Conservation

First Season of Bid4Birds Program Completed

First Season of Bid4Birds Program Completed

Our California Ricelands Waterbird Foundation just wrapped up the inaugural season of the Bid4Birds program, which incentivizes rice growers to utilize their fields as temporary seasonal wetland habitat for migrating shorebirds and other waterbirds.

This season, the Foundation enrolled six rice growers into Bid4Birds, involving 18 rice fields in the Sacramento Valley, creating about 1,500 acres of vital shoulder season habitat.  During site visits, 45 different species of birds were observed and documented utilizing enrolled fields. 

For more information, please contact the Rice Commission’s Wildlife Programs Manager, Luke Matthews, at lmatthews@calrice.org or (916) 607-8988.

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Applications underway for program to provide Water for Wetlands

In response to the extreme drought in California’s Central Valley and the expected reduction in critical wetland habitat for Pacific Flyway waterfowl and other waterbirds, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has made $2 million available this winter to private wetlands in the Sacramento Valley to increase the amount of available wintering  habitat for migratory birds. Several organizations including the California Rice Commission, California Waterfowl Association, Ducks Unlimited, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, The Nature Conservancy, Point Blue Conservation Science and Audubon California have teamed up to provide drought relief for wetlands and help offset the costs of flooding private wetlands with groundwater in winter 2021-2022.  For more details or to apply for the program please view this flyer

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Deadline to apply for Drought Relief Waterbird Program fast approaching

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You have less than one week to apply for a special program to help wildlife endure the drought. The California rice industry has teamed up with the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to fund a special $8 million Drought Relief Waterbird Program. This program seeks to create waterbird habitat through the operation of groundwater wells to winter flood rice fields for migratory birds. The program will be rolled out on an expedited timeframe, given the rice harvest schedule this year.  

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