Wild & Scenic Mokelumne Update

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National Fish and Wildlife Foundation awards more than $2.5 million in grants for projects in the North Fork Mokelumne Watershed
The Bear River, a North Fork Mokelumne Tributary stream.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has approved more than $2.5 million in grants for nine projects within the Power Fire burn scar and the surrounding Eldorado National Forest area in the North Fork Mokelumne River Watershed, east of Pioneer. The projects can broadly be categorized as watershed restoration and management, species management, and forest and upland restoration and management projects.

The following watershed restoration and management grants will fund projects to improve watershed health by restoring native habitat, mitigate past land use practices, and reduce erosion. The first two grant applications were reviewed and supported by the Amador-Calaveras Consensus Group, in which Foothill Conservancy participates.

  • Upper Mokelumne River Watershed Authority: More than $1.28 million to replace 40 culverts and up to 200 water control structures along almost 60 miles of road in the Power Fire burn scar. These road improvements will reduce erosion into the Panther Creek and Bear River watersheds, tributaries to the North Fork Mokelumne River.
  • Amador Resource Conservation District: More than $415,000 for restoring Tyler, Upper Onion, and High Onion meadows within the Bear River and Cole Creek Watersheds.
  • Integral Ecology Research Center: More than $132,000 to clean up waste remaining from clandestine marijuana grow sites within the Power Fire burn scar. Illegal marijuana grow operations are notorious for leaving behind large amounts of nonhazardous trash as well as hazardous materials that threaten wildlife and water quality.

The following grants were awarded for wildlife species management in the Power Fire area:

  • California Deer Association: Nearly $48,000 for fuel treatments to a 32-acre area, 10 acres of which are known to be important California Spotted Owl habitat.
  • California Deer Association: More than $37,000 for restoring meadows in the Bear River watershed, including relocating livestock fencing to protect riparian areas relied up by endangered Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frogs.
  • U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station: More than $81,500 to for a study to determine the presence or absence of Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frogs in the study area. The researchers want to gain a better understanding of how fire affects not only endangered species, but also invasive species. Two grants were approved for forest and upland restoration and maintenance:
  • Mountain Counties Water Resources Association: More than $170,000 to conduct a large-scale fuel reduction analysis within the Panther Creek, Bear River, and Cole Creek watersheds. The analysis will be used to develop a strategic plan to determine where fuel reduction efforts should be focused in the future.
  • American Conservation Experience: Nearly $338,000 to the to increase understanding and public awareness of native plant locations and historic native gathering areas, and to create a guide to culturally significant American Indian plants for Eldorado National Forest land managers.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation protects our nation's species, forests, and watersheds by providing millions of dollars in project grant funding. We are fortunate to have a diverse array of thoughtful local citizens, agencies, and organizations that have worked to secure funding that will directly benefit us in the form of cleaner drinking water, more fire-resilient communities, and increased knowledge of species diversity, while also directly benefiting sensitive and endangered species, watersheds, and ecosystem health. You can see the full description of the foundation's Northern California 2019 grants and grantees on their website.

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