Easements and Land Management
Land Management for Wildlife Habitat
The Byron Conservation Bank is 140 acres of rolling hills in northeastern Alameda County owned by the state Department of Fish and Game. Open grassland and several ponds provide habitat for wildlife, including species of concern such as the burrowing owl, the San Joaquin kit fox, the California tiger salamander, and the California red-legged frog. Using properly managed cattle grazing as the chief land management tool, the RCD is working with Fish and Game and a local rancher to maintain good habitat for burrowing owls by keeping grasses low and controlling invasive weeds. Grazing techniques such as fencing and appropriate timing help to protect riparian areas and to support a variety of water fowl amphibian and reptile species. This project demonstrates the growing recognition that grazing can be an important management tool for annual grasslands that support listed species.
Grassland Reserve Program Easements
Several landowners in the county hold 10-year rental agreements through the NRCS Grassland Reserve Program. The Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) is a voluntary program that helps landowners restore and protect grassland, rangeland, pastureland, shrubland and certain other lands and provides assistance for rehabilitating grasslands, either permanently or for rental periods ranging from 5 to 30 years. More GRP information can be found at http://www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/grp.html
Management Planning for Protected Lands
Conservation Partnership staff have written approved vegetation and habitat management plans for public landowners throughout Alameda County. These include plans for San Joaquin Kit Fox, burrowing owl, California red-legged frog and California tiger salamander.