Placer County Conservation Program acquires over 1,400 acres for preservation
Preserving valuable habitats in Placer County
Auburn, CA – More than 1,400 acres of land have been acquired in the Sheridan District, which includes hundreds of acres of wetlands and spring ponds, Placer County Conservation Program In the name of preserving lands that are critical to the survival of sensitive species and their habitats.
“The conservation of western Placer County wetlands and spring pool grasslands protects some of California’s most ecologically significant and unique areas,” said Robert Wigandt, Superintendent of Placer County 2, California. “It also benefits the residents of Placer County by maintaining open and grazing spaces, maintaining flood streams, and maintaining water quality.”
Providing valuable habitat for more than half of the 14 species covered by PCCP, the following characteristics have been obtained in recent weeks and have put the program well ahead of early implementation goals.
Rosa Redwing Farm
With $5.24 million in federal funds from Endangered Species Act Section 6 Scholarship Programalong with $1.31 million in state funds from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife that it approved Wildlife Conservation Counciland a similar $445,000 grant from the county’s Placer Legacy Program, the Placer Conservation Authority (a shared powers agreement formed in 2020 to administer the PCCP) closed the escrow on November 4 on nearly 560 acres of Riosa Redwing Ranch.
The acquisition constitutes more than half of the target to acquire the entire 997-acre property. It includes approximately 170 acres of wetland and 150 acres of a historically listed spring pool complex that supports a strong occupancy of federally threatened fairy shrimp. The property also contains habitat occupied by two state threatened birds—the Swainson’s hawk and the California Black Rail—and the state’s species of tricolor bird concern.
Appropriate on-site habitat can also provide protection for the federally listed spring pond shrimp (endangered), the Elderberry Valley Longhorn Beetle (threatened) and the state’s concerned species of western pond turtle.
Allocating approximately 300 acres of land to the PCCP as part of the land program in lieu of fees for the first phase of Placer Ranch Specific Plan The project is closed by the guarantee, September 30th
A development fee totaling $7.8 million was required for the project, and this fee could have been used to purchase properties such as Riosa Redwing Ranch. But with the dedication of this valuable property, a US$2.5 million credit was applied and the PCCP Reserve System acquired valuable vernal pool habitats occupied by vernal pond shrimp, monsoon wetlands and swamps of seasonal wetlands. Portions of the property are also home to foodies for the tricolor Blackbird and Swainson’s hawk.
Located between Riosa Redwing Ranch and Placer Ranch, the escrow closed Oct. 5 when purchasing easements across approximately 203 acres from Ellis Ranch – part of Yankee Slough Conservation Bank.
Adjacent to the Riosa Redwing Ranch property immediately to the east, and 400 acres to the north known as the PCCP Bradley Estate, the Ellis Conservation Easement maintains and protects the Yankee Slough floodplains and allows grazing and other agricultural operations to continue consistent with the protection of the easement area. The acquisition of the PCCP and registration of the easement protects the additional conservation values on the property and allows the protection and restoration of existing water resources, and the restoration and enhancement of habitats for the California Black Rail, Tricolored Blackbird, Western Burrowing Owl (a species of state special concern), and the Elderberry Longhorn Beetle Valley.
Purchased by Placer County’s Placer Legacy Program in 2018 as a “quick start” property for the PCCP’s early acquisition, negotiations are expected to be complete by the end of the year to transfer the approximately 400-acre Bradley Title Deed from the county to the Placer Conservancy. With 17 acres of emerging swamps occupied by the California Black Rail and Tricolored Blackbirds, 12 acres of fairy pools occupied by shrimp, and land suitable for creating a Western Owl habitat, Bradley Property will be among the many valuable additions to the PCCP Reserve system during these early years from implementing the programme.
The PCCP covers more than 200,000 acres in western Placer County and Lincoln City, enhancing local land-use decision-making and providing greater flexibility in meeting the county’s social and economic needs for the future.
For more information visit https://www.placer.ca.gov/pccp.