Ecosystem Restoration on Agricultural Lands Grant Program
State of California Wildlife Conservation Board
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The Wildlife Conservation Board's agricultural program is formally known as the Ecosystem Restoration on Agricultural Lands (ERAL) program. The intent of the funding is to assist landowners in developing wildlife friendly practices on their properties that can be sustained and co-exist with agricultural operations.
In California, a large number of wildlife species are dependent on privately owned agricultural lands for habitat. Agricultural lands can provide significant habitat and connectivity with protected wildlife areas.
In many cases agricultural landowners are willing to integrate wildlife habitat benefits into the management and operations of their properties, but lack the capital and/or expertise to implement these practices.
Under Proposition 84, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) received $5,000,000.00 in bond funds to “Assist Farmers in Integrating Agricultural Activities with Ecosystem Restoration and Wildlife Protection”. This funding source provides WCB with the opportunity to work directly with farmers and other agricultural landowners to enhance habitat consistent with agricultural operations. The WCB seeks to collaborate with the agricultural community in identifying and implementing projects that provide long-term habitat benefits for wildlife, consistent with landowner objectives, including economic sustainability, and have the potential for replication on a statewide basis.
Examples of eligible project activities include, but are not limited to:
- Habitat restoration and enhancement of water corridors, streams, ditches, canals, tail water and return basins and ponds on agricultural lands.
- Vegetated filler strips, hedgerows and other wildlife buffers.
- Development of wetland areas.
- Riparian and floodplain restoration.
- Fencing to protect and enhance native habitats.
- Restoration and enhancement of native grasslands.
- Agricultural habitat management activities that provide significant environmental co-benefits including water quality improvements, carbon sequestration, etc.
You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.
- The WCB is authorized to award grants to nonprofit organizations [501(c)(3)], local governmental agencies, State departments and federal agencies.
- ERAL Program project criteria:
- All projects must be located on privately owned, agricultural land where agriculture is a major land-use activity, and there is a willing property owner.
- All projects must provide on-site habitat benefits to wildlife.
- All projects must be durable and include a long-term management plan and agreement that ensures that habitat features will remain on the landscape for a time period commensurate with wildlife population needs (a standard agreement is at least 25 years).
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