Rep. Jim Costa announced that 783 Acres in the San Joaquin Valley have been added to the National Wildlife Refuge System for waterfowl and wildlife habitat protection. The decision by the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission will add 508 acres to the existing Tulare Basin Wildlife Management Area.
"Defending our wetlands has the ripple effect of also improving water management and providing shelter for our diverse wildlife here in the Valley," said Costa. "This unique public-private partnership strengthens natural habitats for the benefit of future generations."
The Tulare Basin is made up of freshwater lakes and saline wetlands that serve as a habitat for over 100 threatened or endangered plant and animal species. Preservation of wetlands, such as Tulare, helps improve and protect water quality, reduce flooding, and increase groundwater recharge areas.
Wildlife Refuge acquisitions are funded by sales of Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps, also known as Duck Stamps.
Under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), the refuges are maintained by a public-private partnership to manage, restore, and protect the wetlands and other wildlife habitats. Federal dollars are typically matched by three dollars in private or non-federal investments.
Rep. Costa has long supported funding for NAWCA in order to protect wetlands in the San Joaquin Valley and nationwide.
The Migratory Bird and Conservation Commission announced the following Valley Acquisitions today:
- Tulare Basin Wildlife Management Area in Kern and Tulare counties, Calif.: 508 acres in easement for $971,233;
- Grasslands Wildlife Management Area in Merced County, Calif.: 275 acres in easement for $570,000;