Shasta Land Trust Protects 6,640 Acres of Diverse Bird Habitat
In March of 2006, the community-based non-profit the Shasta Land Trust and the Trust for Public Land completed the purchase of a land conservation easement on the 6,640-acre Hathaway Ranch at Oak Run.
Located ten miles northeast of Redding in Shasta County, “This project has been a five year labor of love—a collaborative effort supported by our partners and many community members,” said Kathleen Gilman, Executive Director of Shasta Land Trust in 2006. The conservation easement was funded by two State of California agencies: the Wildlife Conservation Board and the California Resources Agency (with funds from the Safe Neighborhood Parks, Clean Water, Clean Air and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2000). The project also had a large base of local support with letters of endorsement from the local California Department of Fish and Game’s regional manager, as well as from local landowner organizations such as the Cow Creek Watershed Management Group.
The Hathaway Ranch lies within the Cow Creek Watershed (a primary focus area for Shasta Land Trust) and contains five miles of Oak Run Creek frontage which supports native fish species as well as large areas of wetlands.
The Ranch has been in the Hathaway family for over 150 years and is a valued component of the area’s rich farming history. The Hathaway Ranch watershed is under steadily-growing pressure as Redding and nearby towns expand east into the foothills, and the Hathaway family felt that permanently preserving the Ranch against this threat was very important. The completion of the conservation easement made this possible as the Shasta Land Trust worked in close partnership with the Hathaway family to maintain their ranching lifestyle while protecting the ranch’s important natural resources.
Conservation easements are an important tool for conserving valuable landscapes. This easement forever protects the land from development, while allowing sustainable cattle grazing to continue on the property. In this way, important habitat for native species is legally protected while helping to ensure the survival of the working landscape and lifestyle of cattle ranching.
By focusing on the Cow Creek Watershed, Shasta Land Trust works on a landscape scale to protect biologically rich habitat, wildlife corridors, and working landscapes that are increasingly targeted for development. Annual grassland and foothill pine-oak woodland cover the ranch and provide habitat for abundant native wildlife and plants, as well as valuable winter grazing for cattle. The diverse array of species found at the Hathaway Ranch includes barn swallows, red-tailed hawks, golden eagles, Cooper’s hawks, black-tail deer, gray squirrels, black bears, gopher snakes, and bushy-tailed woodrats.
Shasta Land Trust members and volunteers play an integral part in protecting the significant lands in the biologically rich Northstate. Members donate time and money to the Land Trust. They work on a variety of projects such as the newsletter and fund raising events, or get involved by working on a committee or joining the board of directors.
Supporters’ donations make it possible for the land trust to do its work every day. In addition, members’ tax dollars also flow back to be used to purchase Easements because Shasta Land Trust utilizes grants from local and state funding agencies for its Easement purchases.
With the impact of rapid growth and the loss of wildlife habitat and grazing lands in the California Northstate, Shasta Land Trust continues to look for creative partnerships and has found the community very supportive in its endeavors to protect valuable properties here.
Kathy Callan, a retired teacher and active member of Shasta Land Trust sums it up best: “We owe it to our children to protect the few remaining wild places.”
For residents who would like to see more protections like this in Shasta County, volunteer, donate, or learn more about the Shasta Land Trust please visit www.shastalandtrust.org.
Battle Creek Alliance
Contact Name: Mauro Oliveira
Address: Box 225, Montgomery Creek, CA 96065
Phone: 530 356 7343
Email: Marily Woodhouse, firstname.lastname@example.org
Website URL: www.stopclearcuttingcalifornia.org
County of Activity: Statewide
Issue Focus: Main focus global warming and clearcutting. Clearcutting in general, water quality, wildlife, herbicide exposure, diversity
Public Events: Whole Earth Festival in Davis, Capital Day in Sacramento, Demonstrations in different counties
Volunteer Opportunities: Yes, contact the organization
Accepts Donations: Yes
Description: Ending clearcutting in California
The Nature Conservancy – Lassen Foothills Project
Contact: Jake Jacobson
Address: 500 Main Street
Chico, CA 95928
Phone: (530) 897-6370
County: Shasta, Tehama
Issue Focus: botanical, land use, watershed quality, wildlife and habitat
Group Type: volunteer, staffed
Public Events: guided tours
Volunteer Opportunities: restoration opportunities
Accepts Donations: yes
Description: The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on earth by protecting the lands and waters the need to survive. TNC is an international organization that takes a non-confrontational approach to conservation work. In the Lassen Foothills, TNC works collaboratively with landowners and other partners to preserve the important biological and ecological resources of eastern Tehama county and southeastern Shasta county.
The Lassen Foothills Project area includes seven important tributary streams to the Sacramento River, extensive blue oak woodlands and four vernal pool complexes. Conservation targets include Steelhead trout, several wild Chinook salmon runs, neo-tropical migratory birds, vernal pool plants and animals, the largest migratory deer herd in California and numerous other at-risk species.
TNC’s primary protection tool in the Lassen Foothills is the acquisition of conservation easements, typically over large cattle ranches. TNC owns three properties in fee in the Lassen Foothills: the 4,600-acre Vina Plains Preserve (a vernal pool complex north of Chico), the 1,844-acre Wildcat Ranch (an oak woodland on the North Fork of Battle Creek) and 1,440-acre Childs Meadow (a mountain meadow near Lassen Volcanic National Park). TNC also manages the 37,540-acre Dye Creek Preserve (an oak woodland in multiple watersheds east of Los Molinos) on behalf of the State Controller Environmental Trust.
Shasta Land Trust
Contact Name: Ben Miles, Executive Director
Address: P.O. Box 992026, Redding, CA 96099-2026
(office located at 1918 West St., Redding)
Website URL: www.shastalandtrust.org
Counties of Activity: Shasta, Tehama
Issue Focus: botanical, land use, wildlife and habitat
Group Type: conservation
Public Events: nature hikes, bird walks, conservation property tours, land restoration workdays, stargazing trips, mountain bike rides, horseback rides, wine tastings
Volunteer Opportunities: event planning, office, watershed restoration, land stewardship, photography, newsletter, website, other
Accepts Donations: yes
Description: The Shasta Land Trust is dedicated to permanently protecting and enhancing natural habitats, agricultural lands, and open spaces. Founded in 1998, Shasta Land Trust works with private landowners, statewide and national organizations, and government agencies to accomplish its land conservation mission. The Trust protects land permanently and directly, by purchasing conservation easements, accepting easement donations, and buying land. Shasta Land Trust’s current areas of focus are the Cow Creek and Bear Creek Watersheds in the foothills east of Redding, and the Fall River Valley. Currently, Shasta Land Trust holds over 11,000 acres of prime wildlife habitat, streams and rivers, cattle ranchlands, and productive lands in conservation easements and land purchases.
PUBLIC OFFICIALS & AGENCIES
Shasta County Board of Supervisors
Address: 1450 Court St., Suite 308B
Redding, CA 96001-1680
Phone: (530) 225-5557
Toll Free: (800) 479-8009
Fax: (530) 225-5189
Senate Representative – 4th District:
Counties Represented: Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Nevada, Placer, Shasta, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity and Yuba counties
Assembly Representative – 2nd District
Counties Represented: Modoc, Siskiyou, Shasta, Tehama, Glenn, Colusa, Yolo, Sutter