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Waterbird Habitat Enhancement Program

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will be accepting applications for a special habitat program through Friday, April 6, 2012.

Program Description

Practice Summary

Counties included in this year’s expanded program will include Sutter, Yuba, Yolo, Butte, Glenn and Colusa.

General Background on the New Conservation Program

California Water Bird In 2011, CRC successfully utilized $2.7 million in NRCS funding to launch a new pilot conservation program that is ideally suited for California ricelands. CRC, working in collaboration with PRBO Conservation Science and Audubon California, worked with NRCS to use the funds to put practices in place to enhance the value of rice fields as wildlife habitat. This subregional pilot program was offered to about 100,000 acres of rice in 2011 and resulted in approximately 70 contracts with rice producers. All of the funding will go directly to growers participating in the program over a three-year period.

Beginning in March 2012, a program very similar to last year’s pilot program will now be expanded to a larger block of rice areas in the Sacramento Valley. Applications to NRCS are due by Friday, April 6, 2012.


Counties included in this year’s expanded program will include Sutter, Yuba, Yolo, Butte, Glenn and Colusa. Interested parties in these counties should contact and/or visit your local NRCS Service Center as soon as possible to learn more about the program

Local NRCS Service Centers
County Address Phone
Butte 150 Chuck Yeager Way, Oroville (530) 534-0112
Colusa 100 Sunrise Blvd, Ste D, Colusa (530) 458-5131
Glenn 132 N. Enright Ave, Willows (530) 934-4601
Sutter & Yuba 1511 Butte House Road, Ste B, Yuba City (530) 671-0850
Yolo 221 W. Court Street, Ste 1, Woodland (530) 662-2037

and application process.

Contact information for each local NRCS Service Center is as follows:


This new conservation program will have a strong focus on several specific practices beneficial to a variety of bird species and other wildlife, including (but not limited to):

  • Promote wildlife-friendly straw management practices and returning boards back into the rice boxes after harvest to hold more rainwater.
  • Enhancements of nesting habitat by modifying rice check berms and creating nesting islands.
  • Enhancing duration and types of fall and early spring habitat created when intentionally flooding fields in the winter season.
  • Installing nesting and roost structures for certain non-waterbird species such as songbirds and raptors.

The actual practice list of ALL practices available will be developed by NRCS. Contact your local office or go to for more information.


CRC Conservation Program Workshops (Monday, March 12, 2012)

Information regarding the March 12, 2012 conservation program workshops is as follows:

Morning Session Afternoon Session
Heidrick Ag History Center
1962 Hays Lane
Woodland, CA 95776
9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Bonanza Inn Magnuson Event Center
1001 Clark Avenue
Yuba City, CA 95991
1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

More Information

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