Conservation Easement at Winje's Farm Conservation Easement

January 21, 2010

Making a better home for migratory birds. Audubon California Fall 2009 Newsletter.

Filed under: Uncategorized — rnwinje @ 3:10 pm

From Page 7 of Audubon California Fall 2009 Newsletter

Continuing its work with landowners in one of California’s most ecologically important regions, Audubon California recently helped place a second conservation easement on a ranch in the Surprise Valley – located in the extreme northeastern corner of California.

The Winje Ranch rest along Upper Alkali Lake and contains important wet meadows, grassland, and riparian habitats that support a variety of bird species, including nesting Sandhill Crane, Long-billed Curlew, Wilson’s Phalarope, Wilson’s Snipe, American Avocerts and dabbling ducks such as Gadwall, Mallard and teal.

“Russell and Jan Winje have an inspiring love of the land and the wildlife it supports, and we’re pleased that this passion prompted them to work with us to protect it well into the future,” said Graham Chisholm, Audubon California’s executive director.

This 62-acre conservation easement is the second in the Surprise Valley that Audubon California has completed in partnership with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), the first easement (192 acres) on the nearby Sheppard-Nardella Ranch was completed a year ago. The easements are being placed on high quality wetland habitats important to nesting birds.

Despite its remoteness, Surprise Valley is beginning to see the type of rural subdivisions that is much more common in other parts of the state, and this could pose a significant threat to these important habitat areas in the coming decades.

The NRCS Wetland Reserve Program conservation easement will protect the ranch’s wetlands, and the owners have agreed to work with the NRCS and Audubon to restore vegetation to enhance the property’s values for birds and other wildlife.

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