Jamie Hansen, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
A key piece in the puzzle of restoring wetlands in San Pablo Bay slid into place Friday with the purchase of the 1,092-acre Haire ranch on Skaggs Island.
The Sonoma Land Trust coordinated the $8.3 million purchase, something it has been trying to do since 2010.
“I’m kind of pinching myself,” said Wendy Eliot, conservation director at the trust. She described the ranch as the “holy grail” of conservation projects. “It’s a big day.”
via 1,000 acres added to Skaggs Island wetlands area | The Press Democrat.
Associated Press, THE SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER
A 50-year plan for the restoration of San Francisco Bay and other coastal wetlands was released Thursday by federal wildlife officials who call it the biggest effort to save tidal marshes outside the Florida Everglades.
The $1.24 billion plan for the Bay and a patchwork of tidal marshes in Northern and Central California calls for projects along 500 miles of the state’s 1,100-mile coastline, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service said.
The plan is the result of 15 years of research and provides recommendations meant to save 17 struggling species of plants and animals, including the endangered California clapper rail, a bird. The plan was previously approved by the service, which has spent years reviewing and getting public comment. Funding will come from a mix of federal state and private sources.
Since the Gold Rush era, 90 percent of tidal marshes in the San Francisco Bay have been lost to development and contamination.
via Fish & Wildlife Service announces $1.24 billion plan for Bay Area wetlands | Other News | San Francisco | San Francisco Examiner.
Download the plan and USFWS press release here:
Vesta Copestakes, SONOMA COUNTY GAZETTE
For the past almost 40 years, Forestville has fought one development plan after another on downtown property that runs along Front Street in the heart of downtown. Now, with the support of Sonoma County’s Agricultural Preservation & Open Space District, the Forestville Planning Association, and a local investment group that includes the Bartolomei family, and a Yes vote from the Board of Supervisors, Forestville finally gets a plan everyone can live with.
Eight and one half acres of land will now be approximately 50% park and preserved wetlands with native habitat, and 50% developed land for mixed-use commerce. The land will also accommodate Sonoma County Regional Park’s trailhead to the West County Trail directly running into Forestville’s downtown. That a real boon to the parks, users of the trail, and downtown businesses.
via Forestville Open Space Grant Approved for Park.
Pond 7 of the old Cargill Salt Co. plant between Napa and Sonoma is an improbable sight: a lifeless salt flat spreading across more than 300 acres along the edge of the San Pablo Bay.
The surface is a twisted mass of filthy salt crystals, devoid of plants and avoided by the migratory birds that inhabit nearby marshes.
As long as the pond remains in this state, officials say, it poses a threat to the ecologically sensitive bay: should a rain storm flood the pond and breach the dirt banks, it could wash salt into the open water in concentrations high enough to kill fish and other wildlife.
via Water agency nears completion of Napa-Sonoma salt marsh pipeline | The Press Democrat.