Press Release from the California Resources Agency
September 29, 2006
Auburn, California —
Secretary for Resources Mike Chrisman announced today that 15 Sierra Nevada communities will receive $27.5 million for project grants to protect water quality and habitat. In addition to many of the grant recipients, Secretary Chrisman was joined by Sierra Nevada Conservancy Executive Officer Jim Branham and California Tahoe Conservancy Executive Officer Patrick Wright, in announcing the awards.
“Protecting our watersheds is a primary goal of the Schwarzenegger Administration and these grants will benefit all Californians,” said Secretary Chrisman. “These projects will protect more than 8,500 acres of working landscape and open space that, if developed, would decrease water quality in the region and degrade habitat values.”
Proposition 50 money, awarded for the first time under the Sierra Nevada-Cascade Conservation Grant Program, will be used by 15 public agencies, local public water districts, and non-profit organizations for the acquisition of land and water rights to protect water quality in lakes, reservoirs, rivers, streams, and wetlands in the Sierra Nevada-Cascade Mountain Region.
“This represents a very significant conservation investment in our region by the State of California,” Branham said. “These grants positively affect a number of key objectives of the Conservancy and are well distributed throughout the region.”
In 2002, California voters passed Proposition 50, the Water Security, Clean Drinking Water, Coastal and Beach Protection Act. The act authorized the Legislature to appropriate funds for the Sierra Nevada-Cascade Conservation Grant Program. This competitive program administered by the Office of the Secretary, awards funds to public agencies, local public water districts, and nonprofit organizations.
Grant applications are evaluated with the assistance of a technical review committee consisting of biologists, land acquisition specialists, and water quality professionals. The committee reviewed proposed project applications between May and July 2006 and conducted site visits in August, resulting in recommendations to the Secretary for these grant awards.
All proposed projects awarded funding must comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Funding for proposed project implementation is contingent upon satisfactory evidence of said compliance. The proposed projects, to be approved by the respective lead agency decision makers, may change as a result of the CEQA process. However, any changes to the proposed projects must continue to meet all the objectives of the Sierra Nevada-Cascade Conservation Grant program and be consistent with the intent cited in the original applications.
A list of the selected proposed projects, contingent upon CEQA compliance, follows.
For additional information on the grant process, please go to the Resources Agency Web site: http://www.resources.ca.gov/bonds_prop50sncgrantsprogram.html
Water Security, Clean Drinking Water, Coastal and Beach Protection Act
Sierra Nevada Cascade Conservation Grant Program
American River Conservancy – North Fork Consumnes River Riparian Habitat Protection Project – $1,820,000
California Wildlife Foundation – Lake Tahoe Upper Truckee River Restoration and Recreation Project – $3,011,000
Eastern Sierra Land Trust – Benton Hot Springs Valley Conservation Easement – $2,246,000
High Sierra Rural Alliance – Sierra Buttes/Lakes Basin Acquisition Project – $5,616,000
Mojave Desert – Mountain Resource Conservation and Development Council – South Fork Kern River Watershed Protection: Smith Ranch – $1,000,000
Pacific Forest Trust – Turner Creek Ranch Conservation Easement – $ 4,006,000
Placer County – Snow Creek SEZ Acquisition – $ 1,820,000
Placer Land Trust – Taylor Ranch Preserve – $ 825,000
Placer Land Trust – Freiheit Big Hill Preserve – $ 600,000
Resources for Humanity – Jackson Creek Protection Project – $ 420,00
Sequoia Riverlands Trust – Buckeye Ranch Conservation Easement – $ 173,000
Shasta Land Trust – Fall River Ranch Conservation Easement – $ 1,124,000
Sierra Foothills Conservancy – Macready Ranch Conservation Easement – $ 613,000
Sierra Resource Conservation District – Grand Bluffs Forest – $ 478,000
Truckee Donner Land Trust – Waddle Ranch Acquisition – $ 2,035,000
Truckee Donner Land Trust – Upper Gregory Creek – Negro Canyon Acquisition – $ 650,000
Trust for Public Land – Pointed Rocks Acquisition Project – $ 1,013,000