of service in Congress. Neil Havlik presented Ms. Capps with a request to petition the President to add approximately 16,000 acres in San Luis Obispo and Kern Counties to enlarge the Monument along the eastern side of the Temblor Range to include the unique Upper Sonoran Sub-Shrub Scrub community founds only in the mountains surrounding the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley.

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Source: Vegetation Mapping and Accuracy Assessment Report for Carrizo Plain National Monument, California Native Plant Society, 2013

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