FRLT provides assist
In December 2020, the Wildlife Conservation Board purchased two properties in Sierra Valley on behalf of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). These newly conserved lands expand two publicly accessible wildlife areas by 1,207 acres, protecting important wildlife habitat and securing additional range and connectivity for migrating species.
Both properties are within a geographic area that CDFW has designated as a priority due to its importance for a variety of wildlife species, particularly as fawning and migration habitat for mule deer.
FRLT was proud to play a role in facilitating these transactions and supported the Wildlife Conservation Board as they moved through the process to acquire these lands. This project was a little different from the work we usually do to conserve private lands with conservation easements, and our role in assisting the state in this effort was only made possible because of the generous support of our members.
“We are honored to partner with the Feather River Land Trust and specifically appreciate the expertise and assistance that Shelton Douthit and Kristi Jamason provided in securing the initial purchase agreement and real estate due diligence necessary to acquire the expansions for both the Crocker Meadows and Smithneck Creek Wildlife areas on behalf of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. These expansions will serve to protect wildlife habitat and public access in perpetuity for future generations.”
—John Walsh, Wildlife Conservation Board
About the newly conserved properties
One property adds 976 acres to the Smithneck Creek Wildlife Area southeast of Loyalton, securing important habitat for several special status wildlife species including Golden Eagle, Prairie Falcon, Mule Deer, Pronghorn, and American Badger. Several streams traverse the property, and it holds expansive sagebrush and grassland habitat with hillsides of mixed conifer forest. The state can graze cattle on the property if considered necessary to achieve its land management goals.
The second property was surrounded on nearly half of its border by the Crocker Meadows Wildlife Area, and the addition of 231 acres to this wildlife area provides important foraging grounds for Mule Deer and their fawns. This unique property sits directly in a deer migration corridor, and its diverse habitat of sagebrush and bitter-brush scrub with pockets of black oak woodland gives refuge to many other wildlife species that use this area.
These new public lands protect not only wildlife habitat but also the beauty, biodiversity, and expansive views of open land and big sky that makes Sierra Valley so unique. The public will also gain access to new lands for recreation opportunities including fishing, birding, hiking, wildlife viewing, and limited hunting.
Thank you to all our members and the Northern Sierra Partnership, whose support helped make our role in these conservation successes possible.
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